CS Professors Named Founding Fellows of Association for Computational Linguistics

From left computer science professors Julia Hirschberg, Michael Collins, and Kathleen McKeown

Three Columbia Engineering professors are among the 17 founding fellows of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

All three are professors in the Computer Science Department: Kathleen McKeown, Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science and Vice Dean of Research; Julia Hirschberg; and Michael Collins, Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Computer Science. The ACL Fellows Program was created last fall to recognize members whose contributions to the field have been most extraordinary.

“It's truly gratifying to be honored by your peers in this way,” Hirschberg says.
 
Each fellow was nominated for their specific contributions, as noted by the ACL: McKeown, for her significant contributions to natural language generation and multi-document summarization; Hirschberg, for her significant contributions to intonation, discourse, text-to-speech systems, and labeling standards for speech corpora; and Collins, for his significant contributions to natural language parsing and discriminative training.
 
McKeown notes that Columbia had the largest number of founding fellows of any university.
 
“This is an indication of the comparative strength of the natural language processing team at Columbia, which includes four strong researchers at the Center for Computational Learning Systems as well,” she says.
 
The Association for Computational Linguistics is the international scientific and professional society for people working on problems involving natural language and computation. Its journal, Computational Linguistics, is considered the primary forum for research on computational linguistics and natural language processing.
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