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JHU summer workshop - CALL FOR PROPOSALS

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below (pdf attached) a call for proposals for the 15th
annual NSF sponsored JHU summer workshop

The Center for Language and Speech Processing at Johns Hopkins
University invites one page research proposals for a NSF-sponsored,
Six-week Summer Research Workshop on Machine Learning for Language
Engineering,  to be held in Baltimore, MD, USA,  June 22 to July 31,


Deadline: Wednesday, October 15, 2008.

One-page proposals are invited for the 15th annual NSF sponsored JHU
summer workshop.  Proposals should be suitable for a six-week team
exploration, and should aim to advance the state of the art in any of
the various fields of Human Language Technology (HLT) including speech
recognition, machine translation, information retrieval, text
summarization and question answering.  This year, proposals in related
areas of Machine Intelligence, such as Computer Vision (CV), that share
techniques with HLT are also being solicited.  Research topics selected
for investigation by teams in previous workshops may serve as good
examples for your proposal. (See http://www.clsp.jhu.edu/workshops.)

Proposals on all topics of scientific interest to HLT and technically
related areas are encouraged.  Proposals that address one of the
following long-term challenges are particularly encouraged.
* ROBUST TECHNOLOGY FOR SPEECH:  Technologies like speech transcription,
speaker identification, and language identification share a common
weakness: accuracy degrades disproportionately with seemingly small
changes in input conditions (microphone, genre, speaker, dialect, etc.),
where humans are able to adapt quickly and effectively. The aim is to
develop technology whose performance would be minimally degraded by
input signal variations.
natural language processing (NLP) technologiesâincluding parsing,
information extraction, question answering, and machine translationâto
very large collections of unstructured or informal text, and domain
adaptation in NLP is of interest. 
* VISUAL SCENE INTERPRETATION: New strategies are needed to parse visual
scenes or generic (novel) objects, analyzing an image as a set of
spatially related components.  Such strategies may integrate global
top-down knowledge of scene structure (e.g., generative models) with the
kind of rich bottom-up, learned image features that have recently become
popular for object detection.  They will support both learning and
efficient search for the best analysis.
not require extensive quantities of human annotated data to address any
of the challenges above could potentially make large strides in machine
performance as well as lead to greater robustness to changes in input
conditions.  Semi-supervised and unsupervised learning techniques with
applications to HLT and CV are therefore of considerable interest.

An independent panel of experts will screen all received proposals for
suitability. Results of this screening will be communicated no later
than October 22, 2008. Authors passing this initial screening will be
invited to Baltimore to present their ideas to a peer-review panel on
November 7-9, 2008.  It is expected that the proposals will be revised
at this meeting to address any outstanding concerns or new ideas. Two or
three research topics and the teams to tackle them will be selected for
the 2009 workshop.

We attempt to bring the best researchers to the workshop to
collaboratively pursue the selected topics for six weeks.  Authors of
successful proposals typically become the team leaders.  Each topic
brings together a diverse team of researchers and students.  The senior
participants come from academia, industry and government.  Graduate
student participants familiar with the field are selected in accordance
with their demonstrated performance, usually by the senior researcher.Undergraduate participants, selected through a national search, will be
rising seniors who are new to the field and have shown outstanding
academic promise.

If you are interested in participating in the 2009 Summer Workshop we
ask that you submit a one-page research proposal for consideration,
detailing the problem to be addressed.  If your proposal passes the
initial screening, we will invite you to join us for the organizational
meeting in Baltimore (as our guest) for further discussions aimed at
consensus.  If a topic in your area of interest is chosen as one of the
two or three to be pursued next summer, we expect you to be available
for participation in the six-week workshop. We are not asking for an
ironclad commitment at this juncture, just a good faith understanding
that if a project in your area of interest is chosen, you will actively
pursue it.

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to clsp@xxxxxxx by 4PM EST on
Wed, October 15, 2008.

Attachment: WS09 CFP.pdf
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