LINGUIST List 2.114

Thursday, 4 Apr 1991

Misc: Information, Workshop, Conference

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Our 1000th Subscriber
  2. Jon Shultis, Informal Computing Workshop
  3. Don Walker, ACL-91 Program and Registration Information

Message 1: Our 1000th Subscriber

Date: Thur, 04 Apr 91
From: <>
Subject: Our 1000th Subscriber
If we were not an academic organization, and therefore had some money,
we might hand out a prize for this. As it is, all we have to offer
is congratulations to Colin Phillips (, 
who is our 1000th subscriber.
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Message 2: Informal Computing Workshop

Date: Wed, 03 Apr 91 16:21:06 -0500
From: Jon Shultis <>
Subject: Informal Computing Workshop

 Workshop on Informal Computing

 29-31 May 1991
 Santa Cruz, California

Fundamental questions about the nature of informality are gaining importance in
computer science. What is informal understanding? What is the nature of
informal reasoning? Why is it so powerful and efficient? How are the
inconsistency, vagueness, and incompleteness of informal thought managed? How
does natural language manage to communicate informal knowledge and reasoning?
Computer applications in many fields, ranging from economics and medicine to
software engineering and artificial intelligence, demand effective and
cognitively accurate answers to these questions in order to capture, represent,
and process informal information in computer systems.

Inspired by trends toward formalization in logic, mathematics, linguistics, and
philosophy, computer scientists historically have tended to regard informal
processes as approximate, or imperfect, realizations of formal ideals.
Increasingly, however, the idea that informal languages, ontology, and
reasoning can (or should) be reduced to (or supplanted by) regimented and
"perfected" formalisms is being challenged. Far from being flawed formalisms,
informal processes are emerging as fundamental to human understanding and
language. From the "informalist" perspective, formalism has been mistaken for
the paradigm of intelligence, rather than simply a useful outgrowth of

The purpose of the Workshop on Informal Computing is to define the study of
Informalism, and to begin a coordinated attack on the fundamental issues and
problems of the field, bringing together the insights and experience of those
who have been working to understand informality in specialized domains.

Discussion at the workshop will focus on three major themes: informal knowledge
and reasoning; modelling and interpretation; and conversational computing and
adaptive languages. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:
intentionality and consciousness; dialogue management; informal meaning and
pragmatics; evidential reasoning and belief; resource- and information-limited
reasoning; neurocomputation; lessons and techniques from computational
linguistics; dynamical and chaotic representations and reasoning; and
philosophy of language.

The program will be divided between hour-long presentations by invited
speakers, and discussion sessions aimed at defining and clarifying informal
computing issues, and at identifying promising directions and approaches for
future research. The discussion sessions should provide ample opportunity for
participants to exchange views, and the schedule will be flexible enough to
permit impromptu presentations as appropriate. Also, a follow-up conference
may be organized if there is sufficient interest. We are busy making
arrangements for speakers and drawing up the schedule, but the basic plan is to
devote one day to each of the three themes mentioned above. A preliminary list
of speakers includes

Bruce d'Ambrosio (Oregon State University)
Sandra Carberry (University of Delaware)
David Fisher (Incremental Systems)
Donald Good (Computational Logic)
David Mundie (Incremental Systems)
Larry Reeker (IDA)
Jeff Rothenberg (RAND)
Jon Shultis (Incremental Systems)
Tim Standish (University of California at Irvine)
Edward Zalta (Stanford University)

The final program will be announced on or before 8 May 1991.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please submit, by
12 April 1991, a brief summary of your interests, and previous or ongoing
research that is relevant to the workshop themes. The summaries will be
reviewed, and notices of acceptance sent out on 26 April 1991, together with
local arrangements information. Summaries should be sent to

Jon Shultis
Incremental Systems Corporation
319 South Craig Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

tel: (412) 621-8888
FAX: (412) 621-0259

Funding for the Workshop on Informal Computing is being provided by DARPA/ISTO
in conjunction with ongoing research at Incremental Systems Corporation on
adaptive languages for software engineering.
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Message 3: ACL-91 Program and Registration Information

Date: Wed, 3 Apr 91 17:40:46 -0500
From: Don Walker <>
Subject: ACL-91 Program and Registration Information
 Program of the

 29th Annual Meeting
 17-21 June 1991
 University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

[Moderators' note: The full program of the ACL meeting is
too long to post to the entire list, and is available on the server. 
To have the program sent to you, send the message:

 get acl-91

to the address:

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