The Nature of ICCL

ICCL organises the International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING).

COLING, where languages, technologies, and cultures converge to converse

COLING conferences are organized by the broadly-based International Committee on Computational Linguistics (ICCL), founded by David Hays, the inventor of dependency grammar, at the height of the Cold War to encourage communication between researchers and students across the Iron Curtain. This stance has now extended world-wide to create the most international of major computational linguistic meetings, as we continue to try to involve less represented parts of the world — such as the Global South — in the research community. The distinctive feature of our meetings has always been their diversity of approaches to computation and linguistics, knowing that no trends in our field are permanent and we must always be ready to recognize novelty. We also have a tradition of visiting cities that offer rewarding cultural experiences and environments.

The International Committee on Computational Linguistics was set up as a permanent body to run international computational linguistics conferences but in an original way: with no permanent secretariat, subscriptions or funds. It was ahead of its time in that and other ways. COLING has always been distinguished by pleasant venues and atmosphere, rather than by the clinical efficiency of an airport conference hotel: COLINGs are simply nice conferences to be at. They have also striven for inclusiveness, both geographical, when the world was more harshly divided than it is now, and theoretical, in that COLING has been less prone to mood swings of theory than societies that are run in different, and more conventional, ways. In recent years, the ACL has given great assistance and cooperation in keeping COLING proceedings available and distbributed, a relationship due to Don Walker's participation in both bodies.