2013Q1 Reports: ACL 2013

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Roberto Navigli, publications chair

The Publication Chairs adapted and provided the ACL 2013 LaTeX and Word style files. Publication Chairs and Local Arrangement Chairs communicated with PC chairs and ACL regarding proceedings and conference handbooks.

Aoife Cahill & Qun Liu, workshop chairs

In total, there were 38 workshop proposals submitted for consideration at ACL, NAACL or EMNLP. Together with the workshop chairs of those conferences we reviewed the proposals and decided on the final selection. There will be 4 two-day workshops at ACL (plus the CoNLL conference), 11 one-day workshops and the Student Research Workshop. Dates for the one-day workshops have been circulated, six will take place on August 8th, and 5 on August 9th. 13 Start pages have been created and the details sent to the workshop organizers. We are compiling a list of workshop URLs to be linked to the main ACL webpage. Here are the details:

August 8-9

CONLL          Seventeenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning
BioNLP         2013 BioNLP 2013
ENLG 2013      14th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation
WMT13          Eighth Workshop on Statistical Machine Translation
LAW VII & ID   The 7th Linguistic Annotation Workshop & Interoperability with Discourse

August 8

BSNLP 2013      The 4th Biennial Workshop on Balto-Slavonic Natural Language Processing
CMCL            Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics
LaTeCH-2013     Workshop on Language Technology for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, and Humanities
PITR            Predicting and improving text readability for target reader populations
HyTra           Second Workshop on Hybrid Approaches to Translation

August 9

MoL 13          The 13th Meeting on the Mathematics of Language
MultiLing 2013  Multilingual Multi-document Summarization
CVSC            Continuous Vector Space Models and their Compositionality
DiscoMT         Discourse and Machine Translation
                Teaching NLP/CL With a Focus on Olympiads in (Computational) Linguistics

Pascale Fung & Massimo Poesio, program chairs

Area chairs: this year, due to the delay in the development of the new softconf platform, we had to repeat the process twice - first appoint all area chairs through normal email, then repeat the process through softconf - and this second process took quite a lot more than expected as many area chairs didn't understand the new process (first register, then accept the invitation, then program chair assigns person to track) but we're essentially done.

Invited speakers: Two great invited speakers have committed to speaking at the conference:

  • Harald Baayen, who works on morphological productivity and processing, among others
  • Chantel Prat, who works on the neural correlates of language processing and the effect on bilingual speakers

In addition, this year we are initiating and formalizing an industrial speaker session that we hope ACL will continue in the future

  • Lars Rasmussen from Facebook who will talk about their new graph search techniques

ACL Student Research Workshop

  • Student Co-chairs: Ivelina Nikolova, Eva Maria Vecchi, Anik Dey, Sebastian Krause
  • Faculty Advisors: Preslav Nakov, Steven Bethard, Feiyu Xu
  1. Student travel grants:
    • US students, possibly also students from developing countries: Faculty advisor Steven Bethard (steven.bethard@colorado.edu) has submitted a proposal to NSF requesting $21K for student travel support. The proposal is pending now, we expect to get the award soon, though the approved funding will be $19K instead of $21K.
    • Mainly EU students, possibly also other students: Two EU-funded research projects donated $1.5K each. Project names: Network of Excellence META-NET, and Multilingual Web - Language Technology Contact: sarah.weichert@dfki.de
    • The Qatar Computing Research Institute is in the process of deciding whether they will be a Silver Sponsor ($3875) for the main conference. This funding is however not finally approved by QCRI management. (Provisional) contact: Preslav Nakov (pnakov@qf.org.qa).
  2. Program committee: We have recruited 52 reviewers for the program committee, of which 12 are students. Among all the reviewers, 27 from Europe, 19 are from North America, 5 from Asia, and 1 from Australia. They represent a wide range of research areas.
  3. Mentorship Service Arrangement: Nine students have requested pre-submission mentor services. We are currently recruiting mentors for these students, and three people have agreed to be pre-submission mentors so far. Up to now, no action has been taken to recruit on-site conference mentors. This will be done later in the spring/summer when potential mentors know if they'll be attending the conference or not.
  4. Miscellaneous: We have set up an email alias acl-srw-2013@googlegroups.com to facilitate internal communications, and official website https://sites.google.com/site/aclsrw2013/ to serve as the information portal. All call for submissions are publicized at the official conference website, the SRW website, WikiCFP, and through various mailing lists. No newsletter service is offered.

Svetla Koeva, local arrangements char

Completed Tasks:

  1. Set up initial web site: http://www.acl2013.org/
  2. Collection of preliminary local info (travel info, hotels, potential local sponsors, etc.)
  3. More fleshed out website, with all preliminary information available: general conference announcement; calls for papers, etc.
  4. Site visit by Priscilla Rasmussen and Graeme Hirst - January 2013.
  5. Negotiations and contract signed with a local PCO.
  6. 650 rooms booked in 3, 4 and 5 star hotels. (Some of the 3 star hotels are appropriate for students.)
  7. List with potential local sponsors is developed. Initial contacts with some of them are accomplished.
  8. Set up the official email of ACL 2013 acl2013.conference@dcl.bas.bg

Johan Bos & Keith Hall, tutorial chairs

The ACL 2013 Tutorials program is proceeding along the planned schedule. The tutorial chairs have prepared and sent out the call-for-tutorials to multiple high-distribution mailing lists including the main ACL distribution lists. This initial call for proposals was sent out at the beginning of December 2012. Additionally, the chairs have contacted researchers who expressed an interest in giving a tutorial and provided the details of the submission and reviewing process. The chairs have verified that the on-line START system has been setup to receive submissions. At the end of February a second call-for-tutorials will be sent out with the specifics regarding on-line submission. At the current time, there has been contact with four strong CL groups, with one submission already received.

Miriam Butt & Sarmad Hussain, demo chairs

The program committee members have now been finalized. The first call for submissions went out in November 2012 via the publicity chairs. A second is to follow shortly. We had announced that we would be using the START conference system, but the EasyChair system is free and appears to be easier to use, so we will be using that. We have had some requests for information including a worry about how realistic it is to really be able to keep System Demos anonymous and to what lengths one should have to go in order to ensure anonymity. We have agreed that renting out a foreign server and porting a system demo onto that server goes beyond what is reasonable to expect.