2009Q3 Reports: Student Research Workshop Chairs

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Student Research Workshop Faculty Advisors Report (Ngai, Grace and Roark, Brian)

Report for ACL 2009 Student Research Workshop

Student co-chairs: Blaise Thomson, Cambridge University, UK Jenny Finkel, Stanford University, USA Davis Dimalen, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Faculty Advisors: Brian Roark, Oregon Health & Science University, USA Grace Ngai, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

1. Program Committee The co-chairs of the ACL 2009 Student Research Workshop are Blaise Thomson (Cambridge University, UK), Jenny Finkel (Stanford University, USA) and Davis Dimalen (Academia Sinica, Taiwan). The faculty advisors are Brian Roark (Oregon Research Institute, USA), and Grace Ngai (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong). The program committee is formed by the co-chairs asking previous SRW reviewers, participants and other researchers from the community. Care is also taken to ensure a balanced geographic and seniority mix among the reviewers. The final program committee consists of 43 reviewers, of which 13 are from Europe, 16 are from North America, and 14 are from Asia.

2. Paper Submission and Acceptance We received 25 submissions from 15 countries. Each paper was assigned 3 reviewers, of which at least 1 was a senior researcher and 1 was a student or junior researcher. We accepted 12 papers, of which 5 papers were accepted for oral presentation and the rest for poster presentation.

3. Presentation Format The student research workshop oral presentations will be held in a single session parallel to the main conference sessions on August 4 (Day 2 of the main conference). Each author will be given 20 minutes for their presentation, plus 5 minutes for questions from the audience. The poster session will be held in a common poster session with the main conference.

4. Commentators Each accepted SRW paper will have at least one commentator, who will be a senior member of the research community. The responsibilities of the commentators are to read the papers, be prepared to ask questions at the talk if nobody else has questions, but otherwise to arrange to meet the authors at the poster sessions or at the talk and provide feedback for them. The commentators will be selected from well-established members of the research community who have background in the particular research area, and who will be at ACL.

5. Funding We were awarded funding from three donors: - The National Science Foundation (NSF), for a total of USD17600 - The AFNLP Nagao Fund, for a total of USD14000 - The Walker Fund, for a total of USD10000 We received 12 applications for funding from SRW authors and 20 applications from main conference authors. Based on the funds available, we were able to offer travel funding to all of the SRW applicants, the 3 SRW student co-chairs, and 14 of the main conference authors. The amounts that were awarded were:

For SRW applicants and student co-chairs: - USD600 for lodging and registration for everybody from the NSF fund - USD1500 max for travel for 2 US applicants from the NSF fund - USD1000 max for travel for 5 non-US, non-Asian applicants from the Walker fund - USD700 max for travel for 5 Asian applicants from the Nagao fund

For main conference applicants: - USD1500 max for 5 out of 7 US applicants from the NSF fund - USD1000 max for 4 out of 7 non-US, non-Asian applicants from the Walker fund - USD1300 max for 6 Asian applicants from the Nagao fund

The dollar values for main conference attendees were chosen to be sufficient to cover typical airfare (we queried Expedia for all locations), and to allow for as many applicants to be accepted as possible.

Our criteria for ranking main conference authors was to give first priority to first authors, and then tiebreak by number of authors on that paper. The more authors there were, the lower priority it got, on the presumption that somebody will be able to present even if the applicant doesn't get funding. We also tried to bias it towards smaller institutions, on the presumption that the larger institutions can always dig up funding from somewhere if they want their students to go badly enough.

Given the funding levels, we have only had to decline 6 applicants from the main conference. We are very grateful to the various donors for their generous support.

6. Organization and Planning The SRW was publicized via mailing lists such as corpora-list and acl-web, as well as the main conference website. The SRW co-chairs and faculty advisors would like to thank the conference local organizers for their support. The paper submission, reviewer assignment and paper acceptance processes were managed via the START system and Google Docs, which made it possible for us to keep track of the many submissions, reviewers and SRW organizers. None of the submissions showed any problems such as double submissions without indications, wrong paper length or missing copyright forms, etc.

7. Suggestions and Considerations. a) As in previous years, we believe that the success of the SRW depends in great part on the quality of the reviewers and the commentators’ feedback to the students. We were fortunate to have received much support from the research community, such that we were able to assemble a diverse and well-balanced pool of reviewers. We hope that future SRW organizers will continue to follow this tradition.

b) Given that ACL-IJCNLP is held in Singapore this year, and that the SRW participants will be students with a limited budget, we felt that it was important for the SRW to be able to secure travel funding for the authors. Thanks to the generosity of the various donors, we were able to fund all of the SRW participants as well as a portion of the main conference authors. Since some of the donors have restrictions on how their funds should be spent, we believe that it is important to secure funds from as diverse a pool of donors as possible, to ensure that participants from all geographical areas are covered.