[Elsnet-list] CFP: JHU Summer Workshop on Language Engineering

Jason Eisner jason at cs.jhu.edu
Sat Sep 8 17:12:32 CEST 2007

JHU Summer Workshops
Deadline: Wednesday, October 17, 2007


The Center for Language and Speech Processing at Johns Hopkins
University invites one-page research proposals for a Summer Workshop
on Language Engineering, to be held in Baltimore, MD, USA, July 7 to
August 14, 2008.

Workshop proposals should be suitable for a six-week team exploration,
and should aim to advance the state of the art in any of the various
fields of Language Engineering including speech recognition, machine
translation, information retrieval, text summarization and question
answering. Research topics selected for investigation by teams in
previous workshops may serve as good examples for your proposal. 
(See http://www.clsp.jhu.edu/workshops.)

This year's workshop will be sponsored by NSF and supported in part by
the newly established Human Language Technology Center of Excellence
(CoE).  All relevant topics of scientific interest are welcomed.
Proposals can receive special priority if they contribute to one of
the following long-term challenges:

  develop technology to automatically populate a large knowledge base
  (KB) by accumulating entities, events, and relations from vast
  quantities of text from various formal and informal genres in
  multiple languages. Devise methods to do this effectively for
  resource rich and/or resource poor languages. The aim is to
  disambiguate and normalize entities, events, and relations in such a
  way that the KB could represent changes over time thus reflecting
  text sources.

* ROBUST TECHNOLOGY FOR SPEECH: Technologies like speech-to-text,
  speaker identification, and language identification share a common
  weakness: accuracy degrades disproportionately with changes in input
  (microphone, genre, speaker, etc.). Seemingly small amounts of noise
  or diverse data sources cause machines to break where humans would
  quickly and effectively adapt. The aim is to develop technology
  whose performance would be minimally degraded by input signal

  pattern recognition problems in speech and language require a large
  amount of computation and must be run on a large amount of data.
  There is a need to optimize these algorithms to increase throughput
  and improve cost effectiveness.  Proposals are invited both for
  novel parallelizable algorithms and for hardware configurations that
  achieve higher throughput or lower speed-power product than can be
  achieved by optimizing either alone.

An independent panel of experts will screen all received proposals for
suitability. Results of this screening will be communicated no later
than October 19, 2007. Authors passing this initial screening will be
invited to Baltimore to present their ideas to a peer-review panel on
November 2-4, 2007. It is expected that the proposals will be revised
at this meeting to address any outstanding concerns or new ideas. Two
or three research topics and the teams to tackle them will be selected
for the 2008 workshop.

We attempt to bring the best researchers to the workshop to
collaboratively pursue the selected topics for six weeks.  Authors of
successful proposals typically become the team leaders.  Each topic
brings together a diverse team of researchers and students.  The
senior participants come from academia, industry and government.
Graduate student participants familiar with the field are selected in
accordance with their demonstrated performance, usually by the senior
researchers. Undergraduate participants, selected through a national
search, will be rising seniors who are new to the field and have shown
outstanding academic promise.

If you are interested to participate in the 2008 Summer Workshop we
ask that you submit a one-page research proposal for consideration,
detailing the problem to be addressed.  If your proposal passes the
initial screening, we will invite you to join us for the
organizational meeting in Baltimore (as our guest) for further
discussions aimed at consensus.  If a topic in your area of interest
is chosen as one of the two or three to be pursued next summer, we
expect you to be available for participation in the six-week
workshop. We are not asking for an ironclad commitment at this
juncture, just a good faith understanding that if a project in your
area of interest is chosen, you will actively pursue it.

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to clsp at jhu.edu by 5PM ET on
Wed, October 17, 2007.

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