Natural Language Processing (CS 4705), Fall 2002

Time: TuTh  1:10-2:25 Place 825 MUD 
Professor:  Julia Hirschberg Office Hours:  TTh  2:30-3:30, CEPSR 705
Email: Phone:  212-939-7114
Teaching Assistant:  Ani Nenkova Office Hours:  M  10-12, CEPSR 721
Email: Phone:  212-939-7117

Announcements || Academic Integrity || Description
Links to Resources || Requirements || Syllabus || Text || Thanks


This course provides an introduction to the field of computational linguistics, aka natural language processing (NLP) - the creation of computer programs that can understand, generate, and learn natural language. We will  focus on the three major subfields of NLP: syntax (the structure of an utterance), semantics (the truth-functional meaning of an utterance), and pragmatics/discourse (the context-dependent meaning of an utterance). The course will introduce both knowledge-based and statistical methods for NLP, and will illustate the use of such methods in a variety of application areas.


Speech and Language Processing by Jurafsky and Martin. It should be available from the Columbia bookstore, as well as from Amazon and other online providers. Please check the online errata for the text for each chapter as you read it.


Three homework assignments, a midterm and a final exam.

Homework 1 submission procedure.

Academic Integrity:

Copying or paraphrasing someone's work (code included), or permitting your own work to be copied or paraphrased, even if only in part, is not allowed, and will result in an automatic grade of 0 for the entire assignment or exam in which the copying or paraphrasing was done. Your grade should reflect your own work. If you believe you are going to have trouble completing an assignment, please talk to the instructor or TA in advance of the due date.


NOTE: For HW2-II you are expected to divide the data yourself into training and test sets. About 20% test.

FINAL EXAM: Tuesday, 17 December 2002, 1:10-4, MUD 825

Emotional speech survey, 'Like' article, Interesting Language Factoids and Non


Week Class Topic Reading Assignments
1 Sep 3 Course Overview and Introduction Ch 1, Sparck-Jones  
  Sep 5 Regular Expressions and Automata Ch 2 Homework 1 assigned
2 Sep 10 Morphology and FSTs Ch 3 (Sec. 1-2)  
  Sep 12 Phonetics and Phonology Ch 4 (Sec.1-2,7-9) Guest Lecturer: Jennifer Venditti
3 Sep 17 Word Classes and POS Tagging Ch 8 Gues Lecturer: Owen Rambow
  Sep 19 Context Free Grammars Ch 9 Guest Lecturer: Owen Rambow
4 Sep 24 Parsing with CFGs Ch 10 (Sec. 1-2)  
  Sep 26 The Earley Algorithm Ch 10 (Sec. 3-6)  
5 Oct 1 Features and Unification Parsing Ch 11 (Sec. 1-7) Homework 1 due (in class).
  Oct 3 Classes cancelled    
6 Oct 8 Lexicalized and Probabilistic Parsing Ch 12 Guest Lecturer: Bob Carpenter
  Oct 10 Corpus-Based Linguistics I Church & Mercer '93  
7 Oct 15 Corpus-Based Linguistics II Ch 6  
  Oct 17     Midterm Examination
8 Oct 22 Corpus-Based Linguistics III Rooth & Hindle '93  
  Oct 24 Representing Meaning Ch 14  
9 Oct 29 Semantic Analysis  Ch 15 Homework 2-I assigned 
  Oct 31 Robust Semantics    
10 Nov 5     Holiday
  Nov 7 Lexical Semantics  Ch 16  
11 Nov 12 Word Sense Disambiguation and Information Retrieval Ch 17  
  Nov 14 Reference Ch 18 Homework 2-I due 
12 Nov 19 Algorithms for Reference Resolution   Homework 2-II assigned
  Nov 21 Discourse Structure Ch 18  
13 Nov 26 Intonation and Discourse   Tutorial on intonation in dialogue: intro, generation, understanding 
  Nov. 28     Thanksgiving Holiday
14 Dec 3 Dialogue Systems Ch 19  
  Dec 5 NL Generation Ch 20 (sections 1-3) Guest Lecturer:
15 Dec 10     Study Days
  Dec. 13     Homework 2-II due (Please check announcement above

and in HW2-II.

Links to Resources (cf. also resources available from the text homepage):


Places to look up definitions and descriptions of terminology:

Chapters 1 and 2:

Try out one of the many versions of Eliza on the web.


AT&T Labs - Research Finite State Machine Library

Later Chapters:

Chapter 19:


To James Martin, Diane Litman, Johanna Moore and Regina Barzilay, whose course materials have been very helpful in the preparation of this course and to Ani Nenkova for her useful comments.

Announcements || Academic Integrity || Description
Links to Resources || Requirements || Syllabus || Text || Thanks