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Welcome to the Spring 2016 edition of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee's Newsletter, the last edition that I edited in this function as a member of the SLTC.
Having been a speech researcher for over fifteen years now, it is slightly ironic that the one thing that I did fifteen years ago, and that I am still doing now, is hand-editing HTML. We've progressed from simply starting jobs on a server machine to actually using a queuing system with job dependencies (Hurray! and I don't even have to know where the machines are) and there is now almost WYSIWYG LaTeX for papers - but plain HTML it is for the newsletter. Anyway, I was able to simply copy&paste Hiragana characters for Kai Yu's article on Shanghainese, so things could be much worse. The staff at IEEE have also been extremely helpful in making the workflow easier over the years ... anyway.
First, I want to say that it has been a pleasure and an honor to get to know all the news first, and discuss with the best and brightest about what to include in the next newsletters. I want to thank Dilek Hakkani-Tür and Douglas O'Shaughnessy for bringing me in and entrusting me with the newsletter two years ago, and for all the hand-holding and help in getting started. It was great to work with Nick Campbell, Patrick Nguyen and Haizhou Li in my first year, and I hope I will be able to pay forward my debt to the new team, Zak Shafran and Andrew Rosenberg, who I have already enjoyed working with during the last year of my tenure. I am sure they will do a great job in developing the newsletter further and enhancing its role and content in myriad ways. The job listing and Call for Papers sections are extremely valuable, but watch this space for their ideas.
Next, I want to thank the team of staff writers for their invaluable and incessant contributions - both writing own articles as well as soliciting external contributions and proof-reading. Without you, the newsletter would have been quite thin. Ideas like the regular conference reviews, industry notes or the articles about things of interest to speech scientists at upcoming conference locations are based entirely on the initiatives of Tara N. Sainath, Nancy Chen, and Navid Shokouhi. If any reader is interested in contributing to the newsletter, please get in touch with the new editors and become a staff writer as well - your contributions will be valued greatly, and ensure that the newsletter has eyes and ears in every geographical region, industry or area, and is broadly relevant to students, academics, as well as practitioners.
Last, but not least, my heartfelt thanks to Bhuvana Ramabhadran, the current SLTC chair, as well as to Michiel Bacchiani, the chair-elect. It has been great working with you and I hope my service has been useful. You our readers will be hearing from them soon, and I wish them all the best. It is now time to have a drink at the end of an enjoyable collaboration, I am very much looking forward to the things to come.
Florian Metze was Editor-in-Chief of the SLTC Newsletter from 2014 to 2016. He is an Associate Research Professor at Carnegie Mellon's Language Technologies Institute.
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