Call for Bird of Feather session hosts

The NAACL 2021 organizers invite submissions for “Birds of a Feather” (BoF) sessions during the main conference (June 7 through June 9, 2021). BoF sessions will take place in parallel to main conference sessions. They are meant to facilitate networking, discussions, and other informal interactions around topics related to computational linguistics and natural language processing. Each BoF session at NAACL 2021 will be an hour long, although rooms can stay open at the end if the participants wish to stay longer. BoF sessions are hosted on Underline, and BoF hosts will receive training on how to start and manage live sessions on that platform. Topic areas for potential BoF sessions include, but are not limited to (you can refer to area descriptions for more descriptions):

  • Diversity and Inclusion in NLP
  • Mental Health and Well being
  • Computational Social Science and Cultural Analytics
  • Dialogue and Interactive systems
  • Language Generation
  • Discourse and Pragmatics
  • Ethics, Bias, and Fairness
  • Green NLP
  • Information Extraction
  • Information Retrieval and Text Mining
  • Interpretability and Analysis of Models for NLP
  • Language Grounding to Vision, Robotics and Beyond
  • Language Resources and Evaluation
  • Linguistic Theories, Cognitive Modeling and Psycholinguistics
  • Machine Learning for NLP: Classification and Structured Prediction Models
  • Machine Learning for NLP: Language Modeling and Sequence to Sequence Models
  • Machine Translation
  • Multilinguality
  • NLP Applications
  • Phonology, Morphology and Word Segmentation
  • Question Answering
  • Semantics: Lexical Semantics
  • Semantics: Sentence-level Semantics and Textual Inference
  • Sentiment Analysis and Stylistic Analysis
  • Speech
  • Summarization
  • Syntax: Tagging, Chunking, and Parsing
  • Or propose your own!

BoF sessions are a great way to bring together junior and senior members of the community. This is why we welcome submissions from potential BoF hosts of all career stages. Your main responsibility will be to open the live session on Underline, welcome attendees of the session, and get the conversation going.

Here are some of the guidelines for BoF session:

  1. All BoF sessions should begin with addressing code of conduct and violation reporting policies.
  2. Your BoF session could include a short presentation from you to introduce various important questions or themes of your topic. Sessions can be as formal or informal as the host prefers.
  3. The main aim of the session is discussion and networking. Encourage participants to share their contact info and research interests with each other.
  4. We suggest quick introductions only in small groups (like in breakouts), not in larger groups.
  5. Add some important discussion questions before going into breakout rooms.
  6. Hosts should also consider creating a RocketChat channel for their session and collecting questions or interesting topics that participants may want to discuss ahead of time.

Let’s say you are going to host a session on low resource languages in the sessions. Here’s an example to plan out a 60 min session (Note this is only an example. Feel free to plan out however you like):

  1. Your introduction + code of conduct + structure of the session (1-2 mins). Asking folks to add names and pronouns in their zoom tags.
  2. Talking about how you can get started with low resource NLP. (3 mins)
  3. Share some interesting questions and research papers (5 mins)
  4. Have a Q&A session. Collect some important questions from the audience or RocketChat and discuss with the audience. (10 mins)
  5. Divide the room into 4 parts, say cross-lingual transfer, typology, multilingual models and subword segmentation. Have the folks discuss with each other for 15 mins.
  6. Re-divide the room into 4 parts. Throw them some final discussion questions or topics and ask them to network and share their research interests with each other. (15 mins)

We ask that BoF hosts register their sessions by May 20 (UTC-12, “anywhere on Earth”) by filling out this form. All BoF hosts should be registered for NAACL. Any inquiries can be made to:

Depending on the availability of hosts, we may assign more than one host to BoF sessions, provided they signed up for the same topic(s).