Inverted school

The inverted school is where students turn into teachers

The Inverted CSC (iCSC) is a 2-4 day long school, organised at CERN. It consists of lectures and hands-on exercises on a variety of topics, given by former CSC students. This school provides them with a platform to share their knowledge – and by doing so, it effectively “inverts” the roles by turning students into teachers.


This school was first prototyped in 2005, and since then took place almost every year. Over these years, the school gave floor to 90 speakers, who delivered over 170 hours of lectures and exercises. Some of these speakers then became lecturers at the main or the thematic schools.


The programme of the school depends on the proposals submitted by speakers, and consequently varies greatly from one year to another. However, the school usually covers a variety of very interesting, state-of-the-art topics. Past schools often talked about artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, virtualisation and containers, modern software architectures, computer architectures, distributed systems, simulation, tracking and reconstruction, data analysis, etc. See the list of past inverted schools and their topics here.

It’s worth noting that the inverted CSC is not a conference where lecturers present their projects and achievements, nor a training session to teach a particular technology. We seek academic lectures on topics related to scientific computing, relevant for particle physics etc.


The inverted school takes place at CERN, usually in the conference rooms of the IT department. Attendance is free (but registration is appreciated, as it helps the organizers with logistics). Unlike for other CSC schools, there are no accommodation or meals organized at the inverted school (except for the coffee breaks).

Attendees are not obliged to attend the full event – you can simply attend the classes that interest you the most. Lectures can also be followed remotely, but hands-on exercises require physical presence.

How the inverted school is organised

At the end of the main and the thematic schools, the students are encouraged to propose classes for the upcoming inverted school, on topics that they are knowledgeable and often passionate about.

These proposals are collected in autumn, and reviewed by the CSC Programme Committee. The selected speakers are presenting their classes during the inverted school the following winter (usually early March).