Workshop on Language Technologies and  

Computational Social Science

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

June 26, 2014

Hosted in conjunction with ACL 2014

Sponsors:  Google & NSF 


Workshop schedule  (location: Salon II)

Invited speakers:

Amber Boydstun (Political Science, University of California, Davis)    [talk slides]

Ed Chi (Google)    [talk slides]

Justin Grimmer (Political Science, Stanford University)

Lillian Lee (Computer Science, Cornell University)    [talk slides; includes post-talk discussion refs.]

Philip Resnik (Linguistics, University of Maryland)    [talk slides]

Sali Tagliamonte (Linguistics, University of Toronto)    [talk slides]

Invited talk abstracts

Accepted papers

Workshop proceedings

Workshop description:

A major growth area in applied natural language processing has been the field of computational social science, in which automated techniques are applied to massive datasets to answer scientific questions about society.  Although much work in computational social science focuses on structured data or network data, linguistic data is also central.  While some existing natural language processing techniques have found use in this growing community, new techniques for discovering and analyzing social meanings and structures in text are in high demand.  

Tackling these challenges should be an interdisciplinary pursuit, building on expertise not just in language technologies but also in substantive social science fields (e.g., political science, economics, sociology, etc.). In particular, engagement between NLP researchers and social scientists will introduce new problem formulations and new theoretical frameworks that will broaden and deepen applications of language technology to social science.

The goal of this workshop is to increase the visibility of this application area for ACL researchers and to help build connections between language technologists and social scientists.  The workshop is organized around invited talks from researchers who have successfully brought language technologies to computational social science research questions.  Following each invited talk session, there will be an open discussion period.

We also invite abstracts of research in progress relevant to the theme of language technologies for computational social science.  Work in progress is encouraged, and all presentations will be presented as posters.  This format aims at fostering interactions among participants and invited speakers, contributing towards building a community interested in language technologies and computational social science.

Unshared task:

In coordination with the NSF-funded PoliInformatics research coordination network, the workshop will host a session at which the results of the PoliInformatics NLP “unshared task” will be announced.  The unshared task is being independently organized by Noah Smith, Claire Cardie, and the PoliInformatics principal investigators (John Wilkerson and Anne Washington).  It is an open challenge for NLP researchers to help make sense of U.S. legislative data relating to the financial crisis; entries in the task will be evaluated by a panel of social scientists, with the hope of matching techniques with specific data analysis problems.  The session at this workshop is a culminating event for the challenge that seeks to bring together participants for discussion and increase exposure of the work.

Find more about the unshared task here.

Call for papers


Key Dates:

  1. 18 November 2013: First Call for Workshop Papers

  2. 21 March 2014  24 March 2014, 11:59PM EST Workshop Paper Due Date

  3. 11 April 2014: Notification of Acceptance

  4. 14 May 2014: Travel grant application due

  5. 28 April 2014: Camera-ready papers due

  6. 26 June 2014: Workshop Date

Workshop Organizers:

  1. Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil (Max Planck Institute SWS)

  2. Jacob Eisenstein (Georgia Institute of Technology)

  3. Kathleen McKeown (Columbia University)

  4. Noah Smith (Carnegie Mellon University)

Program Committee:

  1. Jordan Boyd-Graber

  2. Claire Cardie

  3. Munmun de Choudhury

  4. Cindy Chung

  5. Mark Dredze

  6. Dan Jurafsky

  7. Maria Liakata

  8. Brendan O’Connor

  9. Bo Pang

  10. Daniel Preoţiuc-Pietro

  11. Owen Rambow

  12. Jaime Teevan

  13. Hanna Wallach