Newsletter 2008

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The newsletter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Dear ACL members,

Our annual conference, ACL-08:HLT (Human Language Technologies) is still two months away so let me take the time in this newsletter to send you some updates about ACL. Please contact me at sekrettary@org.aclweb (spellcheck and unscramble before writing) by April 30 if you have any suggestions for interesting activities. I will bring them to the ACL exec for discussion.

1. Changes to the executive board (as of January 1, 2009)

Our former president, Bonnie Dorr, will stay on as past president for a year. We welcome former vice-president Steven Bird to the position of ACL president for 2009. Three new researchers will join the ACL exec:

  • Kevin Knight (ISI) - vice-president-elect
  • Lori Levin (CMU) - member
  • Giorgio Satta (U. Padua) - ex officio as chair of EACL

They replace Mark Steedman, Claire Cardie, and Alex Lascarides whose terms ended. The exec wants to thank them for the tremendous amount of attention that they devoted to ACL while on the exec.

2. ACL 2007

ACL 2007 was the largest ACL conference ever with almost 1,100 participants. It took place in beautiful Prague. The ACL exec wants to thank Eva Hajicova, who was the local chair, and John Carroll, who was general chair. We are also greateful to Annie Zaenen and Antal van den Bosch for chairing the program committee as well as dozens of other chairs and volunteers who made the conference a huge success. The LTA award went to Lauri Karttunen for his long list of contributions to Computational Linguistics. Earlier recipients of this great award include Aravind Joshi (2002), Makoto Nagao (2003), Karen Sparck Jones (2004), Martin Kay (2005), and Eva Hajicova (2006).

3. The 2008 Annual Conference

ACL-08:HLT will be held in Columbus, OH from June 15 to June 20, 2008. The list of accepted papers is shown here: Registration is now open. Check this site for more information: The general chair is Kathy McKeown. Local arrangements are by Chris Brew, Donna Byron, Eric Fosler-Lussier, Detmar Meurers, Michael White, and DJ Hovermale (webmaster). The program chairs are Johanna Moore, Simone Teufel, James Allan, and Sadaoki Furui. The conference will include a presentation by the ACL's seventh lifetime achievement award winner.

4. Additional conferences

Two additional conferences in NLP/CL are coming up. COLING 2008 is in Manchester, UK ( in August and EMNLP 2008 (the conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing) is in Honolulu, HI ( in October. The deadline for submissions to COLING has passed but the EMNLP deadline is still open (July 3, 2008).

5. The ACL Anthology and the ACL Anthology Network (AAN)

Over the last year, the ACL Anthology has been migrated to its new home on the ACL's own website . The original site, hosted at the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), now redirects visitors to the new site. The ACL would like to express its gratitude to the LDC for hosting the Anthology over the past 6 years.

Steven Bird has passed on the editorship of the ACL Anthology to Min-Yen Kan, from the National University of Singapore. Steven founded the anthology in 2001, and is stepping down as he takes on his new role as vice-president. Steven invited Min-Yen to take on the editorship, given Min-Yen's expertise in digital libraries, IR and NLP, and his leadership in work on extracting plain text from the anthology.

The ACL Anthology Network ( is a new resource that includes a manually curated database of all citations and collaborations in the ACL Anthology as well as a number of statistics generated from it.

6. The Web site

The membership web site is open for business. You can enroll using our secure server or use the printable form. You can also decide to contribute to the Walker Fund which ACL uses to sponsor student activities and travel to annual conferences. Finally, you can order old proceedings from ACL and some COLING conferences using the order form available on the site.

7. The Wiki

The ACL Wiki has grown a lot since it was inaugurated last year. It currently includes ( 1984 pages and 221 articles on a variety of topics including "Competitions and challenges", "State of the art", "Conference acceptance rates", "Blogs", "Conference Chairs", etc.

8. NACLO 2008

The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) 2008 finished recently. 763 students from the US and Canada worked on hard problems in linguistics and computational linguistics. The top 8 will participate at the International Linguistics Olympiad in August. Check for more details as well as a copy of the problems and their solutions. Canada participated for the first time in 2008 and Australia will also participate for the first time later this year.

9. The ACL video archive

The ACL video archive ( run by Chris Biemann and Reinhard Rapp has made its debut. I hope that the community will support this initiative and contribute to it.

10. Address changes

If your address changes, please write immediately to Priscilla Rasmussen at acl@org.aclweb (unscramble me). And, please note that the address of our ACL offices is now the following: ACL, 209 N. Eighth Street, Stroudsburg, PA 18360.

11. New mailing lists

Priscilla had to start using two new mechanisms for sending important announcements to the ACL membership. The first mechanism is used for conference announcements. Email comes from an address at ACL members can opt out of that mailing list. The second mechanism is used for the most important messages related to ACL such as this newsletter, election notices, membership reminders, etc. Email here comes from an address at and is signed by the ACL Webmaster, Ali Hakim.

12. Acknowledgments

Our archivist, Eric Fosler-Lussier did an amazing job of updating the archives - please visit them here: The ACL webmaster, Ali Hakim has been very helpful with timely updates to the ACL site.


ACL Secretary