2017Q3 Reports: Workshop on Women and Underrepresented Minorities in NLP

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Women and Underrepresented Minorities in NLP workshop

Libby Barak on behalf of the WiNLP organizers: Libby Barak

Isabelle Augenstein
Chloé Braud

He He
Margaret Mitchell

The workshop for Women and underrepresented minorities in NLP is scheduled to co-locate with ACL 17 on July 30, 2017. The workshop is organized by Libby Barak, Isabelle Augenstein, Chloé Braud, He He, and Margaret Mitchell. The workshop is sponsored by several companies at different funding levels: Google, UMIACS, IBM, Thomson Reuters, Amazon, KPMG, Elsevier, Microsoft, Qntfy, talla, Bloomberg. NSF agreed to provide travel funding for the workshop at a level of $20,000.

We received 95 submissions. 8 papers were accepted for oral presentation, 67 for poster presentation, 16 papers were rejected, and 4 papers were withdrawn. Several papers were nominated for direct mentoring for language and presentation and received this individualized assistance. The workshop will host two mentoring sessions, a round-table discussion of career related topics such as finding a position, choosing between academia and industry, etc., and a second mentoring session for individualized mentoring related to research interests. The agenda of the workshop also includes invited talks by 3 distinguished members of the ACL community, Pascale Fung, Ndapa Nakashole, and Bonnie Webber. See workshop’s website for the complete agenda: http://www.winlp.org/winlp-workshop/

Notably, the authors come from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, e.g., 7% of the authors come from the Middle East, and 4% from Africa. As such, they described the challenges in attending such international conferences, forming research collaboration, and building up their research communities. Although WiNLP was able to offer limited travel grants, several authors are unable to attend the workshop due to: (1) financial difficulties in covering costs prior to the workshop, and (2) declined visa applications. In addition, recruiting mentors for WiNLP had only limited success in contrast to its potential contribution, possibly due to scheduling conflicts with other ACL events and limited ability to reach out to ACL member who might be interested in becoming a WiNLP mentor. Please refer any additional questions to the organizing chairs email: winlp-chairs@googlegroups.com