2010Q3 Reports: NAACL

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Report from NAACL, June 2010

Rebecca Hwa - Chapter board chair

Owen Rambow - Past chapter board chair

Christopher Manning - Treasurer

Anoop Sarkar - Secretary

Executive Committee Meetings

The Board has met on June 1st, at the NAACL HLT 2010 conference in Los Angeles. Additionally, the Board converses regularly by e-mail.

NAACL Treasurer's Report

(prepared by: Christopher Manning, NAACL Treasurer; May 29, 2010, Palo Alto, CA.)

The Chapterʼs bank account held $136,771.90 at the end of Apr 2008, well more than at the same time last year ($71,530.32). Income for the year was about $88K, primarily from booking the surpluses for past conferences following catch-up accounting: a huge $57K surplus from NAACL 2006 and $30K as our 50% share of the strong surplus from ACL 2008. Expenses are also up (though less) at $23K, comprising $12K which JHU eventually billed for WS2007 and WS2008, $1.5K for JHU WS2009 travel fellowships, $5K in support of NACLO 2009, $2.5K for two events under the Latin American fund (STIL and Propor), and $2K for NAACL 2009 student travel support. Other income and expenses are in process. Iʼm delighted to report a surplus of $14K from NAACL HLT 2007. (Phew! Iʼm amazed.) Draft accounting for NAACL HLT 2009 (thanks Graeme and Chiaki!) suggests a surplus of about $12K (probably an upper bound). We are also giving $1K for a Pacific Northwest NLP meeting, $5K for support of NACLO for 2010, and continuing to support the JHU summer workshop. We are giving further support from the Latin American fund for people attending the Young Investigators workshop and the ELiC winter school, and giving support to student authors who need funds to attend NAACL. One chart below shows the NAACL account balance from 2006 on. Itʼs a different story from the American federal account balance! The other shows our yearly income from conferences. This has been a sea change year for the NAACL Treasury, with successful initiation of 3 new funds for using money to support our constituency: the NAACL HLT student travel support fund, the Latin America fund, and the regional conferences fund, as well as continuing previous support for U.S. summer workshops and NACLO. We relearned the wisdom that itʼs a lot of work dispensing money, and while I certainly think that we should continue initiatives like these, we also have to think a bit about how to make the work involved sustainable. For the moment, all is fine with the NAACL Treasury. For the future, we should pay attention to generating the surpluses necessary to sustain such activities (neither NAACL 2007 nor 2009 yielded sizeable surpluses) and continue to look at trends in corporate sponsorship and opportunities for links with the broader text mining/processing/search community (e.g., get feedback from the NAACL 2010 General Chair, Ron Kaplan, who recently spoke at the Text Analytics Summit 2010).

North American conference in 2010

NAACL HLT 2010 took place in Los Angeles, California, in June 2010. Ron Kaplan (MS) is the conference General Chair; Geral Penn (Toronto), Mary Harper (CASL), and Jill Burstein (ETS) are PC co-chairs; and David Chiang and Ed Hovy (ISI) are the local organizers. A detailed conference report is being prepared by Ron, and will be posted separately.

North American conference in 2011

Next year's NAACL conference will be held jointly with ACL in Portland, Oregon (ACL HLT 2011). Dekang Lin (Google) is the General Chair, and Brian Roark and Richard Sproat (both OGI) are leading the local arrangements efforts.

North American conference in 2012

The ICCL and NAACL have been exploring the possibility of holding a joint NAACL/COLING conference. Bids for hosting the event have been received. Plans for NAACL 2012 will be finalized later this summer.

Shaping Future NAACL HLT conferences

The NAACL Board continues to explore ways to make our conference more lively and diverse.

  • We will continue to encourage research dialogs with the speech and IR communities by choosing area chairs who are active in both communities.
  • We also aim to foster stronger relationships with industries. In recent conferences, we have held industry panel sessions. We are exploring additional activities that may be of interest to both academia and industry.
  • The recent reorganization of the short paper track has become more stabilized. We will continue to solicit papers addressing a diverse set of categories. We will revise the reviewing instructions to refine the judging criteria for the short paper categories.
  • Participation in the Student Research Workshop has seen a decrease. We have begun discussions on ways to re-energize the program.

Nominations to ACL Sponsorship Committee for 2011

Srinivas Bangalore (AT&T) and Christy Doran (MITRE) are the current regional representatives (for the Americas) to the sponsorship committee. One of the two will stay on and continue to serve in the committee next year. The Board is seeking a second representative to take over the responsibilities of the departing representative.

Support for Summer Schools and Other Educational Outreach

In the coming year, we will continue to support educational programs such as NACLO (the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad) and the Johns Hopkins summer school. Additionally, we will also provide financial sponsorship to the Linguistic Institute of the LSA in 2011, to be held in Boulder, Colorado.

Support for Outreach to Emerging CL Communities

We have established a small fund to support Latin American activities and a small fund to support regional student conferences. In 2010, we have sponsored the following programs:

  • the 7th Brazilian Symposium in Information and Human Language Technology (STIL 2009)
  • PROPOR 2010 - International Conference on Computational Processing of Portuguese Language (28 to 30 of April, Porto Alegre - RS, Brazil)
  • Escuela de Linguistica Computacional (ELiC -- winter school in Argentina, Aug 2010)
  • NAACL Workshop for Young Investigators in the Americas (June, 2010)
  • Northwest Region NLP Workshop (April 2010)

We have formalized the reviewing process for 2011. We have planned for two submission deadlines: one in September, and one in March. We will evaluate each proposal based on its potential impact to stimulate collaborations between researchers from emerging geographical regions.