2014Q1 Reports: NAACL
Report from NAACL, February 2014
Hal Daume - Chapter board chair
Chris Callison-Burch - Past NAACL chair
Joel Tetrault - NAACL treasurer
The results of the most recent NAACL election were released in December 2013. Hal Daume was elected to be the new chair, narrowly edging out David Chiang with 112 votes to David’s 108. Ed Hovy was newly elected to the board (replacing Mona Diab), and Emily Bender was re-elected to her board position. Michael White was elected to be the new secretary (replacing Anoop Sarkar).
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 2013 in Atlanta and will meet at ACL 2014 in Baltimore.
NAACL Treasurer's Report
This report is from Joel Tetreault, the NAACL Treasurer.
The NAACL Chapter's bank account held $29083.35 as of January 31, 2014. However this number does not yet reflect the $22k surplus we have from NAACL 2012, so the bank account really stands at $51k. The financials of the NAACL 2013 conference are still being put together right by Priscilla and Graeme, but the projection is that the conference made a surplus. To put the above figures in perspective, last year's end-of-year balance was $41,776.06 (which was the lowest balance since 2007), so we are starting to build back from the loss incurred in NAACL 2010 where our bank account peaked at $154k. In 2013, our primary expenditures were the sponsoring of external events: NACLO ($5k) and the NAACL Emerging Regions Fund ($1.5k).
While we ended 2013 on a positive note, there is still a lot of work to be done to rebuild the NAACL account. This is important because it allows us to better grow the field of Computational Linguistics in North and South America through the sponsorship of conferences and other novel events (such as NACLO). My recommendation for 2014 is to once again be very selective on sponsorship while finding novel ways to keep costs down in organizing the NAACL conference, as we did in 2013.
Results of NAACL 2013 initiatives
NAACL 2013 in Atlanta featured two new initiatives. (1) We hired a professional videographer to record all of the main conference talks and tutorials. The videos can be viewed online at http://techtalks.tv/naacl/2013/ and are linked from the ACL anthology.
The cost of recording was $12,000. This was partially offset by an additional donation from Google and a new donation from Intel. These sponsors are acknowledged in the opening frame of all videos. We also recouped some of the cost by discontinuing the distribution of conference proceedings on thumb drives (a savings of approximately $8000),
The videos allowed us to introduce a new Best Talk award. We sent out a post-conference survey immediately after the conference to all of the NAACL 2013 attendees. One question asked them which was their favorite talk of the conference. The top 4 vote getters were nominated for the Best Talk award. Links to their videos was distributed to the NAACL membership along with a voting form. The nominees were:
- Colin Cherry "Improved Reordering for Phrase-Based Translation using Sparse Features" http://techtalks.tv/talks/improved-reordering-for-pbsmt-using-sparse-features/58430/
- Juri Ganitkevitch "PPDB: The Paraphrase Database" http://techtalks.tv/talks/ppdb-the-paraphrase-database/58473/
- Dan Garrette "Learning a Part-of-Speech Tagger from Two Hours of Annotation" http://techtalks.tv/talks/learning-a-part-of-speech-tagger-from-two-hours-of-annotation/58441/
- Sebastian Riedel "Relation Extraction with Matrix Factorization and Universal Schemas" http://techtalks.tv/talks/relation-extraction-with-matrix-factorization-and-universal-schemas/58435/
After the vote, Sebastian Riedel won the Best Talk award. In the future, we recommend forming a committee to select nominees. The committee can take the post-conference survey under advisement, but should have the discretion to add additional nominees (for instance, to improve diversity).
(2) Matt Post, the NAACL 2013 publications chair, developed a conference handbook app. The app was very popular. You can download a copy of it from the iTunes store: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=649937857&mt=8 or the Android store: http://naacl2013.crowdcompass.com/apps We recommend consulting with Matt Post on future versions of a handbook app, if you decide to create one for ACL.
North American conference in 2015
The location of NAACL 2015 is TBD. The board has selected a short list of candidates for the GC chair, and Hal is contacting them now.