Sample Letters of Invitation

For ACL-2000

Dear ***,

I'm writing to you in my capacity as Program Committee Co-Chair for the 38th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, to be held in Hong Kong from October 1--8, 2000. As you may know, the ACL conference is the premier international conference of note in the field of computational linguistics and natural language processing; I am writing to ask whether you would be willing to present a talk at the conference as an invited speaker. Invited talks will be one hour long, including a 10 minute question-answer session.

We have not yet established on which day your talk would be scheduled; should you accept this invitation, there is some flexibility we can use to accommodate your own scheduling preferences (although it would be on one of the main conference session days, Tuesday October 3 through Friday October 6).

In appreciation of your agreement to provide an invited talk, ACL would provide the cost of an economy class airfare from your home institution to the conference, hotel accommodations during the conference, and free registration to the conference.

I will be away for an extended period of time and will not be able to read my email on a regular basis during this time. So please cc Professor Martha Palmer, an area chair and member of the ACL-2000 program committee, in your response. She has kindly agreed to coordinate the invited speaker sessions during my absence.

I do very much hope that you will be able to accept this invitation.

Yours sincerely


PS. If you accept our invitation to give an invited talk at the conference, you can choose to write a paper up to 8 pages long that will be included in the conference proceedings. Along with the paper hard copy, we request you provide a pdf file for inclusion in the CD-ROM version of the proceedings. If you choose to write a paper, please provide the hardcopy and pdf file by August 1st. Please visit the conference webpage ( and click on "Instructions for Authors" for specific details on the formatting and submission of the camera-ready papers.

Regardless of whether you choose to provide a paper for the proceedings, we request you to provide us a title and an abstract (up to 200 words) by August 1st, 2000.

Author: K. Vijay-Shanker, 2000.

For AMTA-98

Dear ***,

It gives me great pleasure to ask if you would be willing to appear on the panel named A Seal of Approval for MT Systems at the forthcoming AMTA conference near Philadelphia at the end of October this year.

The panel itself will last for 90 minutes on Friday, October 30. The other panelists being invited are:

I include the description of the panel topic below.

There are 9 panelists. If we each speak for 5 minutes (two transparencies) then there will be plenty of time for audience discussion­and this is a topic on which audience discussion is likely to be voluble!

While AMTA cannot afford to pay the travel expenses of each invited panelist, it is pleased to waive your registration fee for the conference.

You can find out all details about AMTA-98 from the conference website at The program looks very interesting, and includes technical papers, system demonstrations, exhibitions, three workshops, and seven tutorials. In addition, there is a guided tour of interesting and historical aspects of Philadelphia and a banquet in the impressive University of Pennsylvania buildings.

I do hope you can make time in your busy schedule to attend the conference and share your ideas on this topic on the panel!

Please let me know whether you can make it as soon as you can. Thanks!

Best wishes,


Author: Eduard Hovy, 1998.

For INLG workshop 98

Dear ***,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to appear on a panel at the upcoming International Natural Language Generation conference INLGW-98. This conference will be held in Niagara-on-the-Lake, near Niagara Falls, in Ontario, Canada, on August 5-7, 1998. We are expecting a packed room, containing some of the most prominent researchers in the field of NLG, and are eager to end the conference with a panel that summarizes what was new at the conference and points to the future.

The panel is called Reference Architecture for Generators. The panelists are Prof. Chris Mellish (Edinburgh University), Prof. Donia Scott (Brighton University), Dr. Robert Dale (Microsoft Research Institute, Macquarie University), Dr. Stephan Busemann (DFKI, Germany), and myself. Profs. Mellish and Scott will discuss their recently funded project on the Reference Architecture for NL generators, representing the work in England. I will describe the recently-funded effort in the US to establish a framework in which various generators, including those built for speech dialogue systems, can be compared, and outline the opportunities this new development affords the NLG community as a whole. %The other two speakers will discuss the work on creating %I hope you will be willing to discuss the work on creating a reference architecture or a set of standards for NLG systems as it is taking shape in Germany and Australia.

The panel will take place immediately before lunch on Friday, August 7. Besides lunch, it is the last event on the programme. Please take this into account in your travel plans.

Unfortunately, due to budget limitations, we are not able to offer any kind of honorarium or reduced registration fee in return for your appearance on the panel. My sincere regrets.

I do hope you will be able to act as a speaker on the panel; your experience and comments will add an important dimension to what is potentially a very important discussion for the field.



Author: Eduard Hovy, 1998.

For Multilingual Information Management workshop, 1999

Dear MLIM panelist,

We are very excited about the forthcoming Multi-lingual Information Management workshop in Granada, just after the LREC conference and just before the EMNLP workshop. The workshop has been popular beyond what we expected, and we are hoping to have a very interesting two days!

We have assembled the speaker program for the MLIM workshop, and are very happy to offer you a chance to appear on a panel. This is an important opportunity to be able to shape the way your field is described in the eventual report, and thus to have an effect on future developments.

Each session is organized as follows: two or more speakers each present a review of the subfield, in brief 20-minute talks. Then the panelists each have 5 minutes (not more, unfortunately!) to provide additional perspectives, fleshing out what has been missed, and generally ensuring coverage and completeness, with specific emphasis on multi-linguality. This is your function.

The theme of your session is ***.

The speakers in your session are: ***

The other panelists on your panel are: ***

Your session is led by ***, the Moderator/Editor. It is ***'s task to:

In particular, we would very much appreciate it if you could structure your thought along the following lines: We hope that this is not difficult for you to prepare! It should be a fun and interesting opportunity to reflect on where you have been and where you are going. We sincerely hope that you are willing to present here, and to assist the Editor in assembling the chapter.

Some general background, to help orient your thoughts:

As the various branches of Computational Linguistics mature, and as natural language processing becomes crucial for the information explosion, we now have the opportunity to draw together the branches into a more closely integrated research field.

Already, some cross-linking has occurred. Methods such as n-grams and the EM algorithm that were common in Speech Processing a decade ago but almost unheard-of in the ACL community are now being used freely there. Evaluation measures long employed in IR are being increasingly applied in the ACL community.

But there is a lot more to learn from each other. Speech processing can probably make good use of grammatical and discourse-level knowledge; multimedia research can benefit from evaluation techniques; IR is starting to look at machine translation.

To spell out what such integration might mean, and to understand the challenges of the future, we ask you to delineate clearly where we are coming from and where we are headed.

Sincerely, with many thanks,

The MLIM organizing committee

Robert Frederking Eduard Hovy Nancy Ide Joseph Mariani Angel Martin Municio Antonio Zampolli

Author: Eduard Hovy, 1998.