Texas outline

June 2012

Post-NAACL

8 June 2012

Just setting off for home after my annual week of conferencing. This year it was NAACL rather than trusty old CogSci — and with a correspondingly tougher crowd as a result. I gave a talk on the second day to a (large) full room of computational linguists, computer scientists, and other and sundry NLP folk, which quite frankly went better than it had any right to do. Good questions, good feedback, and while I’m pretty sure that I lost half my audience the first time I uttered the phrase “cognitive plausibility” I felt like I kept the rest around long enough to at least leave ‘em with a solid introduction to the HRG algorithm.

And to my surprise I then spent the next day and a half fielding questions and generally getting interesting feedback. The best of these by far was from the chair of the session, who cornered me afterward to grinningly confess that, my talk had been “a very Mirella-ish piece of work.” I’m pretty sure that’s a good, if slightly mixed, thing. On the one hand it’s quite flattering to have my work identified as being on her level; on the other, it’s slightly galling to have my lack of a distinct personal style so neatly pointed out (“I was just waiting for the Mechanical Turk study at the end!”).

Ah, well.

It was a pretty great conference all around, actually — I might be getting the hang of this business by now. I’ve collected a circle of conference-going friends, if naught else; a shout out to Alessandra, Marten, Yonatan et al. And three cheers for holding academic conferences in countries where beer is served in sensible quantities. Shame about Québécois breweries, though.