LINGUIST List 19.3006|
Fri Oct 03 2008
FYI: North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman
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North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
Message 1: North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
From: Patrick Littell <littellinterchange.ubc.ca>
Subject: North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad
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The Organizing Committee of the North American Computational Linguistics
Olympiad (NACLO) invites you to become involved in our 2009 contest as a
local site coordinator!
NACLO (http://www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu) is a fun (and educational!)
contest for U.S. and Canadian high-school students in which
contestants compete to solve compelling and creative puzzles in
linguistics and computational linguistics. Requiring no previous knowledge
of linguistics, languages, or computing, these puzzles can be solved by
analytic reasoning alone, and serve as a fun introduction to a field to
which many high school students have never been introduced.
Sample problems from the past include deciphering texts in rare
languages such as Huishu, Manam, or Aymara, figuring the inner
workings of a toy search engine, understanding the calendar
of the Mayans, and learning to read spectrograms of spoken text.
If you are interested in hosting a local site (usually at a university),
please contact us at naclo09umich.edu. If you are a student and can't or
don't want to travel to a university site, but can find a teacher or
teachers at your school to proctor the test, you can take it at your high
school. In 2008 we had 13 university sites and 65 high schools. We expect
to have a lot more in 2009. University sites have ranged from 5 to 200
students in size with the typical number around 10.
We've now fixed the date for this spring's Open Round competition --
February 4th -- and are busy creating materials for you to use at your
local site. Please let us know, throughout the year, if you need any
The top scorers in the Open Round will be invited back on March 11th to
compete in the Invitation Round for a chance to represent their country
(USA or Canada) at the 2009 International Linguistics Olympiad. Note that
the US team did very well at the previous two ILOs where it won a combined
several gold medals and a dozen other prizes.
The two main tasks of a local site coordinator are to provide a venue for
the competition and provide local outreach and publicity. Outreach and
publicity consist mostly of contacting local school officials (guidance
counselors, gifted coordinators, language and computer science teachers)
and optionally doing high school visits to introduce linguistics and/or
computational linguistics to the students in person. We can provide
fliers, practice puzzles, handouts, and sample presentations that you can
use or adapt.
The open round will be 3-4 hours long. You will receive the problem
booklets in advance. Sample booklets and practice problems are available on
the web site.
Please contact the contest chairs: Lori Levin, Dragomir Radev, Pat Littell,
and Adam Hesterberg at naclo09orgumich.edu with any questions or issues
that may come up.
We would like to announce a preliminary list of sites on October 31.
Student registration will open on that date.
A link will be posted at http://www.naclo.cs.cmu.edu soon. You can use that
link to register your high school and/or university site.
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics
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