2008 - A Busy Year for the ISCA Student Advisory Committee
By: Ebru Arisoy, Marco Piccolino-Boniforti, Tiago Falk, Antonio Roque, and Sylvie Saget
SLTC Newsletter, January 2009
The ISCA Student Advisory Committee (ISCA-SAC) was established in 2005 by the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA) as part of its efforts to expand its services to all student members in a student-driven effort. ISCA-SAC's goals are to organize and coordinate student-driven projects that will have an impact on the speech and language processing community. This article describes some the major projects carried out in 2008; a description of projects completed before that can be found in a previous article.
Round Table Research Discussion and Lunch Event: Student volunteers organized the Round Table Research Discussion and Lunch Event for students attending the Interspeech 2008 conference in Brisbane, Australia. The event was a success and gave students the opportunity to discuss their research topics, future research trends, and job opportunities with senior researchers from industry and/or academia. Discussion topics ranged from speech coding, enhancement, and recognition to spoken language understanding and assistive speech technologies.
Online Grant Application System (OGAS): OGAS was developed by student volunteers to facilitate the grant application process for both the applicant and the ISCA grants coordinator. Previously, the grant application procedure consisted of an extensive application package that would be submitted to the grant coordinator via electronic mail. Currently, OGAS allows grant requests to be submitted via a simple online electronic form and the upload of a few supplementary documents. OGAS was first tested during Interspeech 2008 and successfully handled over 80 grant applications. Student volunteers are now actively working to continue to improve OGAS for both the users and the ISCA grant coordinator.
Transcription of Saras Institute Interviews: In conjunction with the IEEE-SLTC e-newsletter and the History of Speech and Language Technology Project, student volunteers have worked hard to provide transcriptions of interviews from various researchers who have made seminal contributions to the development of speech and language technology. Transcriptions were made from comments by researchers such as Frederick Jelinek, Steve Young, Sadaoki Furui, and others, describing how they became involved in the area of speech technology: those are available in 1 2 3 4 articles in the e-newsletter. ISCA-SAC plans to continue and extend these efforts in 2009.
Website Development: Several enhancements were also incorporated to the ISCA-SAC website. For example, spam subscriptions have been eliminated by means by means of a system that asks users to perform character recognition before registering to the website. Also, a voting system has been introduced which allows users to rate the resources available on the website. And a targeted survey was conducted in order to assess site usability and usefulness, and changes are in the process of being implemented. Website redesign and enhanced user interaction remain a major goal for the near future.
Planned Projects for 2009:
Several projects have been planned (or are in planning phase) for 2009. For example, the ISCA-SAC logo competition was launched during Interspeech 2008. Also, we are planning an outreach program for Interspeech 2009, to increase awareness of speech and language research/studies for both high-school and undergraduate students.
If you have interesting ideas on how to further improve our website, or if you think of other student-oriented services/projects that could be implemented by ISCA-SAC, please do not hesitate to contact us. Moreover, ISCA-SAC is always looking for motivated volunteers; if you are interested, please email volunteer[at]isca-students[dot]org for more details.