2013Q1 Reports: NAACL

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Report from NAACL, February 2013

Chris Callison-Burch - Chapter board chair


The results of the most recent NAACL election were released in December 2012. Julia Hirschberg (Columbia University) and Katrin Erk (UT Austin) are the new board members, replacing outgoing board members David Chiang and Dan Gildea. Joel Tetreault (Nuance) is the new Treasurer, replacing Chris Manning who left his NAACL post to become ACL VP Elect.

Here is a list of all current members of the NAACL board: http://www.naacl.org/officers

Executive Committee Meetings

The board communicates regularly via email. The board met in person at NAACL 2012 in Montreal and will meet in NAACL 2013 in Atlanta.

NAACL Treasurer's Report

This report is from Joel Tetreault, the incoming NAACL Treasurer

NAACL has $41,776.06 in the bank according to its January 2013 bank statement. The financials of the NAACL 2012 conference are still assembled by Priscilla, so our balance does not yet reflect any surplus/loss from that conference.

The current balance is the lowest we have had in the bank in January since 2007 ($36k). January 2012 we had $104k but the NAACL 2010 deficit wasn't factored into the total until June 2012, so that "looking-back-a-year" number can be misleading!

In the last six months we have our usual outgoing payments to conferences such as NACLO (5k), LSA (10k), JHU Summer School (~10k) and then our one source of income was the ACL 2011 conference where they give us 50% of the profit from ACL (39k).

North American conference in 2013

NAACL HLT 2013 will be held in Atlanta, GA from June 9 -- June 14 2013. The general chair is Lucy Vanderwende (Microsoft Research) and the PC co-chairs are Katrin Kirchhoff (University of Washington, Seattle), and Hal Daume (University of Maryland, College Park). Priscilla Rasmussen who has taken over the responsibilities of local arrangements chair.

The number of submissions to NAACL 2013 was much improved over last year. In 2013 we received 460 long+short paper submissions, versus 301 in 2012. We attribute the improvement to better coordination with ACL on submission deadlines. Last year we had the following problems:

  • ACL and NAACL disallowed dual submission, and ACL's deadline was scheduled to be 10 days later than NAACL's,
  • when faced with a choice between two similar deadlines (no dual submission allowed), people will tend to pick the later one,
  • NAACL's earlier deadline was too close to Christmas and New Year's.

Having a robust number of submissions makes it easier for the PC Chairs to assemble a strong program.

ICML will be held in Atlanta following NAACL. We are hoping to do cross promotion.

New NAACL initiatives

This year we are introducing two new initiatives for the conference. (1) We have hired a professional videographer to record all of the main conference talks and the tutorial. The cost is $12,000. This increased cost is offset in the NAACL budget because JHU is not hosting the CLSP summer workshop this year, so we do not have our normal $10,000 expense to support the associated summer school. (2) We are discontinuing the distribution of conference proceedings on thumb drives (a savings of approximately $8000), and will make the proceedings available for download several days before the conference. We will communicate this fact to all registered attendees and ask them to download the proceedings in advance to reduce the bandwidth at the hotel. Hal Daume successfully made the transition away from USB drives for ICML, and will be leading this effort.

Matt Post, this year's publications chair, proposed putting the $8000 savings towards developing new mechanisms for distributing the proceedings and the conference handbook. He has produced a spec for a mobile app. Here is Matt's mockups and his spec:

He solicited several quotes for companies to implement his mockup.

  • Crowd Compass (http://www.crowdcompass.com/) can implement an app for a per-conference fee of $8690.
  • Duet Health proposed building an app that we could re-use for $21,200.
  • Another company, 10clouds proposed $14,000 but their spec was less detailed.

Would ACL like to consider developing such an app, perhaps splitting the costs with NAACL?

North American conference in 2014

ACL 2014 will be held in North America, in Baltimore MD.