ACL North American Chapter Chair Report for 2002
Report from NAACL
Diane Litman, Chair


1. Election

The NAACL election in the fall of 2001 (held electronically) produced
the following results:

Chair: Diane Litman (renewed)
Secretary: Claire Cardie (renewed)
Treasurer: Dragomir Radev
New Chapter Board members: Lynette Hirschman, Owen Rambow

All Chapter Board members are elected for 2 year terms. This fall
there will be an election for the two remaining Chapter Board
positions (currently held by Graeme Hirst and Daniel Jurafsky). Any
North American member of ACL can run for these positions, and can be
nominated by either the nominating committee (which will be chaired by
Lori Levin), or directly by a NAACL member. For all other positions,
the next elections will be in the fall of 2003.


2. 2002 Conference: ACL

Since ACL is in North America this year, there is no separate meeting
of NAACL. NAACL is co-hosting ACL.


3. 2003 Conference: HLT-NAACL 03

For 2003, the NAACL Chapter Board has decided decided to merge the
NAACL conference series with the HLT (Human Language Technology)
conference series. The goal of the merger is to combine the best of
the two conferences, specifically, the high standard of full paper
reviews for NAACL and the broader range of topics of HLT. We feel
that NLP researchers and the broader HLT community will both benefit
from increased exposure and exchange of ideas. Furthermore, we feel
that the division into an "applied" conference and a main conference
(presumably more theoretical in outlook) is somewhat artificial, as
applications have always been featured in the main conference as well,
and as the line between application and more fundamental research is
not always that clear in our discipline.

To plan the conference, an Advisory Board has been formed, whose
members include three representatives from NAACL (Graeme Hirst, its
chair; Lynette Hirschman; Dragomir Radev), three representatives from
US funding agencies (Karen Kukich, NSF; John Prange, ARDA; Charles
Wayne, DARPA), a representative from the IR community (Donna Harman,
NIST), a representative from the speech community (Salim Roukos, IBM),
and a co-chair of HLT2002 (David Yarowsky, JHU). The Advisory Board
proceeds by consensus, and the NAACL members of the Advisory Board
refer all important decisions for ratification by the entire NAACL
Chapter Board. To date, the Advisory Board has appointed Eduard Hovy
as General Chair, and Marti Hearst and Mari Ostendorf as PC co-chairs.
Needless to say, acceptance of submissions will be, as always,
entirely based on merit; the members of the Advisory Board will have
no direct influence on the selection of papers to be presented at the
conference. It is the intention of the NAACL Chapter Board that the
merged conference will include all the research areas of previous
NAACL, ACL, and HLT conferences; further details will be elaborated by
the PC.

The conference will take place in late May / early June, 2003, in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada. Dekang Lin has kindly agreed to serve as Local
Arrangements Chair. The conference site was selected via an open
bidding process.

We are excited about HLT-NAACL 03 and we think it will provide a good
opportunity for us to present our work to a larger audience. However,
we recognize that this is an experiment. We are now committed only
for 2003, after which time we will assess the success of the merged

See http://www.hlt-naacl03.org for further updates.


4. Support for Summer Schools

Following some suggestions from members regarding a desire for
educational initiatives, the Chapter Board has decided to cooperate
with Johns Hopkins's CSLP Summer School on Human Language Technology
to fund 5-10 undergraduate and graduate students to attend the 10 day
course that takes place before the workshop. The course covers NLP
and speech, with much hands-on work. As this year the 10-day course
overlaps with ACL, the students will also attend ACL (the students
will miss three days of course work, mainly related to speech and IR).
This year 9 students were selected, and were given scholarships
ranging from $475 - $1225 (which covered JHU and ACL registration, as
well as funds for transportation, lodging, and food, depending on
need). The total cost to NAACL will be $9575 dollars, paid for by part
of the surplus from NAACL-01. This experiment will be repeated two
more times, at which time we will evaluate the experience.

More information on the course:

and on the scholarships:

We are also considering expanding our support to include cooperation
with other relevant North American summer schools. In particular, ACL
has asked us to take responsbility for any future arrangemenets with
the LSA Linguistics Institute (which before our chapter came into
existence, was handled by the ACL executive committee).


5. Outreach to Latin America

In the summer of 2001 the NAACL executive committee asked Ted Pedersen
to act as a liaison to members of the CL/NLP research community in
Latin America. His objectives were to identify researchers and
organizing efforts in Latin America, and to solicit opinions as to
what would increase participation in NAACL in Latin America. Ted has
prepared a summary of his findings based on contact with approximately
100 researchers. The NAACL chapter board will discuss Ted's report at
our 2002 executive committee meeting (during ACL).


6. Newsletter

We have started a newsletter series, which is sent electronically to
all NAACL members. The first issue went out in September 2001,
while the second issue was sent in May 2002.


7. Executive Committee Meeting

The NAACL Board will meet for its yearly meeting on Saturday, July 6,
2002, at the ACL conference in Philadelphia. Minutes will be posted
on the chapter website.