This award is for funding to subsidize travel, conference, and housing expenses of students selected to participate in the ACL Student Research Workshop to be held on June 27th in conjunction with the annual conference of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) to be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. ACL is the primary international organization in the field of natural language processing and language engineering. The Association's annual conference, which rotates among the Americas, Pacific-rim countries, and Europe/Africa, is the major international meeting in the field. Computational linguistics is a multidisciplinary field of increasing importance to science, commerce, and society. This workshop contributes to the professional development of young scientists who will lead this growing field in the coming decades.
The workshop format allows students to present their research and receive feedback from a panel of established researchers in the field. It provides students with invaluable exposure to outside perspectives on their work at a critical time in their professional development through feedback from the panel and other student participants. Also, student participants will be able to see each other's presentations and feedback, which could lead to a general raising of standards and expectations, strengthening future student research. The ACL Student Workshop is an inexpensive yet highly effective means of encouraging young and upcoming computational linguists. The intimate format encourages the student participants to begin building a rapport with established researchers. The workshop should contribute to the maintenance and development of a skilled and diverse natural language processing workforce, helping to produce a pool of researchers with the scientific and engineering knowledge required for future applications of natural language processing. It should help to foster international scientific exchange, providing merit-based opportunities for future leaders of the field to attend a conference that might otherwise be less geographically diverse than is desirable for the field. In addition, by building a supportive environment for these students, it is more likely that down the road, they will lend a supporting hand to other students who follow.