Welcome to TeachCL-08


Many of us in this field face the daily challenge of trying to teach Computer Scientists, Linguists and/or Psychologists together. Following the success of the two previous ACL workshops (2002 and 2005, http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~radev/TeachingNLP) on this theme, we are holding a 2-day workshop associated with ACL-HLT 2008 to carefully examine various approaches to this task, and to explore techniques specifically aimed at teaching computer science to linguists and linguistics to computer scientists. (Details about paper submission are given at the end of this announcement.) As Computational Linguistics (hopefully) becomes of more and more relevance to industrial applications, we must ensure that our students (both undergraduate and graduate) are given adequate preparation for functioning in a practical industrial environment as well as an academic research environment. We will exchange views on appropriate curriculum for both undergraduate students and graduate students, and linguists (including psycholinguists) and computer scientists. There are many questions to be addressed about the necessary background for linguists and computer scientists before they can communicate effectively with each other and learn at the same pace.

  1. Chris Brew will organize a panel of industrialists to address the issue of industry expectations for Computational Linguists;
  2. Emily Bender and Fei Xia will organize a panel around the theme of essential curriculum for computational linguistics;
  3. Gina Levow will organize a panel on techniques for teaching extremely interdisciplinary classes.

We will also have invited presentations by Lori Levin and Dragomir Radev showcasing the recent very successful participation of American high school students in the International Linguistics Olympiad.

In addition to these themes we would also like to invite the submission of papers addressing the following topics:

  1. Teaching Computer Science to Linguists
  2. Teaching Linguistics to Computer Scientists
  3. Teaching Computational Linguistics to Computer Scientists and Linguists jointly.
  4. Teaching graduate students and/or undergraduate students
  5. Tools and technology for aiding the teaching of computational linguistics.
  6. Any other topics of general relevance to teaching computational linguistics, such as:
    • Effective course lectures
    • Innovative assignments and projects
    • Web resources
    • Connecting teaching and research
    • Seminar-style courses
    • Choice of programming languages (and programming requirements in general)

We would also encourage all of the participants to come to the workshop with a prepared handout (and possibly a poster) summarizing their university's requirements for studying computational linguistics with short course descriptions of each course. This would allow us to produce a compendium of alternative program styles and ideally a consensus on essential elements comprising the answer to "What should be an ideal curriculum for a CL Major of the 21st century?"

Back to the top


Submission date - March 18, 2008.

Papers to reviewers - March 19, 2008.

Reviews due - April 7

Results to authors - April 14

Camera-ready papers from authors - Apr 21, 2008

Back to the top


A paper submitted to TeachCL-08 must describe original, unpublished work. Submit a full paper of no more than 8 pages in PDF format by March 18, 2008, electronically through a web form at https://www.softconf.com/acl08/ACL08-WS09/submit.html

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Submissions should follow the two-column format of ACL proceedings and should not exceed eight (8) pages, including references. We strongly recommend the use of the ACL LaTeX style files or Microsoft Word Style files. Papers must conform to the official ACL 2008 style guidelines.

In the submission form, you will be asked for the following information: paper title, authors' names, affiliations, and email addresses, contact author's email address, a list of keywords, abstract, and an indication of whether the paper has been simultaneously submitted to other conferences (and if so which conferences). The contact author of an accepted paper under multiple submissions should inform the program co-chairs immediately whether he or she intends the accepted paper to appear in TeachCL-08. A paper that appears in TeachCL-08 must be withdrawn from other conferences.

Authors of accepted submissions are to produce a final paper to be published in the proceedings of the workshop, which will be available at the conference for participants, and distributed afterwards by ACL. Final papers must follow the ACL 2008 style and are due April 21, 2008.

Back to the top


Back to the top


PDF version of the conference program

Thursday, June 19, 2008

8:55-9:00 Welcome
Paper Presentation I: Curriculum Design

9:00-9:30 Teaching Computational Linguistics to a Large, Diverse Student Body: Courses, Tools and Interdepartmental Interaction
Jason Baldridge and Katrin Erk
9:30-10:00 Building a Flexible, Collaborative, Intensive Master's Program in Computational Linguistics
Emily M. Bender, Fei Xia, and Erik Bansleben
10:00-10:30 Freshmen's CL Curriculum: The Benefits of Redundancy
Heike Zinsmeister
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
Paper Presentation II and Panel I: Curriculum Design
11:00-11:30 Defining a Core Body of Knowledge for the Introductory Computational Linguistics Curriculum
Steven Bird
11:30-12:30 Panel Discussion I: Curriculum Design (organized by Fei Xia and Emily Bender)
12:30-2:00 Lunch Break
Paper Presentation III: Course Design
2:00-2:30 Strategies for Teaching "Mixed Computational" Linguistics Classes
Eris Fosler-Lussier
2:30-3:00 The Evolution of a Statistical NLP Course
Fei Xia
3:00-3:00 Exploring Large-Data Issues in the Curriculum: A Case Study with MapReduce
Jimmy Lin
3:30-4:00 Coffee Break
Paper Presentation IV: Using NLP Tools
4:00-4:30 Multidisciplinary Instruction with the Natural Language Toolkit
Steven Bird, Ewan Klein, Edward Lopern and Jason Baldridge
4:30-5:00 Combining Open-Source with Research to Re-engineer a Hands-on Introductory NLP Course
Nitin Madnani and Bonnie J. Dorr
Panel II: Industry Panel
5:00-6:00 Panel Discussion II: Industry Panel (organized by Chris Brew)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Paper Presentation V and Invited Talk
9:00-9:30 Zero to Spoken Dialogue System in One Quarter: Teaching Computational Linguistics to Linguists Using Regulus
Beth Ann Hockey and Gwen Christian
9:30-10:30 Invited Talk: The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)
Dragomir R. Radev, Lori S. Levin and Thomas E. Payne
10:30-11:00 Coffee Break
Paper Presentation VI: Course Design
11:00-11:30 Competitive Grammar Writing
Jason Eisner and Noah A. Smith
11:30-12:00 Studying Discourse and Dialogue with SIDGrid
Gina-Anne Levow
12:00-12:30 Teaching NLP to Computer Science Majors via Applications and Experiments
Reva Freedman
12:30-1:30 Lunch Break
Paper Presentation VII: Course Design
1:30-2:00 Psychocomputational Linguistics: A Gateway to the Computational Linguistics Curriculum
William Gregory Sakas
2:00-2:30 Support Collaboration by Teaching Fundamentals
Matthew Stone
Panel III: Course Design
2:30-3:30 Panel Discussion III: Course Design (organized by Gina-Anne Levow)
3:30-4:00 Coffee Break
4:00-5:00 General Discussion and Closing

Back to the top


Martha Palmer (Colorado), Chris Brew (Ohio State) and Fei Xia (Washington)

Primary contact person:

Martha Palmer

Department of Linguistics
295 UCB Hellems 295
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309

303-492-1300, fax # 303-492-441

Back to the top