ACL Secretary report
- Elections were held in the Fall of 2007. 601 members voted (a 20%
increase from last year). The winners are:
Ido Dagan (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) - vice-president-elect
Graeme Hirst (University of Toronto, Canada) - treasurer
Hwee Tou Ng (National University of Singapore) - member
On January 1, 2008, Ido, Graeme, and Hwee Tou replaced Keh-Yih Su
and Jun'ichi Tsujii whose terms on the exec are expiring. In
accordance with ACL's constitution, Kathy McCoy will remain on the
exec for another year as past treasurer to ensure a proper
transition of our books. Our current president, Mark Steedman, will
stay on as past president for a year. Finally, the current
vice-president, Bonnie Dorr, will become ACL president for 2008.
In 2008 we will have elections to replace Claire Cardie and Mark
Steedman whose terms ends in a year's time. The nominating committee
(Martha Palmer (chair), Jun'ichi Tsujii, and Mark Steedman) are
expected to suggest a slate of nominees by April 15 in order to give
us time to collect candidate statements before the annual meeting in
- In 2007, we had a call for ACL initiatives. Of these, one was
started (the video anthology project) and another was too similar to
the AAN initiative listed
below. http://www.fask.uni-mainz.de/lk/videoarchive (Reinhard Rapp
and Chris Biemann)
- LTA nominations were collected and a discussion is expected at the
February 2 telecon.
- Eric Fosler-Lussier did an amazing job of updating the archives -
please visit them here: http://www.aclweb.org/archive
- Ali Hakim has been very helpful with updates to the ACL site.
- Ali and I put together the following page, based on Priscilla's
- The Singapore bid for ACL-IJCNLP 2009 was accepted.
- A pay raise was approved for Priscilla. Her pay went up from $51/hr
to $53/hr effective January 1, 2008.
- A policy for ACL exec votes was approved:
"In order to clearly separate discussion from voting, the voting on
ACL resolutions will be done via sending the vote via email to the
ACL secretary. When the vote is over, the secretary will send a
summary of the vote (including the names and votes) back to the
executive committee and also record the status of the vote (minus
the names) on the resolutions page.
In special circumstances, the exec can decide *in advance of the
vote* to change this procedure for valid reasons."
- SIGANN was approved. It deals with annotation. The officers of
SIGANN are Nancy Ide and Adam Meyers.
- Mark Steedman suggested that in the future, we should make sure to
read each other's reports in advance of the exec meetings. Doing so
would avoid wasting precious time at the meetings (whether on the
phone of face to face) and leave more time for productive
Is this acceptable to everyone? Please let me know what you
think. If the general feeling concurs with Mark's, I would like to
establish a new procedure for the winter meeting that involves much
less live reporting.
- My impression from talking to exec members and to other attendees at
ACL this year is that the new format for the business meeting was
much better than last year's. Everyone that I talked to (except for
the author of one of the rejected proposals) was enthusiastic about
the new format. Note too that in Sydney, there were fewer than 100
people in the audience whereas in Prague, I counted 198 attendees. I
would like to keep a similar format in the future: some brief time
for reports and then more time for discussion. Of course, next year,
we can propose some other formats and topics for discussion.
- I have collected and grouped all ACL07-related reports and documents
- One possible direction for our membership/reviewing/etc database
- I helped negotiate an agreement between SIGDAT and SIGNLL about
taking turns at having first pick for a conference site. This
agreement does not supersede any ACL policies and decisions about
the actual locations.
- A web page was established where to store ACL resolutions:
The full list of recent resolutions is listed at the end of this
I was personally involved in two additional activities of interest to
- The ACL Anthology Network
(http://belobog.si.umich.edu/clair/anthology/). This is a manually
curated citation and collaboration database. It includes degree,
pagerank, h-index, collaboration centrality, and other bibliometric
- NACLO (http://www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu). I spent most of my time on this
project. In 2007 we had 200 participants and 8 were selected for the
ILO in Russia. I was the team coach and program chair while Lori
Levin and Tom Payne were the two general co-chairs. One of the two
US teams tied for first place in the team contest and one US student
(Adam Hesterberg) finished first in the individual contest. See
This year, we expect more than 800 participants (see below) to take
part in round one on Feburary 5. The top 100 contestants will
advance to round two on March 11.
Site # Students (Coordinator)
At their high schools 288 (Dragomir Radev)
Carnegie Mellon University 188 (Lori Levin)
University of Pennsylvania 68 (Mitch Marcus)
Brandeis University 58 (James Pustejovsky)
Columbia University 50 (Kathy McKeown)
University of Oregon 29 (Tom Payne)
University of Toronto 14 (Elaine Gold)
San Jose State University 12 (Roula Svorou)
University of Wisconsin 12 (Catherine Arnott-Smith)
Cornell University 11 (Lillian Lee and Claire Cardie)
University of Michigan 8 (Steve Abney and Sally Thomason)
University of Illinois 6 (Richard Sproat and Roxana Girju)
Middle Tennessee State University 2 (Aleka Blackwell *)
University of Ottawa 2 (Stan Szpakowicz and Diana Inkpen)
About 5 of the students in the first category above are from Canada,
for a total of about 21 currently registered Canadians.
Aleka is hosting a local contest on February 2 and expects about 20
participants to then sign up for the NACLO. The registration for the
NACLO closes on Monday but we will be also accepting walk-ins at
Questions - organize similar contests elsewhere - I approahed UK and
Australia but found little interest.
This is a partial list of ACL resolutions. Older resolutions will be
added over time.
September 14, 2007
1. (PASSED)The initial SIG organizer(s) may serve as the de facto
officers for the first year, while a nomination/election process
is being established; official elections must be held within the
first year after approval of the SIG.
June 24, 2007
1. (PASSED) The ACL exec approves the creation of a new SIG, SIGANN
for Annotation. The officers of SIGANN are Nancy Ide and Adam
June 18, 2007
(PASSED) In order to clearly separate discussion from voting,
the voting on ACL resolutions will be done via sending the vote
via email to the ACL secretary. When the vote is over, the
secretary will send a summary of the vote (including the names
and votes) back to the executive committee and also record the
status of the vote (minus the names) on the resolutions page.
In special circumstances, the exec can decide *in advance of the
vote* to change this procedure for valid reasons.
June 8, 2007
1. (PASSED) To accept Singapore's bid for the 2009 ACL/IJCNLP
2. (PASSED) The supluses or deficits (as the case may be) will be
shared 50-50 between ACL and AFNLP. AFNLP chooses to share its
share 50-50 with the local organizers.
May 16, 2007
Three related proposals about ACL's 2008 conference:
1. (PASSED) PROPOSAL 1 : long and short tracks. The 2008 conference
maintains the NAACL HLT distinction between long and short
papers, where short papers have a serious submission number, a
serious reviewing, a Coling-level acceptance rate (about 40%),
and a different profile (new ideas, smaller results, smaller
experiments) with different submission and reviewing
requirements (completed work not required) and a much later
2. (PASSED) PROPOSAL 2 : the structure of the PC. There are 4 PC
co-chairs: 1 NLP for long papers, 1 NLP for short papers, 1
Speech (for both long and short), 1 IR (for both long and
short). The senior PC will be different for long and short
papers (though potentially with overlap). The short paper PC
will also handle demos. The Speech and IR co-chairs should have
at least some visibility in the general NLP field.
3. (PASSED) PROPOSAL 3 : name. The conference has a name that (a)
includes "HLT" in its short name and (b) "Human Language
Technologies" in its long name. For specificity, this proposal
is: "ACL-08:HLT" and "The 46th Annual meeting of the Association
for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies".
Free registration for some conference officials
1. (PASSED) The General Chair, all PC co-chairs, and all local
chairs (up to three) get free registration (not including the
banquet) to ACL conferences. The free registration does not
include ACL membership (it is assumed that people in these
positions would already be ACL members).