Table of Content
Why this Newsletter?
Some views from the Chair
Joint EACL/ACL Conference
EACL organised Panel at Joint EACL/ACL Conference
Schedule of EACL and International ACL Meetings (2001-2010)
New EACL Student Board
Workshop of European Projects in Language Technology for Crosslingual Knowledge
European Masters in Language and Speech
EU Commission's Proposal for a new Framework Programme (2002-2006)
Funding for German Competence Center in Language Technology
This first EACL Newsletter initiates an attempt at improving communication
between EACL (the European Chapter of the
Association for Computational Linguistics) and its members. Without
you hearing much about it, the EACL exists and has been actively working
on promoting Computational Linguistics in Europe since 1982. We would like
this to change -- we would like you to hear from us and vice versa, we
would like to hear from you about any suggestions you might have regarding
what the EACL should and should not be.
1. Why this Newsletter?
Coming out twice a year, this newsletter will bring you EACL related
news: news about changes in the EACL organisation; about activities organised
or supported by EACL and about the relation between EACL and its parent
institution, the ACL (Association for
It will also carry news about major European happenings or events.
By default, all EACL members receives this newsletter.
If you don't want to receive it again, please send an email saying so to:
Similarly, if you have any suggestions about the
newsletter or would like to submit some information to it, please send
these to that email adress.
2. Some views from the Chair
There are over 450 members of the EACL (comprising
24% of ACL membership), and it's probably true to say that most
of you know very little about EACL's relationship to the ACL and its activities
beyond the biennial EACL conference. With its internationalisation, the
ACL has had to define a new formal relationship with its Chapters -- now
not just the EACL, but the newly formed NAACL and the much hoped for Asian
chapter. This has recently been finalised. In a nutshell:
Given all this, the occasional tweetings of a little bird in places like
ELSNews to the tune of USdominationofACLandACLimperialismtowardsEACL
make little sense. With a regular fair whack of Europeans on the ACL executive
committee (and yes, I count myself as one of those!), two European Presidents
of the ACL in the recent past, and a European as the upcoming President,
it's increasingly hard to sustain the misperception of ACL as unsupportive
of its European members.
EACL now jointly hosts meetings of the International ACL when they are
held in Europe. A new policy for this has been agreed, whereby the conference
organisation is conducted by a working group composed of members of the
ACL executive committee and the EACL board.
With the agreed 3-year rotation cycle of ACL conferences between the three
"international zones" (Europe, North America, Asia), the EACL has moved
its schedule of conferences from biennial to triennial cycle, starting
with our next conference in 2003. (The schedule of EACL and ACL conferences
for the next 10 years is given below.)
Any surplus on joint EACL-ACL conferences is shared equally between the
EACL and ACL.
EACL continues to be represented on the ACL executive committee, on which
the Chair of EACL is an ex-officio member.
A valid criticism, though, is that the EACL has not been good at promoting
itself and its activities -- for example, our involvement with the European
Masters in Speech and Language, or our regular sponsorship of a course
at ESSLLI on computational linguistics -- before we started this newsletter,
that is. And our conferences have been very low-key compared to, say, ACL
or LREC. But that's another story for another issue of the newsletter.
See you in Toulouse!
Chair of the EACL Board
3. Joint EACL/ACL Conference
The next joint
EACL/ACL Meeting is almost upon us --- it will be held in Toulouse,
France, from 6-11 July 2001 and early registration already totals 445 participants.
The program consists of 11 workshops, 5 tutorials and the main conference.
There is some fun too! The banquet held on Tuesday 10th June from 7p.m.
will be very special. It is held in an old gothic building and will feature
regional food and music. Don't miss it!
4. EACL Organised Panel at Joint EACL/ACL Conference
As an addition to the usual conference program, the EACL organised
``Directions for Strategic Funding for Computational Linguistics''
to be held at the Joint Annual Meeting of the ACL/EACL in Toulouse on
July 9th 16.30-17.30.
Most progress in computational linguistics/language technology can be
attributed to publicly funded research and development. Although some
technologies have already become profitable, public funding will remain
the strongest factors determining the directions of international research.
On this panel, leading figures of relevant funding agencies will present
visions and priorities that govern their funding strategies. The following
non-exhaustive list of questions will be asked -- and hopefully answered.
The panelists will be:
What are the strategically selected themes and directions for massive
Do countries and global regions differ in their selection?
How is funding balanced among the following goals:
o strengthening the foundations
o developing new technologies
o improving existing technologies
o developing systems/functionalities
o creating resources (data and
How are connections established between related projects?
Are there mechanisms for supporting or enforcing cooperation between language
technology research and R&D in related areas such as knowledge technologies?
Which opportunities exist or will be created for international and intercontinental
* Akira KUBOTA, New Energy and Industrial Technology
* Joseph MARIANI, Ministere de la Recherche, France
* John PRANGE, Advanced Research & Development
Activity (ARDA), USA
* Bernd REUSE, Bundesministerium fuer Bildung und
* Giovanni VARILE, European Commission, EU
The panel will be chaired by Hans USZKOREIT
5. Schedule of EACL and International ACL meetings, 2001-2010
2002 ACL-NAACL, Philadelphia
2003 10th Meeting of the EACL (venue to be
2004 ACL-EACL, Europe
2005 ACL-NAACL, North America
2006 11th Meeting of the EACL
2007 ACL-EACL, Europe
2008 ACL-NAACL, North America
2009 12th Meeting of the EACL
2010 ACL-EACL, Europe
6. EACL sponsorships
For some years now, EACL has been sponsoring the ESSLLI summer schools
(European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information). The EACL policy
is to sponsor a given course rather than the summer school in general;
in particular, it is to sponsor a course that will bring more people to
Computational Linguistics, so the chosen course always is a foundational
or introductory course. In the recent past, EACL has sponsored the following
ESSLLI'2001 is to be held
in Helsinki, Finland, 13-14 August 2001 and the EACL sponsored course is:
1999 Standards for Language Encoding
2000 An Introduction to Grammar Engineering using HPSG
Ann Copestake and Rob Malouf
The EACL covers travel and accommodation costs for one of the two lecturers.
In return for sponsorship, members of EACL get a reduced registration fee
at ESSLLI. So don't forget to mention your EACL affilliation
when you register!
2001 An Introduction to Computational Semantics
Patrick Blackburn and Johan Bos
7. New EACL Student Board
A new EACL institution has sprung into life: the EACL Student Board. This
board consists of three members and was nominated for three years by the
EACL Advisory Board:
The role of the EACL Student Board is to generally assist the EACL Board
with the realisation of EACL related tasks. In a first phase, the Student
Board will concentrate on two main tasks: the extension and maintenance
of the EACL web site and the organisation of the EACL conference Student
Session. A first meeting of the Student Board is planned during the joint
EACL/ACL 2001 Conference in Toulouse which will allow the Student Board
Members to meet each other and to get acquainted with the EACL Board Members.
We hope this new institution will bring the EACL the dynamic contributions
younger people often bring to things and wish it a long and prosperous
8. Workshop of European Projects in Language Technology for Crosslingual
On the 4th and 5th of May 2001 a workshop in Madrid brought together representatives
of fifteen European projects concerned with developing or adapting language
technologies for knowledge management. The project was organized by the
project cluster CLASSiks which
is part of the initiative CLASS
funded by the IST Program of the EU.
The projects presented their work in a variety of areas reaching from
novel LT extensions to existing information management technology to crosslingual
information and knowledge management systems.
The participants decided to join forces in several areas of collaboration:
building bridges to the knowledge management community, acquisition of
industry standard IM and KM software, reuse of lingware, tools and components,
and research into common interfaces.
A representative of the European Knowledge Management Forum reported
on the activities of this network and invited the projects to become users
and contributors of the WWW Forum
Knowledge Board .
More information about the workshop can be found at
9. European Masters in Language and Speech
One of the activities that is endorsed by EACL is the European Masters
in Language in Speech, which receives European funding from the Socrates
programme. European universities organizing existing or new curricula in
this area can apply for membership of this system when they conform to
a number of curriculum conditions. The European Masters aims to promote
higher education and training of students in Natural Language Processing
and Speech Communication Sciences by providing a common ground, and by
promoting exchange of students and staff, industry placements, organizing
summerschools and intensive courses, etc.
Together with the president of ISCA and the chair of the local examination
committee, the EACL chair signs the Masters' certificates. Although these
certificates do not have any official status, they at least provide a truly
European quality stamp.
The programme is tightly managed by Gerrit Bloothooft. Take a look at
the E-masters website for information about current participating sites,
statutes, and criteria for acceptance. The latter are an interesting read
for anyone involved in language and speech technology education, as they
constitute a kind of "ideal" curriculum. Some 30 students Europe-wide
are finishing the programme, and are expected to be awarded certificates
E-masters web-site: http://www.cstr.ed.ac.uk/EuroMasters/
The first EMasters school was held at Chios in conjunction with the
ELSNET summerschool (july 2000), and was attended by 12 students. A second
one is planned in Brno (Czech Republic) later this year. Brno Summerschool
-- Walter Daelemans
(University of Antwerp and Tilburg University)
Member of the Masters Board for EACL
10. EU Commission's proposal for a new framework programme (2002-2006)
The EU's framework programme for Research and Technological Development
is a major tool to support the creation of the European Research Area (ERA).
The European Commission has just put forward its proposal for the framework
programme (FP) to cover the period 2002 - 2006. The FP proposal is a deliberate
break with past FPs with regard to ambition, scope and instruments to be
used in its implementation. The aim is to achieve greater focus on questions
of European importance and a better integration of research efforts on
the basis of an improved partnership between the various actors in the
European research area. It reflects the result of intense preparatory consultation
with the scientific and industrial communities and with public authorities
at different levels.
Council Decision on 6th Framework is at
Look up COM (2001) 0279, from page 21 for information about IST (Information
For Press Release and budget breakdown see:
11. Funding for German Competence Center in Language Technology
The German Ministry for Education and Research has granted funding for
up a "Competence Center in Language Technology" in Germany. The grant
to DFKI and Saarland University. The new project is called COLLATE
(Computational Linguistics and Language Technology for Real Life Applications).
Funding is provided for building up a virtual information center, a
and an evaluation center as well as for research in key areas of language
technology. The volume of support is 5 Mio Euro (2001-2003). The project
jointly conducted by Manfred Pinkal, Hans Uszkoreit and Wolfgang Wahlster.
More information can be found at: http://collate.dfki.de
by writing to: