Ling 472/CSE 472: Introduction to Computational Linguistics
Spring 2015

Course Info

Instructor Info

  Emily M. Bender Olga Zamaraeva
Office Hours: (Most) Fridays 12:30-2:30
or by appointment
Wednesdays 12-1, Fridays 11-12
or by appointment
Office Location: Guggenheim 418B Guggenheim 407
Email: ebender at uw olzama at uw



Goals: By the end of this course, you will:

Computational linguistics is a broad field incorporating research and techniques for processing language with computers at all levels of linguistic structure. Students are expected to have a background in either computer science or linguistics, but not necessarily both. Expect this class to be difficult at times and easy at others. We hope to offer something new and interesting for everyone.

Note: To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so we can discuss the accommodations you might need in this class.


Students are expected to complete the assigned readings before each lecture. Lecture and lab will connect with the readings, but not everything in the readings will be covered in lecture. Homework assignments and exams may nonetheless cover material in the readings not gone over in class.

Most if not all homework assignments and the final project will include a significant writing component, weight at or near 1/2 of the assignment grade. Be sure to save time to do a careful job on your write up.

Collaboration policy: Students are encouraged to work with each other on the homework, both in small groups and by posting & answering questions on Canvas. However, each student must turn in their own answers (both code and write up). No copying or sharing code or prose is allowed. Also, students who have collaborated must acknowledge the collaboration in their write ups (e.g. "I discussed this problem with Kim Smith/with classmates on Canvas as we were working on it.").

Late homework policy: Unless prior arrangements are made, homework turned in late but within 24 hours of the deadline will be graded at 80% credit, homework turned between 24 and 48 hours will be graded at 70% credit, and homework turned in later than that will not be graded. No late final projects will be accepted.

Grades will be based on:

Schedule of Topics and Assignments (May be updated)

3/30 Introduction & overview Ch 1 WebQ
4/1 Reg exps; FSA Ch 2  
4/3 Lab    
4/6 BK pp. 1-37 4/6 10am: Assignment 1, part 1
4/8 Morphology & FST
XFST demo notes
BK pp. 43-63  
4/10 Lab   Assignment 1
4/13 Guest Lecture: Emily Silgard (Fred Hutch)    
4/15 Guest Lecture: Joshua Crowgey, Olga Zamaraeva (UW)    
4/17 Lab: Final project planning   Assignment 2
4/20 Evaluation Resnik & Lin, 2010  
4/22 Computational Phonology Ch 11  
4/24 Lab   Plan for final project
4/27 Text-to-Speech Ch 8  
4/29 N-grams Ch 4 (through 4.4)  
5/1 Lab    
5/4 N-grams Ch 4.5-4.9, 4.12  
5/6 Midterm    
5/8 Lab   Assignment 3
5/11 CFG; Parsing Ch 12, 13  
5/13 Feature Structures Ch 15 through 15.3  
5/15 Lab   Assignment 4
5/18 Unification, Parsing w/Unification Ch 15.4-15.7  
5/20 Probabilistic Parsing Ch 14  
5/22 Lab   Assignment 5
5/25 Memorial Day -- no lecture    
5/27 Semantics (Additional slides)    
5/29 Lab   Final project outline + stage 1 results
6/1 Representing Meaning Ch 17, 18  
6/3 Presentations    
6/5 Lab: More presentations    
6/8     Final projects due 2:30 pm