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IEEE Signal Processing Cup

The Signal Processing Cup (SP Cup) competition is held annually and encourages teams of students to work together to solve real-world problems using signal processing methods and techniques. Each year, three final teams are chosen to present their work during ICASSP to compete for the US$5,000 grand prize!

The current Call for Proposals for the SP Cup can be found on the SPS Call for Proposals page. Please note that your proposal must be endorsed by one of the TCs. For endorsement, you must submit your proposal for endorsement to the SPS Technical Committee (TC) that best fits your proposal by 6 January 2023 for the SP Cup. You can find the Society’s TCs located on the Technical Committees page on the SPS website.

The submission deadline for TCs to submit endorsed proposals is 13 January 2023 for the SP Cup.

Technical Committees interested in submitting a call for proposal for the upcoming SP Cup competitions, please visit the Technical Committees page for more information.

SPS Student Competition Terms & Conditions

IMPORTANT: All team members must fully read and agree to the terms in this SPS Student Competition Terms and Conditions document in order to be eligible in any SPS Student Competition. By checking the agreement checkbox during team registration, all team members agree to all of the Terms & Conditions mentioned in this document:

>> Download a copy of the full SPS Student Competition Terms & Conditions

IMPORTANT: [Judges and Team Supervisors] The IEEE Conflict of Interest form must be completed before participating in the competition. Complete the Conflict of Interest form.

Each team participating should be composed of one faculty member or someone with a PhD degree employed by the university (the Supervisor), at most one graduate student (the Tutor), and at least three, but no more than ten undergraduate students. At least three of the undergraduate team members must hold student memberships of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. Undergraduate students who are in the first two years of their college studies, as well as high school students who are capable of contributing are welcome to participate in a team. A participant cannot be on more than one team.

Team Composition

  • Each team MUST be composed of: (i) One faculty member (the Supervisor) and (ii) At least 3 but no more than 10 undergraduates; Optionally (iii) At most one graduate student (the Tutor).
    • At least three of the undergraduate team members must be SPS student members at time of team registration.
  • Further definitions of each team position are as follows:
    • Faculty (Supervisor): A faculty member or someone with a PhD degree employed by the university. Postdocs and research associates are not considered as faculty members.
    • Graduate Student (Tutor): A graduate student is a student having earned at least a 4-year University degree at the time of submission. Please note: Tutors are not eligible to receive travel grants or prize money.
    • Undergraduate: An undergraduate student is a student without a 4-year degree.
  • Team members cannot be changed after the team registration deadline.
  • At least one undergraduate team member must be in attendance (in-person) of the final round of the competition held at the respective conference (ICASSP or ICIP) to present the team’s work.*
  • Students receiving the travel grant and prize payments MUST be active SPS members at time of team formation. Signal Processing Society membership can be added here.

Team ineligibility (Further clarification)

Specific team ineligibility, in addition to the above. Any of these criteria will result in the team being disqualified/ineligible to continue in the competition:

  • Teams that are composed with 50% or more of its members being students who have previously participated on a finalist team of another SPS competition within the last calendar year are not eligible.
  • Teams with the exact same member composition of a previously placed team in the top 3 of another SPS competition within the last calendar year are not eligible.
  • Any team member who has placed in the top three teams of any SPS competition held during the previous conference and/or calendar year, i.e. a member from one of the 3 finalist teams of the 2023 SP Cup or 5-MICC (at ICASSP) will not be eligible to participate in the 2023 VIP Cup or 5-MICC (at ICIP).
  • Team members cannot simultaneously participate in more than one competition at the same time.
  • Team members cannot participate on more than one team at the same time.

Important notice: Upon registering a team for the competition, the team must commit to at least one undergraduate team member representing the team by attending the physical competition and participating in the final round of the competition at the physical conference. Should a team not be able to participate physically (in-person) in the final round of the competition held at the respective conference (ICASSP or ICIP) for any reason, at any point in the competition, then the team must notify SPS Staff and organizers immediately. This will likely result in the team being ineligible to continue in the competition, therefore forfeiting their position in the competition. Teams must make every effort to attend the final round at the conference; visa issues may be an exception. If all team members are unable to obtain visas, please be prepared to present proof of visa process, communication to obtain visa, as well as a visa denial. All eligibility decisions are at the discretion of the SPS Student Services Committee and competition organizers.

Should a team be disqualified or forfeit their finalist position for any reason, the next team selected by the organizers may be contacted to compete in the final round, following the same rules listed above.

The judging for the final phase of the competition held live at the conference will be based on five equally weighted criteria, unless otherwise specified by the competition organizers in the Official SP Cup Document/Call for Participation. Each of the three finalist teams will be scored on the five criteria and the team with the highest score will place 1st, the team with the second highest score will place 2nd, and the team with the third highest score will place 3rd in the competition.

The five equally weighted criteria are:

  1. Innovation of the proposed approach
  2. Performance of the first stage competition (by choosing the best submission, score as indicated on the website)
  3. Performance of the last submission (second phase held live at the conference) separately on the dataset(s)
  4. Quality and clarity of the final report
  5. Quality and clarity of the presentation

Each criterion is scored with a 1, 2, or 3; the best team in each criterion will receive 3 points, the second best team will receive 2 points, and the third best team will receive 1 point. The final winning rankings will be based on the highest points awarded from the five criteria during judge deliberations at the end of the competition. Final rankings are ultimately decided by the judges, at their discretion.

Any judge or team supervisor participating in the competition must sign a Conflict-of-Interest Form agreeing to the following key points. Full information is on the Conflict-of-Interest Form.

Conflict of Interest concerns shall be disclosed and addressed in accordance with IEEE Policies 9.9 A, B. and C and IEEE Policy 4.4.H. - Eligibility and Process Limitations. Judges involved at any stage of the team rankings/scoring process for an SP competition shall be ineligible to judge/vote on the outcome of team rankings for the competition in which the conflict exists. Any real and perceived conflict of interest shall be avoided. Conflict of interest shall be defined as any relationships, professional or otherwise, that can affect impartiality and objectivity. Such relationships include, but are not limited to the below list.  This list also applies.

  1. faculty supervisor/student,
  2. faculty supervisor/post-doc,
  3. manager/employee,
  4. shared institutional affiliations,
  5. recent (less than five years) research collaborations or joint authorship,
  6. judge/team supervisor
  7. In the case of a conflict of interest, the judge should neither listen to nor speak in the discussion and should not vote on the team scoring/ranking process.

In our SPS Policies and Procedures. The IEEE Conflict of Interest form (also mentioned above) must be completed before participating in the competition. Complete the Conflict of Interest form.

​​Conflict Resolution Process

The Society leadership will create an ad hoc committee to handle each matter requiring conflict resolution.

  1. Composition. The composition of each ad hoc committee will include area experts. The experts should be chosen based on mediation experience or subject area experience. All members of the ad hoc committee should be non-conflicted, e.g., no prior involvement in the situation, no collegial work relationship, etc. The committee may be augmented with the agreement of all members of the ad hoc committee. The committee will select its own chair.
  2. Process. During the first meeting of the ad hoc committee, the committee shall create a timeline detailing the conflict resolution process, as well as determine any operational rules for the ad hoc committee’s operation (e.g., length of final report; length of statement of dissent, etc.) The individual who brought the conflict matter forward shall be informed of the timeline. All discussions and information presented to the ad hoc committee shall be handled in a confidential manner.

    Decisions need not be unanimous; final outcomes may be determined by majority vote of the membership of the ad hoc committee. Dissenting members may include their dissenting opinion as part of the report; the length of such dissent will be determined as part of the committee’s operational rules.

    After the ad hoc committee has determined its final ruling, the ad hoc committee chair shall be responsible for preparing a short report documenting the committee’s findings. The report shall be provided to the individual who brought the conflict matter forward.

  3. Appeal. If the individual who brought the conflict matter forward feels that the matter has not been adequately resolved by the ad hoc committee at the Society level, the individual may escalate the matter further to TAB or IEEE. The ad hoc committee report shall be shared with TAB and/or IEEE.

The three teams with highest performance in the open competition based on the judging criteria will be selected as finalists and invited to participate in the final competition at ICASSP. The champion team will receive a grand prize of $5,000. The first and the second runner-up will receive a prize of $2,500 and $1,500, respectively, in addition to travel grants and complimentary conference registrations. See the Official SP Cup Document for full details on the prize offerings.

  • Up to three student members from each finalist team will be provided limited travel support to attend the conference in-person. In-person attendance of the physical conference is required for reimbursement. Travel grant funds are offered on a reimbursement basis of up to $1,200 for continental travel and $1,700 for intercontinental travel; there are no exceptions.
  • Funds will be issued by way of a bank transfer after the competition via IEEE’s NextGen Expense Reimbursement (Concur) tool. Detailed information on this step will be sent via email to the finalist team members that will be receiving reimbursement.
  • Receipts are required for all expenses and must be uploaded into Concur for reimbursement.
    • Prior to claiming your travel grant award, you must submit receipts of your travel expenses that are equal to or exceed the grant amount in order to receive the full travel grant payment. Travel expenses include: air fare, train tickets, hotel, visa fees, transit, meals, and conference registration. Receipts are required for all items and must equal to or exceed the total reimbursement amount. The receipts must show form of payment used, name, date, and amount paid. Hotel reservation confirmations or bookings, invoices, or quotes for airfare are not acceptable receipts unless the proof of payment is also provided with the document.
    • All travel expenses must be submitted through IEEE’s NextGen Expense Reimbursement (Concur) tool. Detailed instructions on how to create an account and properly input receipts will be shared with the (up to) 3 undergraduate members from finalist teams receiving travel support.
  • Complimentary conference registration for up to three team members of finalist teams.
    • These complimentary conference registrations cannot be used to cover any papers accepted by the conference.
    • You must notify Jaqueline Rash,, via email of the three team members who have been chosen to receive complimentary registration. A registration promo code will be provided.
    • VISA: Once registered for the conference, each individual will have the opportunity to request an invitation letter through the conference website to be used for the visa application process. This is the only way to receive a letter.
  • The finalist teams will also be invited to join the Conference Banquet and the SPS Student Job Fair, so that they can meet and talk to SPS leaders and global experts. Please note registration for the Conference Banquet and Student Job Fair is limited and based on availability. You must add these events to your registration. If you are unable to add these events to your registration, then maximum capacity has been reached. There are no exceptions for the Conference Banquet, however, there may be additional availability for the Student Job Fair. You can inquire by emailing Jaqueline Rash.

Sponsorship of the SPS Signal Processing Cup


We gratefully acknowledge MathWorks, Inc. for their continued support of IEEE Signal Processing Cup. Participating students are encouraged to download the complimentary Mathworks Student Competitions Software for use in the competition.

IEEE Signal Processing Cup at IEEE ICASSP 2025
Deepfake Face Detection In The Wild

IEEE ICASSP 2025 Website | 6-11 April 2025 | 2025 SP Cup Official Document

[Sponsored by the MathWorks and IEEE Signal Processing Society]


With the surge in advancements in synthetic data generation, deepfakes pose a serious threat due to their potential application in unethical and malicious purposes. This encompasses manipulating public opinion, instigating geopolitical tension, defamation, and identity threats. This year marks a significant election season globally, with more voters than ever in history expected to head to the polls across at least 64 countries. Naturally, deepfakes are of greater concern, as the generated contents in the form of image, video and audio are already widely circulated to gain political advantages. Addressing deepfakes is increasingly challenging due to the continuous development of new generation techniques, creating an 'arms race' between the attacker and the defender, as also mentioned in a recent BBC news report.

Of all potential deepfake content, fake images are more prevalent, as they can be easily generated by non-experts using publicly available tools that require minimal domain knowledge. In recent years, several solutions are proposed to discriminate the fake content from real. However, their effectiveness is questionable due to a lack of generalization, especially in the presence of unseen attacks not represented in the training data. To address this challenge, we present the Deepfake Face Detection In The Wild Competition (DFWild-Cup), which focuses on automatically detecting image deepfakes in real-world settings, with participants assigned to develop systems capable of distinguishing between real and computer-generated images. This DFWild-Cup competition specifically emphasizes the generalization aspects of deepfake detectors by encompassing a wide variety of data generated using diverse generation methods, attack scenarios and source datasets. While a few other machine learning challenges already addressed the deepfake detection, this represents the inaugural challenge solely focused on image deepfake detection in the wild, highlighting its emphasis on diversity, particularly in real-world scenarios. [Read the full Call for Participation for more details.]

Task Description

 The DFWild-Cup is concerned with identifying images whether they are real or fake. The real image can be natural image collected with a camera or snapshots of real videos. Whereas the fake images may be generated with image various image synthesis or forgery techniques or can be snapshot of computer-generated fake videos. The participant will be provided with a set of training and test data. After training the detector with the dedicated training data, the task is to estimate a score of each of the test images. A higher score indicates a real image whereas a lower score indicates a fake image.

Full technical details, dataset(s), evaluation metrics, and all other pertinent information about the competition is located in the "2025 SP Cup Official Document" (above).

Important Dates

  • Challenge Announcement/Registration Starts: 11 July 2024
  • Release training and validation set: 22 July 2024 [Access the Training and Validation Set]
  • Team Registration Deadline: 30 September 2024 - Registration Link
  • Release of evaluation set: 15 December 2024
  • Final Submission Due: 15 January 2025 [Submit Team's Work]
  • Announcement of 3 Finalists Teams: 31 January 2025
  • Presentation of final results at ICASSP 2025: 6-11 April 2025

Registration and Important Resources

Official SP Cup Team Registration

  • All teams MUST be registered through the official competition registration system before the deadline in order to be considered as a participating team. Teams also MUST acknowledge, agree to the SPS Student Terms and Conditions, and meet all eligibility requirements at the time of team registration as well as throughout the competition. The Agreement Form can be found in the Official Terms & Conditions document linked in the top section of this page.
  • Register your team for the 2025 SP Cup before 30 September 2025 and submit work before 15 January 2025 at the following link: [Register your team HERE]


Competition Organizers (technical, competition-specific inquiries): MD Sahidulla

SPS Staff (Terms & Conditions, Travel Grants, Prizes): Jaqueline Rash, SPS Membership Program and Events Administrator

SPS Student Services Committee: Angshul Majumdar, Chair


This competition is sponsored by the IEEE Signal Processing Society and MathWorks:





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