Natural Language Processing
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Introduction to Natural Language Processing

CMPSCI 585 — Fall 2007


Prerequisites: CMPSCI 287.
Credits: 3 units.


25% six out of seven homework assignments (extra credit for more).
20% final project
20% midterm exam
25% final exam
10% classroom participation & possible "collaborative exercise" quizzes

Homework submission: Homework is due by email attachment to on the date indicated on the homework assignment. Late homework submissions may be accepted at the discretion of the instructor, but in no case after a solution set has been handed out, and there will be grading penalties for late assignments.

Collaboration: One of the exciting things about this course is that we will be bringing together linguists and computer scientists! I plan to require that final projects be done in mixed teams. We will all learn a lot from each other. As part of the write-up for the project, each student will write a brief assessment of their own contribution to the assignment, as well as that of their teammates. These, along with my own impressions of the contributions and teamwork will go into the individual grades assigned.

Rescheduling exams: Exams may be taken other than at the scheduled time, but only under exceptional circumstances and then only if approved by the instructor well before the exam. Makeup exams will rarely be the same as the original exam, and will usually be all or partly oral.

Policy on Regrading: We do make every effort to ensure that your exam or assignment is graded right the first time! However, sometimes people miss things, or there can be disagreements in interpretation. If you're unhappy with the grade for a question, you need to make a written request for a regrade and to resubmit your entire exam or homework, either to one of the TAs or to the instructor. The request doesn't have to be formal and long. Simply writing on a sheet of paper "8 points were taken off question 3, but I think it's a perfectly valid answer to the question" is sufficient. Normally, the TA will regrade it. If you're still not happy, you should repeat this process, but indicate that you want the instructor to re-regrade it. Negating this policy: you should not e-mail grading complaints, and you can't expect assignments to be regraded "while you wait".

Academic Honesty: Your work must be your own, or that of your own team. You are encouraged to discuss problems, ideas and inspirations with other students, but the answers, the programming, the writing, and the final result that you hand in must be your own or your own team's effort. If you have questions about what is honest, please ask! You are strongly encouraged to cite your sources if you received extraordinary help from any person or text (including the Web). Department policy specifies that the penalty for cheating or plagiarism is (1) a final course grade of "F" and (2) possible referral to the Academic Dishonesty Committee. The UMass policy can be found here.

Auditing: If you are interestedin auditing the course, please contact the instructor. Official auditors will normally be expected to complete all of the homeworks and programming assignments, and to achieve at least a C-level performance. Anyone enrolled for audit should contact the instructor early in the semester to discuss the requirements for receiving audit credit for this course.  If the course is heavily over-enrolled, auditing may not be possible.

Attendance: Students are expected to attend each class. Attendance will not be taken directly, but absence may be noted because of occasional in-class assignment. The official means of communication for this course will be in-class announcements, though every effort will be made to ensure that important announcements go out on the course mailing list or appear on the course Web pages.

Course Web page: The class World Wide Web page is Assignments, online materials, and notes about assignments will be available from this page.