In the past decade, the widening use of computers has had a profound influence on the way ordinary people communicate, search and store information. For the overwhelming majority of people and situations, the natural vehicle for such information is natural language. Text and to a lesser extent speech are crucial encoding formats for the information revolution.
In this course, you will be given insight into the fundamentals of how computers are used to represent, process and organize textual and spoken information, as well as tips on how to effectively integrate this knowledge into working practice. We will cover the theory and practice of human language technology. Topics include text encoding, search technology, tools for writing support, machine translation, dialogue systems and the social context of language technology.
We'll be using the Carmen system for the schedule, on-line quizzes, homework and reading assignments. There will also be discussion forums for posting questions and providing feedback (comments, complaints or ideas) during the course, anonymously if desired.
There is no textbook for this course, but there will be on-line readings assigned periodically.
I will distribute slides in class for each unit. These will also be available on Carmen after the class in which they are first distributed. These slides are meant to aid classroom discussion and cannot replace actually being in class.
The basic requirement is regular attendance in class and active participation. There will be roughly one online quiz per topic, to ensure the material covered in class and in the readings is mastered. And there will be roughly one homework assignment per topic, which will give you the opportunity to explore new aspects of the topics discussed in class. The midterm will consist of the material covered in the first half of the class, and the final will cover the contents covered in the second half of the class.
Grades will be assigned according to the following scheme:
Given that homeworks, quizzes, and the exams reflect the material covered in class, attendance is essential for doing well in this class. Additionally, your active participation in class discussion and in-class group activities will contribute to your grade.
Quizzes will be administered on-line through Carmen and are due by midnight of the day indicated. They will be shut off automatically once the deadline is reached. You will generally have a week to complete a quiz, so do not put it off to the last minute! Note that I do not promise to remind you when you have a quiz due; it is your responsibility to keep up with the schedule on Carmen.
The quizzes naturally are open book, so you should view them as an opportunity for reviewing the material covered, based on the handouts.
Homework assignments are due by the beginning of class, on a piece of paper. No late homeworks will be accepted.
I encourage group work on the homework assignments, but each of you should write out your own answers. Note that group work means that everyone in the group contributes and fully understands what you turn in — where in doubt, I may ask you individually to explain to me in person what you turned in.
The midterm will be given in class on Wednesday, May 3.
The final will be given on Monday, June 5 (1:30–3:18).
Grading scale (scores in percentages):
If you know you won't be able to make a deadline or exam, please see me before you miss the deadline or exam. If you miss the midterm or final, you will have to provide extensive written documentation for your excuse.
As you generally will have a week to take them, there will be no make-ups for the quizzes.
I expect you to respect one another, to respect me, and to respect yourself. To that end, I expect you to obey the following rules:
Students who need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me to arrange an appointment as soon as possible to discuss the course format, to anticipate needs, and to explore potential accommodations. I rely on the Office of Disability Services for assistance in verifying the need for accommodations and developing accommodation strategies. Students who have not previously contacted the Office for Disability Services are encouraged to do so (292-3307; http://www.ods.ohio-state.edu).
As with any class at this university, students are required to follow the Ohio State Code of Student Conduct. In particular, note that students are not allowed to, among other things, submit plagiarized (copied but unacknowledged) work for credit. If any violation occurs, I am required to report the violation to the Council on Academic Misconduct.
This syllabus is subject to change. All important changes will be made in writing (email), with ample time for adjustment.