Speech and Language Technical Committee Newsletter

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Speech and Language Processing

Welcome to the Summer 2021 Edition of the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee (SLTC) Newsletter.  

So far 2021 has been a recovery year, although slow, routines are turning back to normal. We have collected several updates for the summer edition covering SLTC election nominations, ongoing SPS award nominations, SPS challenge program, and upcoming conferences & workshops.


==SLTC Member Nominations==

The Member Election Subcommittee of the SLTC is seeking nominations for new SLTC Members for a 3-year term (2022-2024). Nominations should be submitted by filling out the web form at https://forms.gle/uNBphtMYMoBv7bsSA. The form will accept nominations after August 15. When you click the link before that day, it may say "The form is no longer accepting responses", so just wait until August 15. The form asks for a short bio, a list of professional volunteer work and leadership activities, and a position statement as well as nominee information. The nomination deadline is September 15th, 2021.

New member candidates can be self-nominated or nominated by current SLTC members. Members will serve a term of three years. Past SLTC members are eligible to be nominated for a second term. Current SLTC members may also be nominated for a second consecutive term, but would then not be eligible to vote in this new member election for their nomination areas. Additional terms are allowed after leaving the SLTC, but at least a 3-year gap in service is required.

Additionally, nominees are sought for the position of Vice Chair of the SLTC.  The Vice Chair serves a one-year term in 2022, followed by a two-year term as Chair in 2023-2024, and a one-year term as Past Chair in 2025.  Vice Chair nominees must have previously been elected to the SLTC as a Member.

Each nominee must also submit a one-page position statement and/or vitae. 

New members must be willing to review papers that are submitted to the Society's conferences within the area of the SLTC, review papers for workshops owned or co-owned by the SLTC, serve in the subcommittees established by the SLTC, and perform other duties as assigned. SLTC members will be elected by the members of the SLTC itself based on the needs of the SLTC. The election results will be finalized by October 5, 2021.

The rights and duties of an SLTC member are described here.

The following are nominee requirements:

1. The candidate must be a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society.

2. The candidate should be willing to serve if elected. This means active participation including prompt paper reviews for 4 ICASSPs (2022-2025), active participation in accomplishing SLTC sub-committee duties, and best efforts to attend meetings and responding appropriately to action items. While the formal term is 2022-2024, because of the timing of the ICASSP review cycle, ICASSP review duties will begin almost immediately upon election prior to the term (October-December 2021) and conclude after the formal term (January-February 2025).


==SPS Awards==

The following awards have September 1 deadlines and formal nominations may be submitted through the SPS Awards web page.

  • Carl Friedrich Gauss Education Award
  • Industrial Innovation Award
  • Industrial Leader Award (Bose)
  • Leo L. Beranek Meritorious Service Award
  • Norbert Wiener Society Award
  • Claude Shannon-Harry Nyquist Technical Achievement Award
  • Meritorious Regional/chapter Service Award 
  • Donald G. Fink Overview Paper Award
  • Signal Processing Letters Best Paper Award
  • Signal Processing Magazine Best Column Award
  • Signal Processing Magazine Best Paper Award
  • Sustained Impact Paper Award
  • Young Author Best Paper Award
  • Best Paper Award
  • Best PhD Dissertation
  • Laplace Early Career Technical Achievement Award
  • Regional Teacher Award


==SPS Challenge Program==

As a service to the SPS community, the SPS Challenge Program offers support to challenge organizers by providing an organizational framework for a five-stage process from the proposal to the dissemination of results, granting official SPS sponsorship to approved SPS challenges, including use of SPS communication channels, and promoting dissemination of the results by publishing challenge overview papers in the journals of SPS. Please visit SPS Challenge website for more info, and reach out to SLTC or IEEE Challenges and Data Collection Subcommittee for any questions.

Note that ICASSP call for challenge proposal is out (https://2022.ieeeicassp.org/call-for-signal-processing-grand-challenge-proposals/). Deadline is Oct 18, 2021. 


==Conferences and Workshops==

We have updates for the last two events, ASRU and Interspeech, for the year 2021. Interspeech will be held in hybrid form and ASRU is also planning to be hybrid. Let’s hope all will be back to normal for ICASSP’2022. Please, see the following briefs for the upcoming events.


**IEEE ASRU 2021**

IEEE Workshop on Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding (ASRU) 2021 will be held in Cartagena, Columbia from December 13 to 17, 2021. It is expected that the workshop will be in person; however, we are aware that it is very hard to predict how the global situation will be in the next months, so we also have a plan for a virtual version of the workshop or a mixture between in person and virtual sessions. Please consider that Cartagena is located on the Carribean with a year-round summer climate and regularly recommended as a world-wide tourism destination with direct flights to many locations including Amsterdam, Panama, Miami, Atlanta, New York, Toronto and Montreal among others. It was also named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984. 

ASRU 2021 received more than 350 manuscripts and they are under review now. Just in the first two weeks of promoting ASRU 2021 Sponsorship packages, we got the following sponsors: Gold: Amazon Alexa; Silver: MModel/3M; Bronze: Toshiba. Also, we finalized our Keynote speakers and their corresponding topics:

James W. Pennebaker – University of Texas at Austin – Natural language and social behavior

Bhuvana Ramabhadran –  Google Inc. – ASR

Julian Epps – University of New South Wales – Affective Computing

Sakriani Sakti – Nara Institutes of Science and Technology – Low-resource languages and speech synthesis and ASR

Luciana Ferrer – University of Buenos Aires – Speaker recognition

John Lipski – PennState University – Palenquero language


Further information will be published on the website: www.asru2021.org. We are looking forward to seeing you in Cartagena!



Interspeech 2021 Conference will be held in Brno, Czechia from August 30 to September 3, 2021, in Hybrid Form - both physically in Brno and virtually. Further information can be found online.


**ICASSP 2022**

The International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, & Signal Processing (ICASSP), is the IEEE Signal Processing Society’s flagship conference on signal processing and its applications. The 47th edition of ICASSP will be held in Singapore. The programme will include keynotes by pre-eminent international speakers, cutting-edge tutorial topics, and forward-looking special sessions. ICASSP also provides a great networking opportunity with a wide range of like-minded professionals from academia. Further information can be found online.


This newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials which don't fit well with traditional journals. We welcome your contributions, as well as calls for papers, job announcements, comments and suggestions. You can submit job postings here, and contact the TC via this form, or send an email to speechnewseds@listserv.ieee.org to propose articles. To subscribe to the Newsletter, send an email with the command "subscribe speechnewsdist" in the message body to listserv@listserv.ieee.org.


If you want to stay connected to the IEEE SLTC between newsletters, we are on Twitter @IEEE_SLTC.


From all of us: Stay safe and do good.


Heidi Christensen, Editor (new)

Engin Erzin, Communications Vice-Chair (in-coming)

Andrew Rosenberg, Communications Vice-Chair (out-going)


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