2010Q3 Reports: Tutorial Chairs

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ACL 2010 Tutorial Chairs report

by Lluís Màrquez and Haifeng Wang

General Schedule

  • Submission deadline for tutorial proposals: January 8, 2010
  • Notification of acceptance: February 12, 2010
  • Tutorial descriptions due: April 2, 2010
  • Tutorial course material due: May 21, 2010
  • Tutorial date: July 11, 2010

We negotiated and agreed on all the deadlines with Publication Chairs and Local Organizers. However, due to requests from the tutorial presenters we settled on a slightly extended deadline of May 26 for the tutorial course materials which was acceptable to the local organizers. By May 31 the final tutorial slides were in hands of the local organizers for printing handouts.

Call and selection procedure

The call for proposals (CFP) was post at the ACL website by September 30, 2009 and broadcast twice: at the beginning of October and during December, 2009. Apart from that, the information on tutorials appeared regularly in the ACL newsletters. We received 20 proposals before the deadline of January 8. Email was used for handling submissions with email acknowledgement of receipt of proposals as stated in the CFP. Following advice from previous tutorial chairs, we solicited 5 proposals on selected topics to concrete presenters. We were very careful to encourage these proposals but at the same time warn that there was no guarantee of acceptance because all proposals would be subject to the same reviewing process. 4 out of the 5 solicited proposals were accepted. All 20 proposals were reviewed by both co-chairs, and the selection was informed to the general chair for final approval. We also sought expertise from external reviewers where necessary. For example, because one of the co-chairs had an indirect conflict of-interest with 2 of the proposals. It is worth noting that most of the 20 proposals (~90%) were high quality. This guaranteed a strong final program, but at the same time made the selection process very hard. Some of the rejected proposals were later accepted in other conferences (e.g., Coling).

Based on the following criteria (adopted from last year co-chairs) we selected 6 proposals, including 4 of the 5 solicited proposals:

  • Quality: the content and scope of the proposal, and the competence and experience of the presenters
  • Diversity: We sought a range of different topics and approaches
  • Appeal: Whether the tutorial topic would be likely to attract a reasonable number of participants
  • Novelty: Tutorial topics featured at recent ACL events were dispreferred (unless the content was clearly novel and different)

We studied the possibility of accepting a few more tutorials to increase diversity and acceptance rate, but for several organizational reasons the maximum number of tutorials was set to 6. Given the number of good proposals we decided to go for this maximum.

Selected tutorials

T1: Annotation. Eduard Hovy (Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California)

T2: From Structured Prediction to Inverse Reinforcement Learning. Hal Daumé III (Computer Science, University of Maryland)

T3: Wide-Coverage NLP with Linguistically Expressive Grammars. Josef van Genabith (Dublin City University), Julia Hockenmaier (University of Illinois) and Yusuke Miyao (National Institute of Informatics)

T4: Semantic Parsing: The Task, the State of the Art and the Future. Rohit J. Kate (Department of Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin) and Yuk Wah Wong (Google Inc.)

T5: Tree-based and Forest-based Translation. Yang Liu (Institute of Computing Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Liang Huang (Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California)

T6: Discourse Structure: Theory, Practice and Use. Bonnie Webber (School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh), Markus Egg (DFKI GmbH) and Valia Kordoni (Dept. of Computational Linguistics, Saarland University)

We liased with publicity chairs and local organisers who advertised the tutorials with a short listing by email and full descriptions on the web page:

Proceedings

The last task consisted of preparing the "tutorials mini-proceedings" to be integrated in the general ACL 2010 proceedings. Following instructions from Publications Chairs and using the ACLPUB software, we prepared a PDF volume with tutorial abstracts, tutorial programme and authors list. The HTML versions of the mini-proceedings were generated as well. A special request from this year was to write an introduction to the Tutorials section of the proceedings. We prepared the introduction on the basis of this report.

Acknowledgements

We reused some of the materials (invitation letters, CFP draft, etc.) from last year tutorials. This was very useful and saved some time. Thanks to Diana McCarthy and Chengqing Zong for providing these materials and for their valuable advice all throughout the process.

We are also equally grateful to the ACL 2010 General Chair, and the Local/Publicity/Publications Chairs for their help and advice in the organization of the Tutorials program, and for sending always the appropriate reminders!


June 10, 2010

Lluís Màrquez (Technical University of Catalonia, Spain)

Haifeng Wang (Baidu.com Inc., China)