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LIN 389C: Research in Computational Linguistics

This is a research course for students who work in computational linguistics. In the course, we discuss current research by course participants, review foundational knowledge that is relevant to participants' research, and talk about big-picture issues and current research in field.

General information about the course

  • LIN 389C Research in Computational Linguistics. Unique number: 40930
  • Fall 2017
  • Meeting: Tuesday 2-5, Compling Lab, CLA 4.422, near the skybridge to SAC
  • Course organizer: Erk. Office hours to be announced
  • Course schedule

Course Purpose

To teach about, encourage, and give students time for research. Also to encourage discussion and collaboration among students interested in the same subfield.

Course Organization

There are six constituencies who will not be treated exactly equally in the course because their needs are different:

  • first-year students: need general context and help on first research projects and first-year papers
  • second-year students: need feedback on the research they have done, prepare for further research, and write second-year papers
  • third-year students: need to write their Qualifying Papers, write grant proposals
  • post-candidacy pre-proposal students: need to write and present their dissertation proposals
  • post-candidacy dissertation students: need to write dissertations, get feedback
  • students from other departments: needs will vary

Course Components

The course consists of two main parts: a research seminar, and discussion of ongoing student research.

  • Research seminar: This semester we focus on a recent papers in computational linguistics. Topics and readings will be given on the schedule page.
    Typically one of the students in the class will be responsible for giving a short initial summary of the paper and for preparing some questions to get the discussion going.
  • Discussion of ongoing student research:
    • Round-table: short presentations by all participants about their current research. This will happen almost every week.
    • On-going research: longer presentations (30 minutes or an hour including discussion), students, faculty, auditors if they wish
    • Dissertation proposal presentations
    • Dissertation progress talks
    • Practice talks for conference presentations

Topic list

See this page for a list of suggested topics to discuss this semester.


  • First-year students: Attend all classes/activities, prepare first-year paper (topic and reader first semester, paper second semester) – may be on research or preparatory for research, give short talk on research if they have done some.
  • Second-year students: prepare second-year paper on research (topic, reader, outline in first semester, write paper second semester). Give presentation on research.
  • Third-year students: Attend all presentations/activities, need not attend fundamentals meetings unless they wish to. Give brief progress reports on QP during second semester. Work with supervising faculty on grant proposals.
  • Post-candidacy, pre-proposal students: Present dissertation proposals fairly early in first semester. Attend all presentations, need not attend other meetings.
  • Dissertation-writing students: Attend all presentations, give at least one presentation during year on doctoral research (possibly give one each semester).
  • Students from other departments: a course project, with 3 documents: project proposal (1-2 pages), intermediate report (2-3 pages), final report (8 pages)