The names below and on the ballot appear in a (fixed) random order.
Luciana Benotti is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science in the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, in Argentina. Her research interests cover many aspects of situated dialogue, including the study of misunderstandings, clarification requests and grounding. She has a PhD in Computer Science from INRIA, Nancy Grand Est, France. She received an IBM SUR award for her work on robust conversational interfaces, and a Google RISE award for her outreach efforts in developing AI-based technology for education. She has been an invited scholar at the University of Trento (2019), Stanford University (2018), Roskilde University (2014), University of Lorraine (2013), Universidad de Costa Rica (2012), and University of Southern California (2010). She regularly serves under different roles in the ACL community. She has been a volunteer during conferences, a reviewer since 2010, an area chair for dialogue and interactive systems several times, and a member of the executive board of SIGDIAL and SIGSEM. She is currently an elected officer at the NAACL executive board for 2021 and 2022. She is also serving as ARR action editor, ACL 2022 tutorial chair and NAACL 2022 D&I advisor.
If I am elected as chair of the board, I will keep working actively towards maintaining the high quality of the *CL conferences, while focusing on supporting diversity and inclusion. As a Latinamerican researcher, I know first hand the serious problems that overlooking these issues provoke. I will coordinate NAACL exec board responsibilities in collaboration with the ACL. I will continue enabling the initiatives I proposed as an officer, which have made good progress in this short time thanks to the work of the current NAACL exec board and the ACL community.
Care about ethics: I will support the continued inclusion of an ethical impact statement for all papers submitted to *CL conferences. Such statements should not only consider privacy, gender and race, but also take economy, power and climate into account. I will work towards improving the ethical reviewing through consensus in the community, serving as one of the Members at Large of the newly-formed ACL Ethics Committee.
Encourage reproducibility: I will continue to explore incentives to encourage the release of implementation code, data, metadata, and trained models required to reproduce the results of all papers submitted to NAACL. These measures would not only improve transparency, but they would help researchers with low computing budgets implement their ideas and help reduce carbon footprint. I will support the publication of reproducibility studies, in particular when applied to languages other than English.
Lower barriers: I will continue to strengthen diversity and inclusion initiatives at NAACL from different perspectives. In particular, I will work towards increasing the amount of fee waivers and strive to get travel grants for those who face financial barriers. Moreover, during the pandemic the organization of virtual conferences has successfully increased participation of underrepresented communities, and I will investigate and measure the impact of hybrid alternatives in the future.
Build community: I will support initiatives that broaden and strengthen NAACL´s community. Many successful community building activities are already rolling (e.g., Birds of a feather, ACL mentoring, WiNLP, RAF, Masakane, Queer and LatinX in AI, among others). The next step is to improve communication lines and coordinate joint efforts so that they benefit from each other.
Heng Ji is a professor at Computer Science Department, and an affiliated faculty member at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an Amazon Scholar. She received her B.A. and M. A. in Computational Linguistics from Tsinghua University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from New York University. Her research interests focus on Natural Language Processing, especially on Multimedia Multilingual Information Extraction, Knowledge Base Population and Knowledge-driven Generation. She was selected as “Young Scientist” and a member of the Global Future Council on the Future of Computing by the World Economic Forum in 2016 and 2017. The awards she received include “AI’s 10 to Watch” Award by IEEE Intelligent Systems in 2013, NSF CAREER award in 2009, Google Research Award in 2009 and 2014, IBM Watson Faculty Award in 2012 and 2014, Bosch Research Award in 2014-2018, Best-of-ICDM2013 Paper, Best-of-SDM2013 Paper, ACL2020 Best Demo Paper Award, and NAACL2021 Best Demo Paper Award. She is elected as the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (NAACL) secretary 2020-2021. She has served as the Program Committee Co-Chair of many conferences including NAACL-HLT2018, and she has been the coordinator for the NIST TAC Knowledge Base Population track since 2010.
In the past one and a half years, I have run the NAACL election in a well-organized, fair and transparent format, with the great help from the nomination committee and the ACL Information Technology Director Dr. Nitin Madnani. I have handled external communications through the NAACL website, mailing lists and social media in a clear and timely manner, and took meeting notes. I have constructed a repository of guidelines and materials for PC chairs, and built “ReviewRobot”, an automatic paper scoring and review generation system [Wang et al., INLG2020] which can potentially serve as a review assistant. I have also started building a Who’s Who knowledge base for NLP researchers using the information extraction and knowledge base population techniques that my research group has developed. I would appreciate the opportunity to serve for another term as NAACL secretary so I could have sufficient time to wrap up and release the PC chair material repository, and work with NAACL and ACL executive committees to figure out the best way to integrate and utilize the ReviewRobot and the NLP Who’s Who KB in NAACL/ACL platforms.
Eduardo Blanco is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University. He was previously an Assistant Professor (2014-2020) and Associate Professor (2020-2021) at University of North Texas. He received his PhD in 2011 from The University of Texas at Dallas. He has been a reviewer for *ACL conferences for over a decade and currently serves in the standing reviewer team of the Computational Linguistics and Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics journals. He has co-organized multiple workshops collocated with *ACL conferences and served as Area Chair and Demo Chair for several ACL, NAACL and EMNLP conferences. He also served as Virtual Infrastructure Co-Chair for EMNLP 2020, where he was responsible for designing and coordinating the caption editing process to improve accessibility of prerecorded presentations.
The community has proposed and implemented several initiatives to improve the reviewing process, ensure high quality programs in conferences, and broaden participation (Student Research Workshops, Emerging Regions funds, WiNLP, etc.). If elected to the NAACL board, I will work on initiatives to broaden participation and improve access:
Geography. The NAACL constitution states that NAACL will serve ACL members in Central America and South America until regional chapters are created. I will support ongoing initiatives (LatinX in AI, Emerging Regions Fund, etc.) and work towards having more in-person conferences in these regions (assuming the pandemic allows us to).
Cost. Attending our conferences is outside the budget of many researchers. Based on what I learned serving as Virtual Infrastructure Co-Chair for EMNLP 2020, I will work towards standardizing processes to offer hybrid conferences. I believe that hybrid conferences will allow many more researchers to participate and that most researchers who currently attend in person will continue to do so.
Non-native English speakers and ableism. Many researchers in our region are non-native English speakers or hard of hearing. Offering captions will not only enhance the experience of non-native speakers, but also partially address ableism. Prerecorded presentations can be automatically captioned and then edited by the presenter, similar to what we did at EMNLP 2020. I will also explore options to offer captions for live presentations.
Anna Rumshisky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She works on representation learning for computational semantics and temporal reasoning, model interpretability & analysis, and natural language modeling for clinical informatics. She is currently a Visiting Academic at Amazon Alexa AI. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at MIT CSAIL and received a PhD in Computer Science from Brandeis University in 2009. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award in 2017 and the best thematic paper award at NAACL-HLT 2019. Her research has been supported by the NSF, NIH, Army Research Office, National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. She has served as a Program Co-Chair for NAACL 2021, area chair for ACL 2020, NAACL-HLT 2019, and COLING 2018, and co-organized a number of workshops, including Insights from Negative Results in NLP (Insights @ EMNLP 2020, EMNLP 2021), Evaluating Vector Space Representations for NLP (RepEval @ NAACL 2019), and the Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop (COLING 2016, NAACL 2019, EMNLP 2020).
As a board member, I would like to ensure that we work on the following issues:
Reproducibility. As in many other fields, we currently face a reproducibility crisis. We need formal mechanisms to counteract it that go beyond contacting the authors and discussing issues on social media and in our personal networks. A number of methods have now been proposed to encourage reproducibility, but most have not been widely implemented. As a board member, I would like to ensure that we take action towards formalizing some of the proposed mechanisms.
Accessibility. One clear benefit of switching conferences to virtual format this year was improved access to top conferences so many of us who would not be able attend in person. It is clear that we need to figure out how to run conferences in a hybrid mode without creating a two-tier system. Should we have remote and live components to every conference, with papers presented at both or randomly assigned to one of the modalities? Which events can be run in both modalities? As a board member, I would like to explore and understand what our solutions should be.
Ethics and social impact. Amid growing concerns about research ethics and social impact of our research, a number of initiatives have been undertaken recently to change how we think about potential impact of our research both on different social groups and society at large. Ethics are a delicate matter, and hasty decisions may easily lead to disastrous effects. I would work to ensure that such initiatives are systematic and well thought-out, and that we have a wide community support.
Thamar Solorio is professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Houston (UH). Her main research interests include information extraction for user generated data, NLP for linguistically diverse speakers, and more recently, multimodal processing of text and video. She has M.S. and PhD degrees in Computer Science from INAOE, Puebla, Mexico. Her research program has been supported by the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and ADOBE Inc. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award for her work on authorship analysis. She is also a recipient of the 2014 Emerging Leader ABIE Award in honor of Denice Denton. She serves as editorial board member for the Computer Speech and Language Journal. She has served as reviewer and area chair to ACL, NAACL, AAAI, among others, and was program co-chair for NAACL 2019.
I was elected to the board during a difficult 2020, and sadly I wasn’t able to really achieve much in terms of my stated goals for NAACL. Meanwhile, ACL and NAACL have made important progress towards a more inclusive community, and if reelected I would work to support and extend these efforts.
I would like to help implement a tiered conference registration where medium and large tech companies pay higher registration prices than participants from non-profit institutions. The goal is to spend the additional funds collected through registration to increase access to the conference in the form of more travel grants, infrastructure support for virtual components, individual flexible grants for individuals with unique challenges to attend the conference (paying extra hours for childcare at home, airfare for child care provider, etc.), and augment funds allocated for the NAACL Regional Americas Fund, as well as to explore the creation of additional supporting initiatives. One idea is to create a NAACL distinguished speaker series, where well established researchers commit to travel to a region typically underrepresented in our community to give a tutorial and interact with the research community in that place.
Additionally, this year I would also like to explore approaches that foster a more synergistic collaboration and involvement of industry and academia/non-profit organizations. The scale of resources needed nowadays to explore deep learning approaches that continue to deliver successful results is aggravating disparity for researchers with limited access to these resources. One solution is to mentor our reviewers to value contributions that are not the expected large models, and our community is already making great progress in this respect, for example with submission tracks dedicated to NLP for under-resourced languages. We should do more, not to slow down the progress of large models, but to protect the intellectual value and creativity of research ideas that are critically needed to secure the sustained growth of NLP communities world-wide, and the advancement of NLP technology in all regions of the world. A good initial step towards this goal would be to establish targeted discussions with researchers from underrepresented communities and form an accurate understanding of their research environments, needs, and the best ways in which industry and big labs can collaborate to support these communities.
Aline Villavicencio is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science, University of Sheffield (UK) also affiliated to the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). Her research interests include lexical semantics and multiword expressions, multilinguality, and cognitively motivated NLP. She received her MSc from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), PhD and MPhil from the University of Cambridge (UK), and held postdoc positions at the University of Cambridge and University of Essex (UK) and was a Visiting Scholar at institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) and ?cole Normale Sup?rieure (France). She serves as editorial board member for TACL, JNLE, Journal of Language Modelling and Linguamatica, as well as Book Review Editor for Computational Linguistics. She is the PC co-chair of ACL-2022, was the PC co-chair for CoNLL-2019, General co-chair for the 13th Int. Conf. on Computational Processing of Portuguese (PROPOR 2018), and has been SAC and AC for events including *ACL conferences, IJCAI and AAAI. In addition, she co-chaired numerous *ACL workshops on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Acquisition and on Multiword Expressions, and co-edited special issues and books dedicated to these topics. She is also a member of the advisory board of WiNLP.
Many thanks for considering me for an additional term as NAACL board member. The first term has provided an extremely interesting opportunity to get involved in NAACL activities and its presence within our various communities, in particular as a member of the Regional Americas Fund (RAF) committee. For the second term, my plan is to continue to work towards promoting and supporting initiatives, like WiNLP, for increasing diversity and inclusion of underrepresented NLP communities, supporting the growth of programs, like the Regional Americas Fund (RAF) and the amazing actions that it supports throughout the Americas, with its rich ecosystem of languages (and cultures) and the brave communities that have worked for their documentation and processing, often in (very) low-resourced settings. This also includes helping to promote opportunities for supporting language diversity in our events, to increase visibility and dissemination of regional efforts and help to strengthen links and fostering collaborations among the communities. In addition, I will continue to support greater presence of interdisciplinary initiatives in NAACL events for facilitating interactions that include a diversity of areas.
Diyi Yang is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her PhD from the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2019. Her recent research interests focus on computational social science, learning with limited data, dialogue summarization, and responsible NLP for social good. She is a recipient of Forbes 30 under 30 in Science, a winner of IEEE “AI 10 to Watch” award, and a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow. She co-organized the Widening NLP (WiNLP) workshops at NAACL 2018 and ACL 2019, and has served as area chairs for NAACL, EMNLP and ACL.
Recently, there has been exciting and rapid growth in our NAACL community, which has attracted a growing number of participants from various research communities, cultures, and countries. If elected as a board member, I would like to work towards a more diverse and inclusive NAACL through the following initiatives:
Promoting interdisciplinary work: One of my goals is to help promote more interdisciplinary research within the NAACL community, by coordinating joint tutorials or workshops with communities such as Computer Vision, Robotics, HCI and Social Science, and improving the review criteria/process for these interdisciplinary works.
Establishing programs to highlight early career researchers: I would like to work towards establishing Highlights Programs for new faculty or researchers in industry, to provide them with opportunities to connect with peers, get advice (e.g., teaching, student supervision) from senior colleagues, gain visibility, and engage with our NLP community by active participation in various ways and capacities.
Supporting undergraduate students and high school students: I would like to help figure out ways on how we can attract and support undergraduates and high school students into NLP, e.g., via establishing summer school programs or certain funded programs that offer free registration and travel awards.
Increasing language support for non-native English speakers: I hope to work towards more language inclusive communities, via efforts to support both non-native English presenters and attendees (e.g., during Q&A, writing support, and etc.).