NAACL Newsletter Volume 1, Number 1 (Sept 2001)


  1. Upcoming Elections
  2. 2000 Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Member Survey
  3. NAACL-01, the 2nd Meeting of NAACL, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2001
  4. Executive Committee Meeting, June 2001
  5. ACL-02
  6. NAACL-03 and possible merger with HLT
  7. Proposed Schedule of NAACL, EACL, and ACL Meetings
  8. New Initiatives

Upcoming Elections

You will soon be receiving mail from the Nominating Committee regarding the elections for the 2002 NAACL Board. The nominating committee will propose an initial slate of candidates, to which the membership can nominate additional candidates. Nominations are needed for almost every position:

  • Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Two members of the executive board (bringing us to our final state of four members with staggered terms)

A list of the current NAACL officers and their terms, as well as the rules for term-limits as specified in our constitution, are at the NAACL web site.

2000 Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Member Survey

Last fall we ran our first elections. The nominating committee suggested nine candidates for two positions on the executive board, five of whom agreed to be nominated. An additional nomination came from the NAACL membership. The vote was conducted electronically, using new software developed at ISI. Thanks very much to Uli Germann for making this happen. The election exposed some problems with the current constitution, so the membership was also asked to vote on two amendments. 890 emails were sent, resulting in 285 votes being cast. The new executive board members are Graeme Hirst and Dan Jurafsky, replacing Sandra Carberry, Ed Hovy, and Marilyn Walker (the NAACL “start-up” committee, who we thank very much for their hard work before and during the first year of the chapter). The changes to the constitution were approved with wide majorities and can be found on our website (

We also used this opportunity to ask our members to fill in a survey, the highlights of which are shown below. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote and respond to our survey. Please feel free to send us further comments and suggestions at any time.

Best Time for NAACL? 69 February/March/April/May 53 during the summer 52 September/October/November 48 I have no preference

How Often Should NAACL Be Held? 215 every year that there is no (international) ACL or COLING in North America

Preferred Venue? 83 doesn’t matter 58 a university 47 hotel and university 35 a hotel

What Makes You Go? 123 distance from other conferences 70 low cost of venue

Conferences Attended: 158 NAACL 2001 (Pittsburgh, June 2001) 127 ANLP/NAACL 2000 (Seattle, June 2000) 95 ACL 2001 (France, July 2001) 42 ACL 2000 (Hong Kong, October 2000)

In addition, we received many useful comments, which are now posted on the web.

NAACL-01, the 2nd Meeting of NAACL, Pittsburgh, PA, June 2001

The NAACL-01 conference (our first solo conference) was extremely successful. We attracted approximately 500 people, have heard very positive feedback, and expect a financial surplus. The program included 31 papers (acceptance rate of 28%, mostly from North America), 3 invited speakers, a student research workshop, 4 other workshops, co-location with EMNLP, 4 tutorials, 27 demonstrations, and a full-day exhibit program. Reports from all of the conference chairs will be archived, and are available upon request. The conference website is still active, and can be found at Thanks to Lori Levin (General Chair), Alon Lavie (Local Arrangements Chair), Kevin Knight (PC Chair), the NAACL-01 subchairs, and of course the membership, for making the conference such a success.

Executive Committee Meeting, June 2001

The NAACL Executive Committee met on June 2, 2001, at the NAACL conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The agenda included:

  • Reports from NAACL Officers
  • NAACL-01 Report
  • ACL-02/NAACL-02 Report
  • NAACL-03/HLT Discussion
  • Discussion of Past and Upcoming Elections
  • Constitutional Issues
  • Discussion of Policies
  • Web/Email Issues
  • Formulation of Exec Job Descriptions
  • Discussion of New Initiatives

The minutes of this meeting are now available on the NAACL webpage (


Next year we will be co-hosting the (international) ACL meeting, which will be held in Philadelphia, PA, July 2002. Martha Palmer (who will be retiring from the NAACL board this year) is the Local Arrangements Chair.

NAACL-03 and possible merger with HLT

The planning of the NAACL-03 conference has begun. Since the spring, we have been discussing the possibility of a trial merger and/or co-location of the NAACL and the Human Language Technology (HLT) conferences. The NAACL board is eager to reach out to the speech and IR communities, and also wants to avoid conference proliferation. Ed Hovy has been negotiating a final “Memorandum of Understanding” between NAACL and the other involved parties.

Proposed Schedule of NAACL, EACL, and ACL Meetings

With the internationalization of the ACL, the following meeting schedule has been adopted by the ACL executive. Every 3 years, ACL rotates between North America, Asia, and Europe. As a result, EACL is now held twice every 3 years (rather than every other year). NAACL will likely be held every year that there is no ACL or Coling in N. America.

2002    ACL (NAACL)        Philadelphia     
2003    ACL                Japan         
        NAACL              N. America, possibly with HLT
        EACL               Europe         
2004    ACL (EACL)         Europe         
        NAACL              Possibly omitted/merged due to Coling
2005    ACL (NAACL)        North America 
2006    ACL                Asia 
        NAACL              North America 
        EACL               Europe

New Initiatives

To date, the bulk of our efforts have involved setting up the NAACL organization. Now that that process is largely completed, it is time to turn to starting up some new programs. Since we anticipate having some money in the bank, we are currently discussing ways to put the funds to good use. One of the recurring themes in the responses to our survey was the desire for more educational activities. As a result, we are currently exploring several possibilities for sponsoring a summer school in 2002.