Department of Computer Science
Pomona College
CS 159 - Natural Language Processing
Spring 2011

An introduction to fundamental concepts in natural language processing and computational linguistics, a field whose goals include enabling human-computer interaction via language and text translation and understanding. Use of statistical and logical techniques to study language processing at word, synatactic, and semantic levels. Assignments require constructing and modifying systems as well as using large, existing corpora for validation.

instructor: Dave Kauchak
e-mail: [first_initial][last_name]
office hours: Edmunds 221
  Mon/Wed 2:30-4pm, Tue/Th 10am-11
  and by appointment

time: M/W 1:15-2:30pm
location: Edmunds 114
web page:


assignment submission: How to submit assignments



Here is a handout walking through an absolute discounting smoothing example.
To clarify the SSN question part ii., the first three digits of the number must be less than or equal to 772. The remaining 6, can be any numbers.


Note: This is a very tentative schedule and is very likely to change
1/19introduction (ppt)Ch. 1, articleAssignment 0 
1/24corpus analysis, regex (ppt)Ch. 2.1Assignment 1 
1/26regex, probability (ppt)Ch. 3.1  
1/31probabilityCh. 3.8-3.13 Coin tossing papers 1, 2
(for those that are curious)
2/2language modeling (ppt)Ch. 4.1-4.4  
2/7language modeling (ppt)
discounting example
Ch. 4.5-4.12
Assignment 2 
2/9POS, CFGs (ppt)Ch. 5-5.3, 12.1, 12.2  
2/14CFGs, parsing (ppt)Ch. 13-13.4 Quiz 1
2/16parsing, PCFGs (ppt)Ch. 14-14.4Assignment 3 
2/21parsing: better models (ppt)Ch. 14.5-14.11
2/23EM (ppt)   
2/28regression (ppt)Ch. 6.6Assignment 4 
3/2maximum entropy (ppt)Ch. 6.7
3/7ML lab
Quiz #2 topics
3/9CKY work  Quiz 2
3/14Spring break   
3/16Spring break   
3/21Text similarity (ppt)Ch. 20.6-20.8Assignment 5 
3/23Word similarity (ppt) Final project 
3/28information retrieval (ppt)IR CH. 1  
3/30student pres (IR)
1. Scott, Maksym (ppt)
2. Devin, Dandre
Article 1 (on campus)
Article 2
4/4machine translation (ppt)   
4/6machine translationCh. 25-25.4 Quiz 3
4/11student pres (MT)
1. Jonny, Chrysanthia, Daniel M. (ppt)
2. Eric, Benson
Article 1
Article 2
Old Article 2
4/13information extraction (ppt)Ch. 22-22.2  
4/18student pres (IE)
1. Kathryn, Audrey
2. Josh, Michael
Article 1
Article 2
4/20question answering/summarization (ppt)Ch. 23.2-23.7  
4/25student pres (QA)
1. Dustin, Brennen
2. Sam, Martin (ppt)
Article 1
Article 2
4/27student pres (summarization)
1. Andres, Camille (ppt)
2. Jeremy, Dan F. (ppt)
Article 1
Article 2
5/2Project presentations   
5/4Project presentations  Quiz 4

We will do a lab in our final exam slot on Tuesday, May 10 at 2:00pm.