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This welcome message marks the start of the new year and comes at the tail end of a several months long busy period of the SLTC. First of all, there is the yearly election cycle, carefully administered by our election sub-committee. Please join me in thanking 12 member who retired their position at the end of 2016: Tomoki Toda, Gernot Kubin, Maurizio Omologo, Nicholas Evans, Larry Heck, Peder Olsen, Frank Seide, Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Deep Sen, Svetlana Stoyanchev, Jasha Droppo and George Saon. And please join me in welcoming the class of 2019. Five positions will be filled by members who got re-elected for a second term and we have 12 new members. For details on the voting algorithm and the names of the new and re-newed members, please refer to the IEEE SLTC New Member Elections 2016: Results and a look behind the scenes piece by Andreas Stolcke included in this newsletter.
Second there is our vital task of constructing the speech and language part of the ICASSP technical program. That truly is a committee-wide effort with all members of the SLTC playing a vital role in managing reviews and providing meta-reviews. Special thanks goes out to the area chairs (Karen Livescu, Thomas Hain, Björn Schuller, Florian Metze and Bhuvana Ramabhadran). Their considerable investment of time to ensure a fair assessment of the submitted papers and a lucid program for ICASSP attendees benefits all of us in the community. Although no record, the 451 submission received this year in our TC is large and selecting and organizing the 209 papers that will be presented at the conference with care is no small operation.
Third, as of the new year, Bhuvana Ramabhadran has taken on the role of past chair and I have become your new chair. Over the last year, acting as vice chair, I have been kept in the loop on all the chair matters that Bhuvana addressed. Given that experience, let me use this message to express my dismay. Not only has she made it clear to me how much there is to do for the chair to ensure a successful operation of the SLTC and accurate communication with the IEEE on our activities. She also has shown me how well she can manage those tasks. So the prospect of providing some continuity on par with her performance is daunting. But her inclusiveness and effort to provide me with detail in numerous phone calls and other communications has prepared me as well as possible. That, and her kind offer to be a resource for the year to come as past chair provide some level of confidence.
Besides our committee activities and ICASSP efforts, please note the workshops we have responsibilities for. Our 2017 IEEE Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding (ASRU-2017) workshop this year will be held in Okinawa, Japan Dec. 16-20 (http://asru2017.org/). And we will vote and decide on the 2018 Spoken Language Technology (SLT-2018) in the coming months. If you are aware of proposals that you feel would make a good candidate, please communicate those to me and/or our workshop sub-committee. If you know of candidate organizers you feel would make for a strong committee, please encourage them to build a proposal. For more details, please find the call in this newsletter.
I am sincerely looking forward to working with all of you and hope our joint efforts will make for further flourishing of our technology and our community.
Chair of the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee.
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