Introduction to computational linguistics

Fall 2020 | # 39150 | Instructor: Katrin Erk | Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-2 | Hybrid: JGB 2.216 and via Zoom

Text is everywhere, in huge amounts: Books, emails, web pages, scientific papers, and so on. To be able to use the information laid down in all this text, we need technology that can help us make sense of all the information, for example: Automatically translating texts from one language to another; building better search engines that can deal with complex questions instead of just keywords; figuring out automatically whether the blogs are saying good or bad things about a particular product; extracting useful facts from repositories of scientific papers about medicine.

Computational linguistics uses mathematical and computational methods to describe how language works, and it develops methods for automatic language understanding and for language technology applications. Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field between linguistics to computer science.

This course gives an introduction to central problems and methods in computational linguisticsin theory and practice. The course includes hands-on exercises with language processing techniques. The course also includes a short introduction to programming using the Python programming language.

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing.

Textbook: Jurafsky, D. and J. H. Martin, Speech and language processing: An Introduction to Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, and Speech Recognition (2nd Edition). Prentice-Hall, 2008.

Additional required readings will be made available for download from the course website.