Utrecht, May 21, 1997
Present: Steven Krauwer
(coordinator ELSNET), Yvonne van Holsteijn
(assistant coordinator ELSNET), Gerrit
Bloothooft (coordinator TNP on Speech Communication Sciences, also
convenor of the Training
& Mobility Task Group, ELSNET), Koenraad
de Smedt (coordinator ACO*HUM, also member of the Training
& Mobility Task Group, ELSNET).
The meeting was intended as a preliminary exploration of possibilities
for future cooperation between the three networks. The networks have the
following related goals:
- The TNP on Speech Communication Sciences aims to promote higher education
related to the study of spoken language and presently operates through
three working groups: phonetics, spoken language engineering, and speech
and language therapy.
- The TNP on Advanced Computing in the Humanities (ACO*HUM) attempts
to cover relevant parts of humanities scholarship and currently has four
pilot areas, one of which is Computational Linguistics and
- ELSNET is the European Network in Language and Speech, established
by the European Commission's ESPRIT Division for Basic Research, and has
been running since April 1991. ELSNET seeks to encourage the development
of language technology in Europe, and has among its working groups a Training
& Mobility Task Group, whose purpose is to identify, stimulate
and disseminate information about postgraduate training in both speech
processing and general natural language technology. ELSNET is an official
partner in ACO*HUM.
The desirability of cooperation between the three networks involved
is apparent from their common interest in Computational Linguistics and
Language Technology education. The three networks have complementary perspectives
on this field where activities can be oriented towards a wide audience
of students and professionals with broad common interests. The following
areas could lend themselves for joint activities:
It is agreed that the three networks will disseminate relevant information
on behalf of each other in newsletters and web pages.
- For the ELSNET newsletter, articles will be prepared about the
TNPs. Conversely, the TNPs will provide information about ELSNET to their
- At the ACL/EACL'97
conference in July in Madrid, ACO*HUM has arranged for an exhibition
booth, which can be used by the three networks for distribution of information.
Similarly, the TNP on Speech Communication Sciences will explore possibilities
for joint information dissemination at Eurospeech'97 in September on Rhodos.
Promotion of educational research activities
The following educational research activities will be considered as
possible joint undertakings:
- In order to gather requirements for European curricula on Speech Processing
and Natural Language Processing, an investigation could be carried out
among the industrial partners in ELSNET as to what they consider necessary
aspects of professional competence.
- ODL pilots could be launched where material from the research community
is reused for education, by embedding it in flexible web-based courses.
Suitable subjects for such courses would include corpus linguistics and
The TNPs have extremely tight budgets, which sets severe limits on investment
in the latter kind of activities. ELSNET views the proposed curriculum
and ODL activities as low-budget activities.