Human Language Technology and Computational Linguistics Immersion - Curriculum
Natural Language Processing I
This course provides theoretical foundation as well as hands-on (lab-style) practice in computational approaches for processing natural language text. The course will have relevance to various disciplines in the humanities, sciences, computational, and technical fields. We will discuss problems that involve different components of the language system (such as meaning in context and linguistic structures). Students will additionally collaborate in teams on modeling and implementing natural language processing and digital text solutions. Students will program in Python and use a variety of relevant tools. Expected: Programming skills, demonstrated via coursework or instruction approval. Lecture 3 (Spring).
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Introduction to Linguistics
This course introduces students to linguistics, which is the scientific study of human languages. Students will be introduced to core linguistic disciplines (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) and to principles and methods of linguistics through discussion and the analysis of a wide range of linguistic data based on current linguistic models. English will often serve as the reference language, but we will discuss a wide variety of languages, including sign languages, to illustrate core concepts in linguistics. The course will have relevance to other disciplines in the liberal arts and sciences as well as technical fields. Students will critically study human languages through discussions of the origins of languages, how languages are acquired, their organization in the brain, and languages' socio-cultural roles. Some other topics that will be introduced are: language endangerment, language and computers, and artificially constructed languages in the film or fiction industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course introduces main subfields of psycholinguistics, a study that deals with all aspects of human language performance: language acquisition, sentence processing/comprehension, and sentence production/speaking. Through readings on theoretical and experimental studies, findings and issues in first language acquisition, sentence processing, and sentence production are introduced. By discussing how speakers of different languages acquire, comprehend, and produce sentences, the course also examines interactions with language-specific, linguistic constraints and human language performances. Lecture 3 (Spring).
We will explore the relationship between language and technology from the invention of writing systems to current natural language and speech technologies. Topics include script decipherment, machine translation, automatic speech recognition and generation, dialog systems, computational natural language understanding and inference, as well as language technologies that support users with language disabilities. We will also trace how science and technology are shaping language, discuss relevant artificial intelligence concepts, and examine the ethical implications of advances in language processing by computers. Students will have the opportunity to experience text analysis with relevant tools. This is an interdisciplinary course and technical background is not required. Lecture 4 (Spring).
Natural Language Processing II
Study of a focus area of increased complexity in computational linguistics. The focus varies each semester. Students will develop skills in computational linguistics analysis in a laboratory setting, according to professional standards. A research project plays a central role in the course. Students will engage with relevant research literature, research design and methodology, project development, and reporting in various formats. (Prerequisites: ENGL-581 or LING-581 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Undergraduate Speech Processing
This course introduces students to speech and spoken language processing with a focus on real-world applications including automatic speech recognition, speech synthesis, and spoken dialog systems, as well as tasks such as emotion detection and speaker identification. Students will learn the fundamentals of signal processing for speech and explore the theoretical foundations of how human speech can be processed by computers. Students will then collect data and use existing toolkits to build their own speech recognition or speech synthesis system. This course provides theoretical foundation as well as hands-on laboratory practice. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Language and Thought
This course is intended for students in the cognitive track. This course examines the structure of human language and its relationship to thought, and surveys contemporary theory and research on the comprehension and production of spoken and written language. In addition, we will discuss categorization, representation of knowledge, expertise, consciousness, intelligence, and artificial intelligence. Topics on language and thought in non-human animals may also be covered. Part of the cognitive track for the psychology degree program. (Prerequisites: PSYC-223 and (PSYC-251 or 0514-315, 0514-350 and 0514-400) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
* Students take LING-581 Natural Language Processing I, at least one course from LING 351 or LING 582 or LING 584, and at most one course from PSYC 431 or LING 214 or LING 301 to complete the immersion.