Statistical NLP

Ling 684.02, Spring '10
MW 11:30–1:18, Journalism 387
Instructor: Michael White


In this course, students will learn the basics of probabilistic modeling and machine learning for natural language processing and computational linguistics. Along the way, students will gain experience with using the Python programming language to analyze corpus data.

The course will be based primarily on the second edition of Jurafsky and Martin's textbook, Speech and Language Processing. We will also work hands-on with Bird, Klein and Loper's book, Natural Language Processing with Python, based on the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK).


Student in the course will have the opportunity to:


Topics will include:

Time permitting, we may also look at semantic role labeling, machine translation, or statistical parsing with Combinatory Categorial Grammars (CCGs).


Ling 684.01 or equivalent. The course is open to advanced undergraduate and graduate students.


Letter grades will be assigned using the standard OSU scale based on class participation and homework assignments.


We'll be using the Carmen system for the schedule and for 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.

Policy on Academic Misconduct

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.

Students with Disabilities

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;


This syllabus is subject to change. All important changes will be made in writing (email), with ample time for adjustment.