2008Q3 Reports: Secretary
ACL Secretary report Dragomir Radev firstname.lastname@example.org - 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. On behalf of the entire exec and the entire ACL, I would like thank KY and Tsujii for the tremendous amount of attention that they devoted to ACL while on the exec. In accordance with ACL's constitution, Kathy McCoy remains on the exec for another year as past treasurer to ensure a proper transition of our books. Our current president, Mark Steedman, stays on as past president until the end of the year. Finally, the former vice-president, Bonnie Dorr, is now ACL president for 2008. In 2008 we will have elections to replace Claire Cardie and Mark Steedman. The nominating committee (Martha Palmer (chair), Jun'ichi Tsujii, and Mark Steedman) are expected to suggest a slate of nominees. The nominations will be announced at the business meeting. The ACL membership can make additional nominations during a one month period following the conference. - 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 new winner was selected. The name will be announced in Columbus. - 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 spreadsheet: http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Conference_Chairs - The Singapore bid for ACL-IJCNLP 2009 was accepted. - 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 discussions. 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 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: http://www.aclweb.org/policies/resolutions.html The full list of recent resolutions is listed at the end of this document. - 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 aclweb.org 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 umich.edu and is signed by the ACL Webmaster, Ali Hakim. - Our archivist, Eric Fosler-Lussier did an amazing job of updating the archives - please visit them here: http://www.aclweb.org/archive The ACL webmaster, Ali Hakim has been very helpful with timely updates to the ACL site. I was personally involved in two additional activities of interest to ACL. - 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 values (http://belobog.si.umich.edu/clair/anthology/rankings.html). - 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 here: (http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=109891) In 2008, 763 students took part from the USA and Canada in NACLO. The top 8 will participate at the International Linguistics Olympiad in August. Check www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu 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. -------------------------------------------------------------------- ACL Resolutions This is a partial list of ACL resolutions. Older resolutions will be added over time. April 14, 2008 1. (PASSED) Copyright Transfer Agreement Copyright to the above work (including, without limitation, the right to publish the work in whole or in part in any and all forms and media, now or hereafter known) is hereby transferred to the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), effective as of the date of this agreement, on the understanding that the work has been accepted for presentation at a meeting sponsored by the ACL and for publication in the proceedings of that meeting. However, each of the authors and the employers for whom the work was performed reserve all other rights, specifically including the following: (1) All proprietary rights other than copyright and publication rights transferred to ACL; (2) The right to publish in a journal or collection or to be used in future works of the author's own (such as articles or books) all or part of this work, provided that acknowledgment is given to the ACL and a full citation to its publication in the particular proceedings is included; (3) The right to make oral presentation of the material in any forum; (4) The right to make copies of the work for internal distribution within the author's organization and for external distribution as a preprint, reprint, technical report, or related class of document. Exceptions: Some of the foregoing conditions will not apply if the work is not copyrighted or has a non-transferrable copyright, because it has been produced by government employees acting within the scope of their employment. In this case, exceptions can be made by ticking the appropriate box below: [ ] The work has been produced by government employees acting within the scope of their employment and is not copyrighted [ ] The work has been produced by government employees acting within the scope of their employment and has non-transferrable copyright [ ] The work has been produced by government employees acting within the scope of their employment and the government reserves the right to reproduce the work for government purposes By typing my signature below, I confirm that all authors of the work have agreed to the above and that I am authorized to sign this form on their behalf. Signature (type your name): Your job title (if not one of the authors): Name and address of your organization: April 9, 2008 1. (PASSED) The ACL exec appoints Mark Steedman as representative to AFNLP for the rest of his term on the exec. 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 Meyers. June 18, 2007 1. (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 conference. 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 submission deadline. 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". May 2007 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). Last minute additions (June 4, 2008): 1. The following suggestions by members were posted on the wiki. http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=Suggestions * The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC has exhibits that support many fields of scholarship and science, but there is nothing to support language, linguistics, and computational linguistics. How are tomorrow's youth to be inspired to pursue a career in language sciences when it is so hard to see both how fascinating the world's languages are and how modern computational linguistics is making contributions to the understanding and use of language via computer. There are obvious parties that could be brought together to realize such a project, from the government funders interested in promoting interest in foreign languages through the corporations interested in showing off hardware and technology performing language processing tasks. Could the ACL perhaps be the mediator bringing these groups together to see if an exhibit on languages, linguistics and computation could be created? (Robert A. Amsler, May 23, 2008) * The pricing model of ACL meeting registration fees is complicated. To encourage participation in the whole event it penalizes participants who are only interested in a single workshop. It is also difficult to enforce payment. I suggest a simpler model, based on a per-day fee. An example would be $200 for the tutorial day, $120 for a main conference day, $100 for a workshops day. Participants should be able to freely move from one workshop to another. Payment could be easily controlled by color-coding name tags with different colors for each day of the conference. (Shuly Wintner, May 23, 2008) * The capacity for individuals to pursue research in NLP often depends on access to annotated corpora, but this is difficult for isolated researchers, especially those at small institutions or based in countries with weak currencies. Could ACL mediate access to a selection of standard non-free corpora, perhaps via a special membership status? (Steven Bird, May 23, 2008) * Effective teaching of CL is difficult given diverse student backgrounds and the complex resource requirements. Evidence for what methods work in which contexts is largely anecdotal. The ACL could commission a working group to make a more systematic study of CL pedagogy, and prepare a report comparable to the one that exists for Computer Science education http://www.sigcse.org/cc2001/ (Steven Bird, May 23, 2008) * I would suggest that ACL conferences adopt an author response phase during reviewing where authors can see initial reviews and post a short response to correct errors and misunderstandings in the reviews before a final decision is made. Author response is now widely used in many related conferences such as AAAI, ICML, and NIPS, where as an author and a reviewer I have found it to be a valuable addition to improving the reviewing process. Many members of the SIGDAT board have recently suggested it be established for EMNLP-08. (Ray Mooney, May 19, 2008) * ACL should start giving more space (back?) to models that incorporate linguistic insights, and to work in areas such as discourse and dialogue, where the issue of evaluation can only rarely be answered by reporting results on available corpora. Linguistic insights are sometimes valuable even if they don't improve performance. In discourse/ dialogue / NLG, meaningful available corpora are rare, even if one wanted to use them for evaluation. Evaluation of such work can be carried out from many different points of view, foremost among those, IMO, user evaluations. (Barbara Di Eugenio, May 19, 2008) * The ACL Anthology should be augmented to contain the complete back issues of "the Finite String" from Vol. 1, No. 1 (Jan., 1964). The issues contained in J79 (the microfiche issues, starting with Vol. 11) should be separately pointed to from a new "the Finite String" identification line. I've many of the paper copies and can scan them for ACL. (Robert A. Amsler, May 14, 2008) * In recognition of the amount of effort they have put in organizing their workshop, workshop chairs should not have to pay registration fees to attend their own workshop (Dragomir Radev, May 1, 2008) * Authors of papers should, wherever feasible, include in their papers a URL from which source code and/or data relevant to their papers can be downloaded (Dragomir Radev, May 1, 2008) * It would be nice if part of the waived "student volunteer" package at least included tutorials (which are of big interest to junior students), if not also workshops. (Hal Daume III, May 14, 2007) 2. Peter Turney added a page on the Wiki: http://aclweb.org/aclwiki/index.php?title=ACL_Data_and_Code_Repository The ACL Data and Code Repository is a repository of data (e.g., hand-labeled text, hand-parsed text, feature vectors for machine learning, etc.) and source code (e.g., taggers, parsers, chunkers, etc.) for computational linguistics and natural language processing. The goal of the repository is to make it easier for researchers to replicate each other's work and to compare different approaches using the same benchmarks.