Magazine article AI Magazine

AAAI Executive Council Minutes

Magazine article AI Magazine

AAAI Executive Council Minutes

Article excerpt

March 21, 2004 Palo Alto, California

Attending: Rom Brachman, Tim Finin, Yolanda Gil, Jim Hendler, Hyam Hirsh, Craig Knoblock, Alan Mackworth, Maja Mataric, Deborah McGuinness, Andrew Moore, Peter Norvig, Ted Senator, Yoav Shoham, Carol Hamilton, Mike Hamilton

The meeting commenced at 1:00 PM with a welcome by AAAI President Ron Brachman and introductions by those in attendance.

Standing Committee Reports Conference: AAAI-04 program co-chair Deborah McGuinness gave a brief review of preparations for the conference in San Jose. There were 453 submitted papers, and 121 acceptances. 222 program committee members and 23 senior program committee members conducted a blind review of the papers. Program committee members bid on papers through the online submission system, and, for the first time, reviews, recommendations, and notifications were all made through the online system. The presentation format will return to traditional parallel sessions in 2004, and an opening reception will be given at the conference hotel.

Other programs to be held at the conference include IAAI-04, the Intelligent Systems Demonstrations, the AAAI Robot Competition and Exhibition, the SIGART/AAAI Doctoral Consortium, the Student Abstract and Poster program, the Tutorial Forum, and the Workshop program. Submissions to the IAAI-04 conference have increased 17 percent since 2002, while the IS Demos and Doctoral Consortium programs had double the number of submissions. In addition to these programs, the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics will collocate the National Conference on Educational Robotics and the National Bob ball Tournament in San Jose. These events are expected to draw about 350 high school students as well as their teachers and families.

McGuinness made several recommendations for future chairs, including the following: (1) introduce a best student paper award, (2) review previous year's keyword allocation before final recruitment of program committee members, (3) require the senior program committee members to carefully review the reviews, (4) dispense with the blind review (this recommendation was favored by over half of the senior program committee members), (5) possibly increase the page limit for submitted papers, (6) retain the ConfMaster system, with suggested improvements by the 2004 program cochairs, and finally (7) do not return to the 2002 model of a single oral presentation track.

Conference Committee chair Jim Hendler announced the chairs for AAAI-05--Manuela Veloso and Subbarao Kambhampati. Hendler recommended that the senior program committee should include more women. He also recommended that all senior program committee members should have previously served a minimum of three years on the program committee.

Finance: AAAI Secretary-Treasurer Ted Senator reviewed the current plan to reduce AAAI's deficit. The goal had been to reduce it by $300,000 each year for three years. A formal plan will be made to work toward this goal after more review by the Executive Committee. The first increment has been achieved. Once the deficit has been reduced, the hope is to maintain the operating reserve at a stable level.

Awards/Fellows/Nominating: Carol Hamilton reported that 24 nominations were under consideration for Fellow this year, and decisions will be made in early April. The Awards Committee and Nominating Committee will also be reviewing candidates for the AAAI Special Awards and the Executive Council in April and May.

Membership: Carol Hamilton reported that the AAAI Membership saw another decline during the past 12 months. Although IJCAI-03 non-members were offered a complimentary six-month subscription, only 16 have opted to activate a paid membership. The addition of a platinum registration level for the spring symposium has been more successful. Hamilton will provide final numbers at the summer Council meeting. The Council encouraged the Membership Committee to develop some additional programs to attract new members. …

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