Course Info for Linguistics 889, Spring 1997

Course Info for Linguistics 889, Spring 1997
Topics in Computational Linguistics

What's new on this page?

Who's teaching the course?

Philip Resnik, the new computational linguist on the linguistics faculty. You can check out his home page at

What's the course about?

First we'll need to get up to speed on background issues in computational linguistics (see below). After that, the course will focus on the recent wave of quantitative and statistical approaches to language and how they relate to traditional non-quantitative approaches. By the end of the course students should:

What if I have no computational background?

This time around, the course will be taught without assuming that participants have a background in computational linguistics. The first part of the course will be aimed at getting across some important, fundamental ideas that will then be used for the remainder of the semester. Students (and faculty!) who have little or no computational background are encouraged to attend.

But then what if I DO have a computational background?

Readings for the course will be organized as companion papers: each reading will include both a less advanced and a more advanced paper on a related topic. Students with more background will focus on the more advanced paper, and in each class session we will progress from the more fundamental material to the more advanced material.

Am I going to have to do any programming?

This is primarily a readings course. Students registered for the course will be assigned some simple exercises that involve using a computer to try out some of the approaches we discuss in class, but this will not involve any "real" programming. However, students are encouraged to have and use e-mail accounts, since the class mailing list will be used for announcements and discussion. Students with programming background can discuss alternative course requirements with the instructor.

How does this course relate to Linguistics 645?

Ideally students will have taken Linguistics 645 to get the computational linguistics background needed for the more advanced papers. This time around, however, this course will neither assume that students have taken 645. Nor will it replace 645, of course! For Spring 1997 the two can be taken concurrently.

So, what exactly is on the syllabus?

See the syllabus.
  Philip Resnik                        Phone:   (301) 405-6760
  Department of Linguistics            Fax:     (301) 405-7104
  1401 Marie Mount Hall
  University of Maryland 
  College Park, MD 20742 USA

  By far the best way to reach me is by e-mail to