Data and Information: Computational Linguistics

Fall
Fall 2018
Olympia
Olympia
Daytime
Day
Freshman-Senior
Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 75
25% Reserved for Freshmen
16
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

linguistics, mathematics
Richard Weiss
mathematics, computer science

Although the human capacity for language is sometimes described as a computational system in the brain, it is surprisingly challenging to program actual computers to interpret, respond to, or generate written text or spoken language. We will explore intersections between linguistics and computer science with the general goal of understanding how we can use computers to analyze text, including for example, social media content. Although the task is complex and brushes against fundamental questions about language and intelligence, we will find that an understanding of the abstract structure and organization of human language provides guidance to the person who creates algorithms to mine texts for structure and meaning, and even to the human analyst who uses those tools.

This program covers introductory linguistic theory and computer science with the goals of gaining skills in linguistic analysis and computer programming, and explores the interaction between the two areas. In linguistics, this will include looking at the structure of words, sentences, and texts (morphology, phonology, syntax, and discourse) as well as their meanings (semantics and pragmatics). In computer science, students will learn to program in Python and study how computers are used to understand texts and data. In conjunction with studies in linguistics and computer science, we will read about the history and philosophy of both fields as well as current work in their intersection, and we will gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between computers and human intelligence.

The work in this program will include weekly assignments in linguistics and in programming, seminar reading and writing, lectures, workshops, computer labs, and a final group project. This program is good preparation for the Computer Science Foundations program and further work in computer science and linguistics.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

computer science, linguistics, and data science.

16

Credits per quarter

Fields of study: 
Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Freshman-Senior
Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 75
25% Reserved for Freshmen
Daytime

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

Located in: Olympia

DateRevision
2018-03-28Wan Bae has joined the program; Brian Walter has left the teaching team.