LINGUIST List 24.1322

Mon Mar 18 2013

Calls: Computational Linguistics/Bulgaria

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 17-Mar-2013
From: Ben King <>
Subject: Teaching NLP/CL Workshop
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Full Title: Teaching NLP/CL Workshop
Date: 09-Aug-2013 - 09-Aug-2013 Location: Sofia, Bulgaria Contact Person: Dragomir Radev
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:
Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

Call Deadline: 03-May-2013

Meeting Description:

4th Teaching NLP/CL Workshop
With a Focus on Olympiads in (Computational) Linguistics
An ACL-2013 Workshop
Sofia, Bulgaria


Ivan Derzhanski, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Dragomir Radev, University of Michigan

This is the fourth installment of the traditional workshop on Teaching NLP and CL, held previously at ACL 2002, ACL 2005, and ACL 2008. As with the previous instances, the workshop will cover all aspects of teaching NLP and CL to high school and college students but this time we will include a special focus area on the topic of Olympiads in (Computational) Linguistics reflecting the origin of these Olympiads in Europe and the growing interest in such educational events in recent years.

Focus: Olympiads in (Computational) Linguistics

Since the mid-1960s, problem-solving competitions in linguistics for secondary school students have been taking place at various locations around the world. In Russia, the Moscow Linguistics Olympiad and its mirror in St. Petersburg are credited with inspiring hundreds of young talented scholars to choose linguistics as an academic field and profession. The International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL), an annual event launched in 2003 with 33 participants from 6 countries, has grown to 131 participants from 26 countries at its tenth installment in 2012, and has provoked the founding of regular regional and national linguistic contests in much of the world. In this way linguistic olympiads have proven a fruitful field for international cooperation.

The genre of the self-sufficient linguistic problem, intended to guide the solver to the independent discovery of unfamiliar linguistic phenomena and concepts or research issues of linguistics and adjacent theoretical and applied disciplines, has also evolved over the years, benefiting from the input of over 200 authors and now of emerging national traditions. In particular, although problems on computational linguistics (that is, such as illustrate fundamental or current issues of natural language processing, rather than languages or linguistic theory) have always had a presence at linguistic contests, in the US and the other Anglophone countries (ELCLO, the English Language Computational Linguistics Olympiad, now includes Canada, Ireland, Australia, the USA and the UK), they have become a primary feature. In part the revival of interest towards them is a response to the growing importance of language technologies in contemporary life.

Call for Papers:

For the general area, we are looking for long and short papers on topics like the following:

- Novel teaching methodologies: e.g., hands-on assignments, shared projects, etc.
- Novel assignments: e.g., connection to social media, the humanities, finance, or integrative assignments that involve multiple concepts and skills
- Educational tools: resources, especially interactive ones, that explain or visualize specific concepts
- Targeting various student populations: linguists, first-year students, mathematics majors
- Teaching NLP online: massive open online courses, automatic grading, resource sharing, legal and logistical issues

For the focus area, we are soliciting long and short papers on the following and related topics:

- Linguistic problems: history and specific traits of the genre; relation to other genres (word puzzles, logic puzzles, recreational mathematics, linguistic quizzes, textbook exercises in linguistics, olympiad-style problems in mathematics or informatics, etc.)
- Problem creation (general): choosing phenomena, obtaining and selecting material, presenting data, designing assignments, evaluating difficulty
- Linguistic problems and: mathematics; poetry; terminological systems; language-like non-language systems; etc.
- Computational problems: characteristics of the sub-genre, topics of natural language processing that can be or have been illustrated in problems, issues of problem composition
- Problem translation: impact of the working language; reuse of problems from foreign sources; IOL and multilinguality
- Uses of linguistic problems for purposes other than student contests (for example, in classroom teaching in secondary school and college education, or for the education of the general public about languages and linguistics)
- Linguistic olympiads: how to start them, how to run them, how to judge them; relation to olympiads in mathematics and the other sciences; relation to the school curriculum
- Other extracurricular activities in (computational) linguistics for secondary-school and college students: lectures, mini-courses, supervised student research

In addition to these papers, the organisers will be collecting pointers to educational resources on the Web, including sites of regional and national contests, collections of problems and lists of linguistic literature recommended to secondary school students.

Submission Information:

Papers submitted to the workshop must describe original, unpublished work. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Submissions should follow the two-column format of ACL proceedings and be made through ACL’s START system.

Shared Task:

The participants are encouraged to submit sample NACLO-style problems for the contest or other teaching materials. Check the NACLO web site for sample problems from the past.


A panel on linguistic problem creation: how problems are made, how they illustrate linguistic phenomena and concepts, how to use them to draw attention to obscure points of one’s native language, multilinguality issues, etc.

A panel on computational problems: how they are made, how they differ from the classical kind of linguistic problems, how they illustrate actual research problems, how they relate to the solver’s native (or working) language, how they can be integrated in the syllabus of a class, etc.

Important Dates:

Papers due: May 3, 2013
Acceptance notification: May 24, 2013
Camera-ready papers due: June 7, 2013
Workshop: August 9, 2013

Program Committee (to be expanded):

James Pustejovsky
Jason Eisner
Lori Levin
Dominique Estival
Patrick Littell
Thomas Payne
Hugh Dobbs
Adam Hesterberg
Ani Nenkova
Zornitsa Kozareva
Vincent Ng
Rada Mihalcea
Boris Iomdin (to be confirmed)
Dick Hudson (to be confirmed)
Harold Somers (to be confirmed)


Page Updated: 18-Mar-2013