LT3 Newsletter 2021

The year 2021 marked LT3 research team’s 15th anniversary. We celebrate this occasion by launching a newsletter. 

Founded in 2006, the LT3 research team has grown a lot and managed to leave a mark on the NLP landscape both in Belgium and internationally. What started out as a small research team with 1 professor, 2 PhD students and a handful of collaborators has evolved into a full-fledged team with no less than 29 members anno 2021 (including 6 professors, 7 senior researchers, 14 junior researchers and 2 developers). Currently, LT3’s research can be situated within the research areas mentioned at https://lt3.ugent.be/

Overview 2021

LT3 Research Areas & Projects

PhD defenses

Three of our junior researchers successfully defended their PhD in 2021. Congrats!

Awards & Achievements by LT3 Team

This year, Sofie Labat was selected for a PhD Fellowship (Strategic Basic Research (SB) mandate) from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). Between 2021-2025, she will be working on her research project (METRICS) which will focus on modelling emotion trajectories in customer service dialogues under the supervision of Prof. dr. Veronique Hoste and Prof. dr. Thomas Demeester. 
This publication by Prof. dr. A. Seza Doğruöz (LT3) was nominated for the ACL-IJNLP’2021 best paper award.
Luca Desmet (master student) received the BAAHE award for her dissertation on “An Exploratory Study of Professional Post-Edits by English-Dutch DGT Translators” and she was nominated for the  BKVT award. Luca was supervised by Prof. dr. Sonia Vandepitte and Prof.dr. Lieve Macken (LT3).

Conference participation and publications

The past year LT3 members have presented their work at various top NLP conferences RANLP 2021 , NAACL-HLT 2021, ACL-IJCNLP 2021, SIGDIAL 2021, Petra-e Conference 2021 and workshops WASSA 2021 (@EACL2021), AmericasNLP (@NAACL-HTL 2021), SemEval 2021 (@ACL-IJCNLP 2021), LaTeCH (@EMNLP2021). Besides this, LT3 was actively involved in the organisation of various workshops (WASSA2021, EcoNLP, NLP for Economics) and an international conference on computational linguistics (CLIN31). 

In addition, we invest in creating high-quality resources for language technologies. We will continue our efforts towards this direction in 2022. Feel free to let us know if you have any comments and questions about our publications and resources!

Education

In 2021, CALM postgraduate students completed  their industrial internships (across high tech companies in Belgium) and we also hosted three external students (KU Leuven and Antwerp University) during their internships at LT3. At the beginning of the 2021-2022 fall semester, we launched the European Masters in Technology for Translation and Interpreting (EM-TTI) as an Erasmus Mundus Master program (international collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton, UK; University of Malaga, Spain and the New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria).

Outreach

We did not only produce research output for the academic audience but also invested time in educating younger audiences around AI and NLP. Dr. Cynthia Van Hee and Prof. dr. Veronique Hoste participated in the KIKS AI on school project and gave a two-day workshop on chatbots, sentiment analysis, Python notebooks, and ethics in AI for the students at the Sint-Bavo school in Ghent. And our roadshow will continue in 2022! Please check “chatbot: leerkrachtenhandleiding” (in Dutch) if you are interested in some easily accessible school material for teaching about AI to your students.

Other highlights

In 2021, COVID-19 was still forcing us to work a lot more from home than we wanted to. Luckily, we managed to organize a live summer team building activity and sailed through Ghent on the water:

For our three graduating PhD students, we also prepared  personalized gifts:

Finally, congratulations to both Claudia and Cynthia who have enriched our team with two wonderful babies. We look forward to share many more exciting updates and achievements in 2022!

Feel free to reach out to Prof. dr. Veronique Hoste for further information, questions and comments.

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