[Elsnet-list] COLING/ACL Newsletter No. 6

Timothy Baldwin tim at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Mon Sep 4 15:34:49 CEST 2006

# Apologies for cross-postings


                        COLING/ACL 2006 NEWSLETTER NO. 6

                                 September 4, 2006

      This is the sixth and final official newsletter of COLING/ACL 2006

        The 21st International Conference on Computational Linguistics

   The 44th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

                              Sydney, Australia

                               July 17-21, 2006

            For complete details, visit the conference web site at:



:: Table of Contents

1. Comments from the General Chair
2. Conference Sponsors
3. Awards
4. Lifetime Achievement Award
5. Student Volunteers
6. Conference Photos
7. ACL 2007 and COLING 2008
8. Conference Organisers

:: 1. Comments from the General Chair

COLING/ACL 2006 is the joint conference of the International Committee on
Computational Linguistics and the Association for Computational
Linguistics. The conference was held in Sydney, Australia, from 17-21 July
2006, with tutorials on July 16, workshops on July 22-23, and co-located
events on July 15-16 and July 22-23.

In this joint conference we tried to maintain the spirit of both COLING and
ACL, but the combination had its own personality, in a mixture that was more
than the simple sum of the two. Part of its character was due to the location,
for the first time -- for both conferences -- in Australia. For this reason we
decided to have a member of AFNLP (the Asian Federation of Natural Language
Processing) on the Advisory Board and to give particular attention and
visibility to the Asia-Pacific context, communities and languages. We
sincerely thank both the AFNLP-Nagao Fund for providing financial support for
those presenting Asian NLP research, and ALTA (the Australasian Language
Technology Association) for their local support.

It is my task here -- but I should say my pleasure -- to express gratitude to
all those without whom this conference would not have existed, and I think I
can do that on behalf of all participants.

My biggest thanks go to all the Chairs, for their invaluable effort and
dedication which made this Conference possible.  First of all the two Program
Chairs: Claire Cardie and Pierre Isabelle, who did a tremendous job, managing
so many submissions and taking care of both regular papers and posters, and
the two Local Arrangements Chairs: Robert Dale and Cecile Paris, who succeeded
in keeping so many details under control, in such a smooth way as if
everything were natural and effortless for them.

And all the others, for their precious, competent and hard work

I warmly thank the Advisory Board -- composed of four ICCL, four ACL, and one
AFNLP members -- to whom we resorted for suggestions on important and
sometimes delicate issues: Sandra Carberry, Eva Hajicova, Aravind Joshi,
Martin Kay, Kathleen McCoy, Martha Palmer, Priscilla Rasmussen, Benjamin
T'sou, Jun'ichi Tsujii.

I express my gratitude to all the sponsors for their great support to the

I thank all the organizers of the so numerous surrounding workshops,
tutorials, and other co-located events -- conferences, workshops, summer
school -- adding value to the main conference, creating altogether probably
the biggest ever happening in Computational Linguistics.  

My thanks to the area chairs, the reviewers, the invited speakers, the authors
of the various presentations, in particular the students who enter with
enthusiasm in such an exciting field, all the participants who in many cases
made a long trip to be present at COLING/ACL 2006, and all those who
contributed in many ways to a success of the conference.  

And I finally thank both ICCL and ACL for having decided to join forces again
in such a great enterprise.  COLING/ACL 2006 was, I'm sure, an exciting,
stimulating and inspiring event for all those who attended.

Nicoletta Calzolari
COLING/ACL 2006 General Chair

:: 2. Conference Sponsors

We wish to thank our sponsors for their generous support:

- HCSNet (Platinum) 		
- Macquarie University (Gold)
- CSIRO (Gold)
- Microsoft Research (Gold, including Wireless)
- Appen (Silver, Student Volunteers)
- Google (Silver, including Cocktail Reception)
- XRCE (Bronze)
- ELRA (Student Support Fund)
- DSTO (Glass)
- Australian Computer Society (Supporter)
- NSF (student support for the Student Research Workshop)

We also gratefully acknowledge the following organisations for their
contributions to COLING/ACL 2006: 

- Microsoft Research Asia (ACL Best Paper Award) 
- AFNLP (Best Asian Language Paper Award and 10 AFNLP-Nagao Conference
  participation awards)
- NSF (Student support for the Student Research Workshop)

COLING/ACL 2006 was also supported by ALTA (Australasian Language Technology

For further details, see:


:: 3. Awards

The program and area chairs selected the following paper for the COLING-ACL
2006 Best Paper Award: 

  "Semantic Taxonomy Induction from Heterogenous Evidence", by Rion Snow,
  Daniel Jurafsky, and Andrew Ng

In addition, a number of reviewers were recognized (via a bottle of
scrumptious Australian wine!) as going beyond the call of duty in their

  Antal van den Bosch
  James Curran
  Mark Dras
  Kevin Duh 
  George Foster
  Evgeniy Gabrilovitch
  Oren Kurland 
  Mulind Mahajan
  Dragos Munteanu
  Satoshi Nakamura
  Laurent Prevot
  Katharina Probst
  Tanya Schultz
  Suzanne Stevenson
  Christoph Tillmann
  Marilyn Walker 
  Stephen Wan

Finally, as part of the conference's Asian Language focus, four papers were
identified by the program and area chairs as contenders for the Best Asian
Language Paper Award.  These papers were presented in a special parallel

  "Tree-to-String Alignment Template for Statistical Machine Translation", by
  Yang Liu, Qun Liu, Shouxun Lin

  "Incorporating speech recognition confidence into discriminative named
  entity recognition of speech data", by Katsuhito Sudoh, Hajime Tsukada,
  Hideki Isozaki

  "Exploiting Syntactic Patterns as Clues in Zero-Anaphora Resolution", by Ryu
  Iida, Kentaro Inui, Yuji Matsumoto

  "Self-Organizing n-gram Model for Automatic Word Spacing", Seong-Bae Park,
  Yoon-Shik Tae, Se-Young Park

Among these, the paper by Iida, Inui, and Matsumoto was chosen as the winner
of the Best Asian Language Paper Award.

:: 4. Lifetime Achievement Award

The ACL Lifetime Achievement Award was instituted on the occasion of the 40th
anniversary meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics. The
award is for scientific achievement, of both theoretical and applied nature,
in the field of Computational Linguistics. The executive committee of the ACL
nominates and selects at most one award recipient annually, considering the
originality, depth, breadth and impact of the entire body of the nominee's
work in computational linguistics. The recipient is invited to give a speech
on the topic of their choice relating to Computational Linguistics at the
annual meeting. 

One of the highlights of COLING/ACL 2006 was the presentation of the 2006 ACL
Lifetime Achievement Award to:

  Eva Hajicova

The following is an excerpt from the introduction made by Jun'ichi Tsujii
(president of the ACL) at the COLING/ACL 2006 award ceremony.

I first met Eva, 26 years ago, at Coling in Tokyo, 1980.

I had just started my career as researcher then, while she was already an
established researcher, a member of ICCL (International Committee of
Computational Linguistics) and the representative, the banner carrier of the
legendary Prague school of linguistics. Prague is the birth place of modern
scientific linguistics, formal theory of discourse, and dependency

She started her career 40 years ago, and has successfully represented the
Prague school together with Professor Petr Sgall. Throughout her career, she
has been successful in leading the Prague school of linguistics and making it
the Prague School of Computational Linguistics, one of the most influential
centers of Computational Linguistics, always a front-runner of new ideas, in
particular, in semantics and pragmatics.

She not only inherited the strong tradition of the Prague school in
linguistics, but also, under the communist regime, despite the harsh
restrictions on communication with the outside world, spread the Prague way of
thinking on language to researchers outside, and has extended it in accordance
with development of the fields.

One of her recent accomplishments, the Prague dependency treebank, is a good
example of the combination of deep theoretical thinking nourished in the tradition
of the Prague school, with the modern methodology of our days.

It consists of surface and deep annotations,analytical and tectogrammatical
levels, for Czech, English, and Arabic.  This effort has been extremely
influential in that it represents one of the major annotation efforts in
dependency syntax.

Furthermore, it was conceived from the beginning as a multi-layer annotation
that goes beyond morphology and surface syntax.  The Prague Dependency
Treebank is used for linguistic research, and as the basis for machine
learning experiments in computational linguistics.

She is certainly one of the people who have defined and formed the field of
computational linguistics, and has developed it to the scientific field as we
know it now.  She has successfully injected the unique perspective of the
Prague school, European tradition of linguistics, into our field,
Computational linguistics and Natural Language Processing.

Without her, with the long period of the dark age in the region, we would have
lost one of the greatest traditions in European linguistics which has enriched
enormously our fields.
I remember her lectures on multi-layered representation including discourse
structures, and their Machine Translation research at Kyoto University in
Japan, some 20 years ago.

Her talks struck me by their strong intellectual, theoretical orientations,
since MT research in Japan at the time was taken mostly as engineering
endeavor, very much concerned with engineering issues such as efficiency,
management of huge lexicon etc.

Eva's leadership quality has contributed to not only the Prague school but to
the international movement of our field. She was Chair of European ACL and ACL
as well as permanent member of International Committee of Computational

>From the entire computational linguistics community, congratulations Eva on a
lifetime of achievement!

:: 5. Student Volunteers

We gratefully acknowledge the tireless efforts of all the student volunteers
in keeping the COLING/ACL 2006 wheels oiled throughout, including early in the
morning preparing for the day ahead.

:: 6. Conference Photos

We have set up a Flickr group for sharing COLING/ACL 2006 photos, which anyone
who has a Flickr account can join and post photos/discussion to.

The URL to head to for the group is:


:: 7. ACL 2007 and COLING 2008

We are pleased to announce that ACL 2007 will be held in Prague, Czech
Republic, over the period June 24-29, 2007. For further details, visit the
website at:


COLING 2008 will be held in Manchester, UK, dates TBA.

:: 8. Conference Organisers

The following individuals were involved in the organisation of COLING/ACL

General Chair:

  Nicoletta Calzolari

Program Committee Co-chairs:

  Claire Cardie
  Pierre Isabelle

Tutorials Chair:

  Claire Gardent

Workshops Chair:

  Suzanne Stevenson

Workshops Program Committee:

  Ann Copestake
  Pascale Fung
  Jamie Henderson
  Ingrid Zukerman

Interactive Presentations Chair

  James Curran

Publications Chair:

  Olivia Kwong

Sponsorship Chairs:

  Steven Krauwer
  Dominique Estival

Exhibits Chair:

  Menno van Zaanen

Mentoring Chair:

  Richard Power

Publicity Chair:

  Timothy Baldwin

Student Workshop Chairs:

  Rebecca Hwa
  Marine Carpuat
  Kevin Duh

Local Organisation Chairs:

  Cecile Paris
  Robert Dale

Local Organising Advisory Committee:

  John Debenham
  Jon Patrick
  Raymond Wong

Student Volunteers Coordinator:

  Priscilla Rasmussen

Conference Webmasters:

  Andrew Lampert
  Brett Powley

Conference Secretariat:

  Judy Potter and the Well Done Events team

Graphic Design:

  Kathie Mason

Advisory Committee:

  Sandra Carberry
  Eva Hajicova
  Aravind Joshi
  Martin Kay
  Kathleen McCoy
  Martha Palmer
  Priscilla Rasmussen
  Benjamin T'sou
  Jun'ichi Tsujii

Program Committee Area Chairs:

  Johan Bos
  Jason Chang
  David Chiang
  Eva Hajicova
  Chu-Ren Huang
  Martin Kay
  Emiel Krahmer
  Roland Kuhn
  Lillian Lee
  Yuji Matsumoto
  Dan Moldovan
  Mark-Jan Nederhof
  Hwee Tou Ng
  John Prager
  Anoop Sarkar
  Donia Scott
  Simone Teufel
  Benjamin Tsou
  ChengXiang Zhai
  Ming Zhou

International Committee on Computational Linguistics (ICCL):

  Igor Boguslavsky
  Christian Boitet
  Nicoletta Calzolari
  Eva Hajicova
  Kolbjorn Heggstad
  Chu-Ren Huang
  Pierre Isabelle
  Aravind K. Joshi
  Martin Kay
  Winfried Lenders
  Makoto Nagao
  Sergei Nirenburg
  Helmut Schnelle
  Donia Scott
  Petr Sgall
  Hozumi Tanaka
  Jun'ichi Tsujii
  Hans Uszkoreit
  Hiroshi Wada
  Yorick Wilks

ACL Executive Committee:

  Jun'ichi Tsujii
  Mark Steedman
  Bonnie Dorr
  Kathleen McCoy
  Dragomir Radev
  Martha Palmer
  Sandra Carberry
  Walter Daelemans
  Keh-Yih Su
  Claire Cardie


     Contact details for the various COLING/ACL organisers can be found at:



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