2012Q3 Reports: Student Research Workshop Chairs

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Submissions and Presentation: As was the case last year, this year we have solicited and accepted both Research and Thesis Proposal papers. We accepted 14 papers out of the 31 valid submissions. Each submission was assigned two reviewers. Four papers were rejected without review as they did not conform to the submission policy. Out of the 14 accepted papers, two papers were withdrawn, and 12 papers (11 first authors) will be presented as posters during the ACL-2012 poster session. We have paired senior members of the research community with each student in order to provide feedback and guidance to our student authors.

Submission Policy and Presentation Style: In order to solicit substantial papers, we increased the maximum length of submissions from four pages (excluding references) to six pages (including references). We believe that six pages including references achieved a good balance between reviewersÅf burden and substance of submissions, and helped attract good submissions. Following the success of last yearÅfs SRW, all the papers will be presented as posters during the poster session of the main conference on July 9th.

Committee: The co-chairs of the ACL-2012 Student Research Workshop (SRW) are Jackie C. K. Cheung (University of Toronto), Jun Hatori (University of Tokyo), Carlos Henriquez (Technical University of Catalonia), and Ann Irvine (Johns Hopkins University). The faculty advisors are Kentaro Inui (Tohoku University), Greg Kondrak (University of Alberta), and Yang Liu (University of Texas at Dallas). The program committee consists of 43 members, of which 11 are students.

Timeline: We posted the first Call For Paper in the first week of September, 2011, and the submission form was closed on February 20th, 2012. We started the bidding process on February 24th, and announced the assignment of papers to reviewers on March 6th. The notification of acceptance and rejection was sent out on April 9th. Following last yearÅfs scheduling, we set the SRW deadline after the main conference long paper deadline and before the short paper deadline. Such staggered deadlines made it easier for those reviewing for both the main conference and the SRW.

Mentors: Eight students applied to the pre-submission mentoring service. We assigned a senior member of the research community to each of these students for feedback on their paper drafts. Also, after the reviewing and notification process, each accepted paper receives a conference mentor, who will meet with the student author during the conference. Each conference mentor will read his/her studentÅfs paper in advance and will provide comments to the student during the poster session on both the general research direction and on specific details related to the paper.

Funding: We were able to provide most students with partial conference registration and travel stipends thanks to generous support from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the ACL Walker Student Fund, and the Asian Federation of Natural Language Processing (AFNLP). Out of the 11 students who present at SRW, three students from the United States will receive $600 registration/accommodation support and $1500 airfare from the NSF fund; four students from developing countries (China, Turkey, and Israel) will receive $600 registration/accommodation support from the NSF fund and $500 airfare from the AFNLP fund; and four students from developed countries (Japan, France, Germany, and Italy) will receive free registration to the main conference as student volunteers. The distribution of travel grants was severe this year. When the ACL is held outside the United States, the SRWÅfs main funding, NSF fund, cannot be used to provide travel support to students who are not from U.S. The policy of the NSF fund has become stricter recently, and exceptions could only be granted for students from developing countries. Due to this restriction, we were not able to provide any travel stipends to four students from developed countries. Note that among the three fund sources (NSF, AFNLP, and Walker), only the Walker fund does not have restrictions on its recipients. We suggest that future organizers of SRW consider using the Walker fund to provide travel support to students who are not from U.S. or developing countries. Lastly, for the first time for SRW, we presented a Google Best SRW Paper Award of $1000, which is sponsored from Google, to the authors of the best paper.