EACL Newsletter

Issue 12

November 2010

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1.    Editorial

2.    View from the Chair

3.    EACL Board 

4.    Prof. Frederick Jelinek, 1932-2010

5.    Report on ACL 2010

6.    Report on LREC 2010

7.    Report on CICLing 2010

8.    Report on ESSLLI 2010

9.    Calendar

 

 

Editorial

 

Welcome to the EACL newsletter for year 2010. In the time that has passed since the last issue, several events related to our community have taken place in Europe and in the world. We are reporting on this below. But first of all, let us start with an important announcement of interest.

The 13th Conference of the EACL will take place in 2012 in Avignon, France.  The general chair of EACL 2012 is Walter Daelemans. The program chairs are Mirella Lapata and Lluís Mąrquez. The local organisation is headed by Marc El-BŹze.

The newsletter starts with a message from the chair of EACL, Giorgio Satta. A new member, Pierre Lison, has joined the student board. We report the very sad news of the sudden death of Prof. Frederick Jelinek. Jan Hajič revives the past in memory of this great man who has shaped the history of computational linguistics.

To start with our list of events, this year we have had a very exciting edition of the ACL 2010 conference in Uppsala, Sweden. The report on the 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics is written by Jan Hajič, General Chair of ACL 2010. Nicoletta Calzolari reports on the seventh international conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2010), which took place in Malta. The 11th International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics (CICLING 2010) was held in Iaşi, Romania. A report is written by Alexander Gelbukh, General Chair of CICLing 2010. Finally, Valentin Goranko, Chair of the Programme Committee of ESSLLI 2010, reports on the 22nd European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information, which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

As every year, the student board has carefully edited a dense calendar of European and international events of interest that will soon take place. The document is now available via the EACL home page, and we provide a link at the end of the newsletter. The calendar will be continuously updated in the months to come.

 

Sien Moens
Editor

 

 

View From The Chair

 

In the year that has just passed since the last issue of the newsletter, the EACL board has been quite busy with the call for bid and the selection of the venue for hosting the 13th Conference of the EACL, which will take place in 2012 in Avignon, France, as already mentioned in the editorial.  Organizing an event of this size is always an extremely demanding task, and the EACL board is really grateful to the local organising committee for taking on this main responsibility.  At this time, the conference general chair and the program chairs have already joined the local organizers and are working to their best, and I am sure that they all will do a fantastic job in welcoming us to Avignon in 2012.

Together with the ACL executive committees, the EACL board has recently worked on the so called “conference sudoku problem”: in the past, we have had a somehow odd distribution of computational linguistics conferences, with years in which only one *ACL conference has been held, and years in which we have had all three *ACL conferences, together with other CL related conferences, for a total of five conferences.  In order to have a better balance, it has been decided that, starting with year 2014, the stand alone EACL conference will take place one year after the edition of the ACL conference which is held in Europe jointly with the EACL conference.  This solution guarantees that there will always be at least (and at most) two *ACL conference per year.  Accordingly, the conference calendar for the years following 2014, including CL related conferences other than *ACL, will be as follows:

2014: ACL (w/NAACL), LREC, COLING, EACL

2015: ACL, NAACL, IJCNLP

2016: ACL (w/EACL), NAACL, LREC, COLING

2017: ACL (w/NAACL), IJCNLP, EACL

2018: ACL, NAACL, LREC, COLING

2019: ACL (w/EACL), NAACL, IJCNLP

 

One more thing of general interest: the EACL board is acting to revive its relationship with the regional CL organizations in Europe.  One first initiative that the board has been working on is an additional issue of the EACL newsletter that will be entirely devoted to the conference and meetings of these regional associations.  Toward the end of 2010 we will publish the first such issue, reporting on regional events that will certainly be of interest to the European community working on CL.

Finally, the call for bids to host the 51st Annual Meeting of the ACL, to be held in Europe, the Middle East or Africa in 2013 has been publicized last August.  Groups and institutions who are interested should notify their intention to submit a proposal by February 15, 2011, and send in a draft proposal by March 15, 2011.  I very much hope you will consider putting in a bid to host the event.  Please contact Ken Church, the Coordinating Committee chair for this conference, if you have any questions about it.

Giorgio Satta
Chair

 

 

 

EACL Board

 

The current EACL board is composed as follows:

Chair:

Š      Giorgio Satta (University of Padua, Italy)

Chair elect:

Š      Sien Moens (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

Treasurer:

Š      Mike Rosner (University of Malta, Malta)

Secretary:

Š      Joakim Nivre (Uppsala University and Växjö University, Sweden)

Advisory Board:

Š      Eric Gaussier (Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France)

Š      Toni Martí (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

Š      Kiril Simov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria)

Š      Josef van Genabith (Dublin City University, Ireland)

Nominating committee:

Š      Anette Frank  (University of Heidelberg, Germany)

Š      Alex Lascarides (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Š      Gertjan van Noord (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

Š      Felisa Verdejo (Ciudad Universitaria Madrid, Spain)

 

Student board:

Š      Pierre Lison  (German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Saarbrücken, Germany)

Š      Mattias Nilsson (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Š      Marta Recasens Potau (University of Barcelona, Spain)

 

 

Below, a new EACL officer introduces himself with a short bio.

Pierre Lison, Student Board:

Pierre Lison is a researcher at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Saarbrücken, Germany. He holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science & Engineering from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and a M.Sc. in Computational Linguistics from the University of Saarland (Germany). He is currently involved in several international projects in cognitive robotics and human-robot interaction. Since 2009, he is also pursuing a Ph.D. on adaptive dialogue management, under the direction of Geert-Jan M. Kruijff.

 

Joakim Nivre
Secretary

 

 

 

Prof. Frederick Jelinek, 1932-2010

 

 

Prof. Frederick Jelinek, dr.h.c., Julian Sinclair Smith Professor at the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University and the director of JHU's Center for Language Speech and Processing, died unexpectedly at his workplace on Sept. 14, 2010. Prof. Jelinek is survived by his wife Milena Jelinek, professor at Columbia University, son and daughter William and Hannah, three grandchildren and his sister Susan Abramowitz.

 

Prof. Frederick (“Bedrich” in Czech) Jelinek was born Nov. 18, 1932 in the former Czechoslovakia; his father Vilem was a dentist in a small city of Kladno, near Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). The family was half Jewish; his mother was born to Czech parents in Switzerland. Thus, during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, at the time of “Protektorat Boehmen und Maehren”, 1939-1945) they experienced very difficult times, as many Jews did at the time. In 1941, they even had to leave their home city and move to Prague. His father, who had planned emigration in the early days of German rule but - tragically - decided to stay, was eventually deported to Theresin, a Jewish ghetto north of Prague. He died there because of a typhus epidemic in the last days of the World War II.

 

Bedrich Jelinek then entered a Czech high school. He actually had trouble getting through, due to three missing years of formal education that was stripped from him, as from many others, by various anti-Jew Nazi decrees. After 1948, when the Communists came to power following the well-known “February coup” in Czechoslovakia, his mother sagaciously decided to leave the country. One of the reasons was also that the revolutionary organization of Communist Youth would not allow her son to even take the high school graduation exam.  Thanks to her Swiss origins, they were easily allowed into the United States and they settled in New York. Frederick Jelinek then started evening engineering courses at the City College of New York, despite being interested more in becoming a lawyer. However, as he also recalled in his acceptance speech of the honorary doctorate at the Charles University in Prague in 2001, he thought that his foreign accent would make him a less successful lawyer and that also it took much longer to get the degree (and consequently to earn money for living) than in engineering. Today, we can only imagine how a good lawyer he would have been, if he were equally successful at the bar as he has been in his “forced” engineering career.

 

After two years at the City College, he has received a stipend from the Committee for Free Europe. As a part of the deal, he had to promise them to help rebuild Czechoslovakia once free again. Frederick Jelinek then started regular classes at MIT, where he met Claude Shannon and embarked on the study on theory of information, happy that the goal of this branch of science is “not to build physical systems”. As we know now, it was the beginnings of the information theory being applied to other branches of science. However, it was not yet applied to linguistics, even though we can trace some connections there, too: Frederick Jelinek, after graduation in 1956 and started his doctorate in the same field, was often talking to Roman Jakobson, a Russian linguist with close ties to Czechoslovakia, who worked at both Harvard and MIT. Jakobson also arranged for a stipend for Frederick Jelinek's wife, Milena, to study at Noam Chomsky's department once she was allowed out of Czechoslovakia in 1961 as a measure of “friendship” of the Czechoslovak government to John F. Kennedy after he was elected U.S. president. After he got his Ph.D. from MIT, Frederick Jelinek joined Cornell University as a professor. He already wanted to start pursuing the connection between linguistics and information theory there, but the professor who was supposed to work on this topic with him there pulled out of the field.

 

The turning point came in 1972, ten years after he joined Cornell: as part of his unpaid 3 months as a professor, he accepted a position at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights in New York. IBM was then starting to look into the speech recognition problem, and after the sudden departure of the group manager, they offered the position to him. Frederick Jelinek then stayed at this “temporary” position for two years, after which he had to leave Cornell completely but he kept his IBM position. He was the head of the Speech group for the next 19 years, the years that changed the field of computational linguistics the most in its entire history.

 

The IBM speech group, first located in Yorktown and then in Hawthorne, New York, consisted of almost no linguists: rather, the researchers had been educated either in engineering, information theory, or in physics. They were thus skeptical to the linguistic experts who were devising speech recognition systems at that time. As Frederick Jelinek recalls, the key to their success was probably their “naive approach to this problem”. They threw all the then-current methods out and started from scratch, applying information theory, statistical methods and machine learning to the speech recognition problem and later to machine translation. After almost twenty years since then, we now know the results of this “naive” approach - they have not been surpassed yet. Moreover, all commercial large vocabulary speech recognizers now on the market use these methods with only relatively minor modifications.

 

In 1993 Frederick Jelinek joined Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and became the director of the Center for Language and Speech processing at the Whiting School of Engineering. While at Johns Hopkins University, he was awarded many NSF, DARPA and other grants. Among them, there was a series of grants that stands out: the grants for the organization of the now famous (and often emulated) JHU Summer Workshop (officially, the “Workshop on Language Engineering for Students and Professionals Integrating Research and Education”). It is an 8-week labor-intensive event, where carefully peer-selected projects are being worked on by two to four teams of professors, researchers, graduate and undergraduate students. It is hard to find a well-known researcher in the field of speech recognition or computational linguistics who has not been there at least once during her or his career.

 

After 1989, the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the political changes in Czechoslovakia (also known as the “Velvet Revolution”), he started paying off his promise to his MIT stipend Committee: he started to visit Czechoslovakia (then Czech Republic) often, and invited first Czechs to his IBM team to work on both speech recognition and machine translation. The author was the first one to do so, soon followed by several others, who are now working at IBM or the academia both in the Czech Republic and in the U.S. He also taught in Prague, both at the Charles University and at the Technical University. He arranged for a gift to the Technical University in Prague, and then helped to get his managers to agree to keep part of the Watson speech recognition and development team in Prague, where they reside until today. He also collaborated with Charles University later, inviting professors, postdocs, and students in various capacities to his new place of work after he had joined the Johns Hopkins University in 1993. In 2001, he spent his sabbatical year in the Czech Republic, working and lecturing at the Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics, which is part of the Computer Science School of Charles University in Prague. At that time, he also received his honorary doctorate from Charles University. He was then coming often to visit conferences, for example the “Text, Speech and Dialog” (TSD) conference organized jointly by the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen and the Masaryk University in Brno, of which he was the honorary chairman of the organizing committee. He continued teaching intensive courses in speech recognition at Charles University and elsewhere, and he was also sending his students to spend some time in Prague under the NSF PIRE project he headed. Recently, he also started intensive collaboration with the Technical University in Brno, also in the Czech Republic.

 

We in Prague talked to him, regretfully only very briefly, just before his return from the TSD conference back to Baltimore this past September. No one knew at the moment that there are only three more days left for him in this world. No one could imagine that we (or anybody else) will never see him or talk to him again. I am afraid that I cannot fully imagine it even today.

 

October 29, 2010

 

Jan Hajic

Institute of Formal and Applied Linguistics

School of Computer Science

Faculty of Mathematics and Physics

Charles University in Prague

Czech Republic

 

 

 

 

Report on ACL 2010

 

The 48th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (a.k.a. the ACL 2010 Conference) took place in Uppsala, Sweden, July 11-16, 2010, organized by a team of local organizers lead by Joakim Nivre. It had the usual schedule - tutorials on Sunday, July 11, the main conference from Monday to Wednesday, and post-conference workshops on Thursday and Friday, July 15 and 16. To everyone’s surprise, the number of participants was pretty high at 955 (as computed by Priscilla Rasmussen, the ACL Office Manager, who oversaw the whole conference as usual), given that 2010 is a very conference-rich year (with 5 major Computational Linguistics conferences, the maximum there can ever be). This figure trails only the one at Prague 2007, for a “pure” ACL event. Another thing common with the 2007 event was the weather - a bit on the hot side mainly in the first half of the week, which is quite unusual for Sweden (but probably a blessing for the many pubs in Uppsala serving nicely cold beer... and for the participants from the warmer places of the Earth, too).

The main conference, the programme of which has been selected by Sandra Carberry and Steven Clark, has been a big success. The programme chairs broadened the scope of the conference substantially. The resulting programme has then been universally praised. The issue of the “printed” paper length (long and short) has been separated from the mode of presentation (with three possibilities - long talks, short talks and posters). The main conference also included the student research workshop, truly organized by graduate students (Seniz Demir, Jan Raab and Nils Reiter, with the help of the faculty advisor, Tomek Strzalkowski) and the usual demos (Sandra Kuebler) and exhibits.

There were five tutorials, selected by Lluis Marquez and Haifeng Wang, with a total of 350 participants. The most successful tutorial was given by Hal Daume III “From Structured Prediction to Inverse Reinforcement Learning” (with almost 100 participants). Other tutorials covered linguistic annotation, semantic parsing, tree-based translation and discourse.

The selection of workshops and their scheduling has not been an easy task for Pushpak Bhattacharyia and David Weir either: there were, in the end, 14 post-conference workshops - three of them two-day events with 100+ participants (CoNLL-2010, WMT'10/MetricsMATR and SemEval-2010), one one-and-a-half-day event (LAW IV), and ten one-day workshops, covering all emerging and quickly developing subareas of Computational Linguistics, from “BioNLP” through new theoretical and application areas to dialogue systems.

Mentoring for students with difficulties in the English language has been offered as usual (an effort lead by Bjorn Gamback and Diana McCarthy).

The publication team (Jing-Shin Chang and Philipp Koehn) has used new features in the START conference system, which helped to produce most of the proceedings automatically. However, this was also the first year when proceedings were not printed on paper at all. Moreover, the usual CDs have been replaced by credit-card sized USB sticks (with the nice ACL 2010 logo on them). (If you have been there or do have one of those, keep them as a valuable historical artefact: there are plans to make the proceedings available only online next year, making these proceedings on CDs and USB sticks obsolete. The ACL 2010 one can thus easily prove to be the only ACL-Proceeding-on-a-USB-stick ever made!)

Talking about publications - the Conference Handbook (work of the publicity team, Beata Megyesi and Koenraad de Smedt) and the conference website (handled by the local support team from “Akademikonferens”) should be mentioned, since it provided all the necessary information in a concise and informative manner, and has kept a common graphical design throughout, a nice touch.

Sponsors, as usual, have made the life of all the participants cheaper. This year, thanks to a worldwide team of sponsorship chairs, the list of sponsors is quite impressive (especially locally), despite the financially challenging times. Riksbanken Jubileumsfond, Vetenskapsradet, Uppsala Universitet, the Swedish GSLT, textkernel, CELI, esTeam, Google, Voice Provider, Uppsala Kommun (City of Uppsala), Yahoo!Labs, Xerox RCE, and Acapela Group all helped to keep the fees low and banquet cost reasonable. SDL/LanguageWeaver had sponsored the conference bags, and the Swedish SICS had sponsored local students. The NSF (USA) and ACL funds made it possible to award travel grants (an effort coordinated by Marketa Lopatkova) for student participants.

The ACL’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to William A. (Bill) Woods, former President of ACL (1974), the “father” of Augmented Transition Networks in the 1970s and an acclaimed industrial researcher in the area of NLP and speech. Bill was present and gave a very nice talk in a dedicated time slot at the main conference. 

There were three Best Paper awards. The Best long paper award went to Matthew Gerber and Joyce Chai for Beyond NomBank: A Study of Implicit Arguments for Nominal Predicates; the Best short paper award went to Michael Lamar, Yariv Maron, Mark Johnson and Elie Bienenstock for SVD and Clustering for Unsupervised POS Tagging. The Best student paper Award, sponsored by IBM, was given to David Elson, Nicholas Dames and Kathleen McKeown for their paper titled Extracting Social Networks from Literary Fiction.

All in all, the Uppsala ACL 2010 conference has been a very successful one, and it will be “hard to beat” by subsequent ACL events.

 

Jan Hajič
General Chair of ACL 2010

 

 

Report on LREC 2010

 

The 7th edition of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference was held in Valletta (Malta) on May 17-23, 2010. Organized by ELRA since 1998 with an increasing success, the LREC conference has become the major event on Language Resources and Evaluation for Human Language Technologies. The Maltese edition of LREC, which received the High Patronage of the President of Malta and the support from the President of the European Council, had Mike Rosner as local organiser and brought together 1246 registered participants from 61 countries in the remarkable Mediterranean Conference Centre. LREC thus continues to be – as many say – “the conference where you have to be and where you meet everyone”.

This time again, the submission figures have improved compared to the previous edition (LREC 2008): 930 submissions to the Main conference were received and reviewed, out of which 646 papers were accepted. One third of the accepted papers were presented during the oral sessions. The poster sessions, held in parallel with Orals in the impressive “Sacra Infermeria”, were as usual a remarkable feature of the Conference. Furthermore, LREC welcomed two keynote speeches and one invited talk given respectively by Ralf Steinberger (European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Italy), Jaime Carbonell (Language Technologies Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, USA) and Ray Fabri (Institute of Linguistics, University of Malta). LREC has been again the event where we gathered a broad representation of the current trends of the field, with its many features and for many languages.

As in the previous editions, the 2 days preceding and following the conference were dedicated to tutorials and workshops: in Malta, 9 tutorials and 22 workshops have been organised. Research communities are now holding their workshop at LREC on a regular basis and some workshops have become very successful over the years; we can think of the Sign Languages event that has gathered over 100 participants at LREC 2010.

This year, new features have been introduced to LREC:

The LRE-Map, a new mechanism intended to monitor the use and creation of language resources by collecting information on both existing and newly-created resources during the submission process. Nearly 2000 language resource forms have been filled in. Apart from providing a portrait of the resources behind the community, of their uses and usability, the LRE Map intends to be a measuring instrument for monitoring the field of language resources. The feature has been so successful that it has been implemented also at COLING 2010 and EMNLP 2010, while other major conferences are in the pipeline, in addition to the LRE Journal.

The EC Village, an initiative supported by the European Commission to encourage EC-sponsored projects to gain visibility by showing their objectives, progress and activities, either through demos, or through brochures or posters for projects still at the early stages. 15 projects took part in this Village.

The Special sessions, a new experiment of oral sessions on “hot topics”, with less papers to leave room for more exchange and discussions between the authors, chairpersons and audience.

Finally, the Antonio Zampolli Prize, created in 2004 in memory of Professor Zampolli to acknowledge outstanding contributions to the advancement of Language Resources and Evaluation within Human Language Technologies, has been awarded to Mark Liberman (University of Pennsylvania, USA) who gave the talk The Future of Computational Linguistics: or, What Would Antonio Zampolli Do?

 

 

Nicoletta Calzolari, Conference Chair, ILC-CNR, Pisa, Italy

Khalid Choukri, ELRA, Paris, France

HélŹne Mazo, ELDA, Paris, France

Stelios Piperidis, ELRA President and ILSP, Athens, Greece

 

 

Report on CICLing 2010

 

Over the last decade CICLing has grown into a major and influencing international conference[1]. CICLing 2010 was the first CICLing event held in Europe, in the beautiful city of Iaşi, Romania. It received a record high number of submissions: 271 papers by 565 authors from 47 countries; the previous record was 232 submissions to the 2008 event held in Haifa, Israel—also very near to Europe, which suggests that Europe is a very good opportunity for an international conference. As all CICLing events since 2002, it was officially endorsed by the ACL.

Of the 271 submissions received, 61 (23% acceptance rate) were accepted for oral presentation and publication in a volume of the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science series, which recently re-appeared on the ISI Science Citation Index Expanded. Additionally, three journals published papers presented as posters; in particular, 18 selected papers were published in the newly founded International Journal of Computational Linguistics and Applications (IJCLA). In total, 117 papers were presented at the conference—which made up an impressive major event open for both established experts and young researchers or students.

With the 2010 event, CICLing paid tribute of admiration to Romania, the nation that gave the world probably the greatest number of wonderful computational linguists per capita—many of whom have been CICLing Program Committee members, keynote speakers, or authors: D. Cristea, R. Girju, D. Inkpen, D. Marcu, R. Mihalcea (one of the greatest friends of CICLing!), V. Năstase, C. Orăsan, M. Paşca, V. Rus, to name just a few of CICLingers (a nice term coined by Corina Forăscu to refer to so friendly CICLing team). At the opening ceremony, Dan Cristea publicly questioned the thesis about great contribution of Romanians to CL and asked me for hard data—which I with great pleasure presented, using statistics of the CICLing PC, past keynote speakers and past authors.

CICLing is an unusual conference in a number of aspects. At CICLing, each keynote speaker contributes a full paper (not just an abstract) to the proceedings, which greatly adds value both to the book and to the keynote talk itself: the attendees can take better advantage of the talk by reading the written paper afterwards. What is more, in addition to the formal talk each keynote speaker organizes a separate special event: something really different, unusual, interactive, involving, funny, relaxing—in short, something that is not normally done at a “serious” conference. The format and contents of such an event, of course, vary greatly with every speaker. In 2010, we were honoured by excellent keynote talks and special events by James Pustejovsky and Shuly Wintner, who was the winner of the ballot for a future keynote speaker among the attendees of CICLing 2008.

CICLing devotes half of its time to socializing: this is what conferences are for, in contrast to books and journals. Each event features three full-day tours to the best places the country can offer, preferably unique of its kind in the world. This gives not only an excellent tourist opportunity but also a lot of time to make friends and discuss things with famous people who you hardly have an opportunity to even greet in the crowd at a large “normal” conference. In Romania, we visited natural attractions, saw very interesting ancient Orthodox painted monasteries and felt the atmosphere of legend and mystery in medieval fortresses and castles (Dracula’s castle at midnight!).

As usually, the poster session was combined with a welcome party, which replaced a banquet (we usually do not spend time and money on a separate banquet) and lasted three hours—enough time to see all 56 posters! For the first time, the poster session was preceded by the “oral poster session” featuring a short 2-minute oral presentation of each poster; the attendees judged that this was a very good idea. Most of the poster papers were made available for downloading before the conference. A poster presentation has certain advantages over an oral presentation, and one of them is that most of the poster papers are openly accessible from the CICLing website.

Also for the first time, the entire event was live broadcasted over Internet. At least Ted Pedersen reported that he watched the entire conference from Duluth, USA—and hopefully we had many more virtual attendees. While usually only keynote talks and special events used to be recorded, in 2010 the local organizers recorded the entire conference; the recording shall be permanently available for downloading from the CICLing website.

CICLing traditionally gives out several awards. The best paper award is judged by the award committee. It is always too hard to select the very best papers. In 2010, both first place best paper award and best presentation award (assigned by a ballot among all attendees) went to G. Tsatsaronis, I. Varlamis, and K. NŅrvĆg for the paper An experimental study on unsupervised graph-based word sense disambiguation; second place best paper award, to P. Annesi and R. Basili, Cross-lingual alignment of FrameNet annotations through hidden Markov models; third place, to L. Macken and W. Daelemans, A chunk-driven bootstrapping approach to extracting translation patterns; and a special best student paper award went to J. De Belder and M.-F. Moens for the paper Integer linear programming for Dutch sentence compression. The authors of the best papers were given a longer time slot for presentation. Finally, best poster award (also assigned by a ballot among all attendees) went to M. Guerrero Nieto, M. J. García Rodríguez, A. Urrutia Zambrana, M. Á. Bernabé Poveda and W. Siabato for the poster Incorporating TimeML into a GIS.

As part of the celebration of Romania, the first PROMISE workshop (Processing Romanian in Multilingual, Interoperational and Scalable Environments) was held in conjunction with CICLing. It generously shared with CICLing a keynote talk presented by Dan Cristea and featured talks by Diana Inkpen, Daniel Marcu, Rada Mihalcea, and Constantin Orăsan, presented via videoconference, as well as eleven talks presented locally.

Incidentally (or is it?), during the conference in another hall of the same building a solemn ceremony was held of conferring the title of Honorary Professor of the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, our hosting university, upon another big friend of CICLing and of Romania, Nancy Ide. Right after the ceremony, the fresh Honorary Professor addressed warm words to the attendees of the conference. She also presented a talk at the PROMISE event.

The conference was blessed with a perfect, very responsible and professional local organizing committee led by Corina Forăscu, who devoted a huge amount of her time and effort to the conference: the conference would not have been possible without her great enthusiasm, professionalism and hard work throughout many days and many nights. I would like to greatly thank Lenuţa Alboaie, Sabin Buraga and all student volunteers involved in the conference. We also had excellent support from the A. I. Cuza University of Iaşi, especially from Dan Cristea, and Romanian Academy, especially from Dan Tufiş.

We’ve said farewell to CICLing 2010 and to hospitable Iaşi, and we welcome all CICLingers, past and future, to Tokyo, Japan, for the 12th CICLing event, CICLing 2011, to be held on February 20–26. As usually, it is officially endorsed by the ACL and the proceedings shall appear in the ISI-indexed Springer LNCS series. We are eager to listen to the keynote talks and special events by Chris Manning, Diana McCarthy, Jun'ichi Tsujii, and Hans Uszkoreit. With CICLing 2011 we shall introduce a new “verifiability policy”, please see the website. And of course we shall have three full-day trips to the most fascinating places in Japan. If you read this too close to the deadline (or after it), let us know and we shall do our best to consider all late submissions.

 

Alexander Gelbukh

General Chair of CICLing 2010

 

 

 

Report on ESSLLI 2010

 

The European Summer Schools in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI) have been organized every year since 1989 by the Association for Logic, Language and Information (FoLLI) in different sites around Europe. The ESSLLI series has established itself as one of the major annual international academic events in Europe, where dozens of worldwide leading academics present courses, organize workshops, and exchange ideas on a wide variety of established and new topics in the areas of Logic, Language, and Computation to several hundreds of highly motivated master and doctoral students and young researchers not only from Europe, but also from all other continents. One of the most distinct and valuable feature of the ESSLLI schools is their highly interdisciplinary nature, making them a unique meeting point of logicians, linguists, computer scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians.

The 22nd European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information (ESSLLI 2010) took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, during August 9-20, 2010. During these two weeks over 450 participants were offered a rich academic program of their choice from 47 foundational, introductory and advanced courses and 5 workshops covering a wide variety of topics at the interface of the three main interdisciplinary areas of ESSLLI: Language and Computation, Language and Logic, and Logic and Computation. ESSLLI 2010 was hosted by the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Copenhagen, and organized by a devoted and efficient committee, chaired by Vincent Hendricks, Professor of Formal Philosophy at the University of Copenhagen. The course and workshop programme was selected and composed by the ESSLLI 2010 programme committee, chaired by Valentin Goranko (Technical University of Denmark) from about 120 high-quality proposals for courses and workshops, offered by nearly two hundred distinguished academics.

The operating budget of ESSLLI 2010 was based mainly on the participants’ registration fees, with additional funding from several academic institutions, local and international organizations and business. Traditionally, all teaching and organizing work at the summer school was done on a voluntary basis. Lecturers and workshop organizers were not paid for their contribution, but were only reimbursed for part of their travel and accommodation cost. This financial policy made it possible to keep the participation at the school affordable for graduate students. Nevertheless, teaching a course at ESSLLI has always been a widely acknowledged testimony of a lecturer’s high academic standing and recognition, and ESSLLI 2010 enjoyed a traditionally high and well-appreciated academic standard.  Besides the regular courses, traditional highlights of ESSLLI 2010 were the 4 evening lectures offered to all participants by distinguished academics: Dov Gabbay (Kings College London, University of Luxembourg, and Bar Ilan University, Israel), Shalom Lappin (King’s College London), Neil Jones (University of Copenhagen) and Johan van Benthem (University of Amsterdam and Stanford University).

Another traditional feature of ESSLLI 2010 was the daily student session, organized by a student programme committee, chaired by Marija Slavkovik (University of Luxembourg). This session enabled master and doctoral students to present their work to a keen and competent audience of fellow students and senior researchers.

The ESSLLI summer schools include an attractive social programme, too. Besides the traditional ESSLLI party, food and drinks receptions, and soccer match between students and lecturers teams, ESSLLI 2010 also offered a boat tour of the canals of Copenhagen.

In conclusion, ESSLLI 2010 was a very successful and memorable academic and cultural event, and since its closing day many of the participants began looking forward to the next edition of the ESSLLI series: ESSLLI 2011 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, during August 1-12, 2011. Chair of the Program Committee of ESSLLI 2011 is Makoto Kanazawa (National Institute of Informatics, Japan), and Chair of the Organizing Committee is Darja Fišer (The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia).

 

Valentin Goranko

Chair of the Programme Committee of ESSLLI 2010

 

 

 

 

Calendar

The calendar can be found here.



[1] As can be observed, for example, by its h-index = 23 and almost four thousand citations according to Harzing’s Publish or Perish program—which is slightly higher than the figures for RANLP, TSD or NLDB, while still significantly lower than ACL, NAACL, EMNLP, COLING or EACL.