How to Support the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)
c/o Mary Jo Bensasi
Language Technologies Institute/GHC 5404
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
- Copying handouts and flyers for training sessions at high schools.
- Transportion from local universities to tranining sessions at high schools.
- In some cities: rental of conference facilities for the contest in cases where adequate or convenient facilities are not available at a university.
- Snacks during the contest for students, teachers, and accompanying parents.
- Scanning and mailing answers for grading.
- Travel to the international contest. The cost is around $30,000 per year for two teams of four and a few chaperones.
- Summer traning program for the international team. For the last two years we have had low cost training via Skype for several weeks followed by a two day training in person at a cost of about $2000.
- Annual NACLO planning meeting. $15,000.
- We would like to build up a budget that would allow us to have a 2 week training camp for 20 students, which is standard practice for other academic Olympiads. This would include air fare for 20 students, room and board, faculty for the training session, and high school teachers as supervisers.
- Permanent, full-time staff person. Salary and benefits.
- Emergency money for the international trip: missed flights, lost or stolen items, illness, inadequate food or accommodations.
- Two to four weeks' salary for the high school teacher who accompanies the team to the International Contest.
What is the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO)?
The Second Annual NACLO was held on February 5, 2008 (open round) and March 11, 2008 (invitational round). 763 high school students from 26 states and Canada participated. The exams were graded and winners were chosen. The United States now has the option to send one or two teams to the International Linguistics Olympiad (ILO) in Slanchev Bryag, Bulgaria from August 4 to August 9, 2007. In addition, we will conduct our team training in Sofia, Bulgaria on August 1 and 2, 2008, given that our team members are from seven different US cities and will be traveling on different routes to Bulgaria. Donations will help pay part of the expenses for four high school students to travel to the ILO.
The Impact of NACLO
The broader impacts of NACLO are (1) to increase diversity in the fields of linguistics, computational linguistics, language technologies, and computer science (2) to meet workforce needs by increasing the number of students getting degrees in those subjects, and (3) to improve high school and undergraduate education. The broader impact of this supplement is to train eight students and one high school teacher in linguistics, with the expectation that they will spread the knowledge through clubs and other activities.
The Intellectual Merit of NACLO
Currently, linguistics, computational linguistics, and language technologies are taught primarily at the graduate level and to some extent at the undergraduate level. There has been no systematic study of foundational skills that can be introduced before college and can prepare students for college and graduate level courses. The intellectual merit of NACLO is to identify those foundational skills and work them into a curriculum of training exercises and contest problems.