Welcome Message by the ISCA President
On behalf of the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), welcome to INTERSPEECH 2011 in Florence. This conference is the 12th in the long cycle that bears the INTERSPEECH label and that already includes conferences in such wonderful venues as Beijing, Aalborg, Denver, Geneva, Jeju, Lisbon, Pittsburgh, Antwerp, Brisbane, Brighton, and Makuhari. Like many of you, I attended the EUROSPEECH conference in Genoa, in 1983, and I am looking forward to another successful conference in this wonderful country.
In this conference, the community honours Prof. Julia Hirschberg as the ISCA Medalist for 2011. It is a particular privilege for me to present this medal to such a great friend and mentor.
We shall also recognize several other ISCA members who, for their technical merit and service to the Association, were recently elected as ISCA Fellows: Abeer Alwan, Li Deng, Adrian Fourcin, Hynek Hermansky, Bruce Millar, and Richard Stern.
INTERSPEECH 2011 has already broken a record: 1439 papers submitted, making it the largest spoken language conference ever in the long history of our interdisciplinary events. Approximately 57% of the regular papers were selected for presentation after the peer review process, with 3 or 4 reviews for each paper. This success is due to the excellent work of a very hard working team of Italian colleagues led by Professors Piero Cosi and Renato di Mori, Chair and Co-Chair of this conference, and on the Technical program side by Doctors Roberto Pieraccini and Giuseppe di Fabbrizio. I cannot thank you all enough! I only hope that the number of participants also breaks another record, so that we can gather in this wonderful city the largest spoken language community ever, to enjoy the excellent technical and social program that you prepared for us.
The quality of our conferences was recently recognized by the inclusion of past proceedings in major citation indexes: ISI, Engineering Index, Scopus, and DBLP, besides having the full text of the papers indexed in both Google search results and Google scholar search results. Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped with this indexing task! The growing success of our conferences gives us so many good reasons to look forward to the next events in Portland (2012), Lyon (2013) and Singapore (2014).
In what is my last message as ISCA President, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole community for the invaluable support you have given to the Association during my term, in many different capacities: as participants in ISCA's events, as reviewers, as Area Coordinators, as SIG coordinators, as SAC members, as Distinguished Lecturers, as Fellows, as newsletter and archive coordinators, as event organizers, and as Board members. I am very proud of having been President of such an Association, and seeing it grow into such a high and professional level. Thanks to the generosity of several INTERSPEECH organizers, we have now reached a stage in which ISCA can finally do much more for its members. I will never get tired of thanking you all again and again. So, please give me a chance of saying thanks once more, by coming to the General Assembly, to hear about our efforts to follow your survey suggestions, and to tell us about your ideas on how we should promote speech science and technology research all over the world.
It has been a great privilege to work with so many Friends.