CSC 485/2501 -- Introduction to Computational Linguistics

Fall 2021

Index of this document

Contact information

Instructor: Gerald Penn
Office: PT 283A
Office hours: MW 1-2pm, or by appointment
Tel: (416)978-7390
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Meeting times

Lectures: MWF 11-12, Zoom (the link will be sent to registered students)
Course Section Time Room
CSC 485 LEC 0101 MWF 11-12 ES B149
CSC 485 LEC 0201 MWF 12-1 ES B149
CSC 485 LEC 2001 MWF 11-12 ES B149
CSC 2501 LEC 0101 MWF 12-1 ES B149
Note: there will occasionally be tutorials on lecture days
Assignment Due Tutor
1 8th October Zhewei Sun
2 5th November Jinman Zhao
3 9th December Frank Niu

A bulletin board has also been created for the class, which will be monitored by the TAs.

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Texts for the Course

Required D. Jurafsky & J. Martin, Speech and Language Processing, Prentice Hall, 2nd ed., 2009. Errata
Required S. Bird, E. Klein and E. Loper, Natural Language Processing with Python, O'Reilly, 2009. 
Recommended Martelli, Ravenscroft and Holden.  Python in a Nutshell, 3rd ed., O'Reilly, 2017.
Optional J. Allen,   Natural Language Understanding, 2nd ed., Pearson, 1994.
Recommended D. Mertz,  Text Processing in Python, Addison Wesley, 2003.
Free! various tutorials on the Python website

Reading for the Essays

Essay Due Date Title Author Publication Details
1 20th September Computing Machinery and Intelligence A. Turing Mind 59, 1950, pp. 433-460.
2 1st October Computational Complexity of Probabilistic Disambiguation K. Sima'an Grammars 5, 2002, pp. 125-151.
3 15th October Formal Grammar and Information Theory: Together Again? F. Pereira Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. A, 358, 2000, pp. 1239-1253.
4 29th October Deterministic Coreference Resolution Based on Entity-Centric, Precision-Ranked Rules H. Lee et al. Computational Linguistics 39(4), 2013, pp. 885-916
5 26th November BERT Rediscovers the Classical NLP Pipeline I. Tenney et al. Proc. ACL, 2019, pp. 4593-4601


Readings for Lectures

Date Topic Reading
10-17 Sept Introduction to computational linguistics J&M: 1; BK&L: 1, 2.3, 4 as necessary
17 Sept-1 Oct Grammars and parsing J&M: 5.0-1, 12.0-12.3.5, 12.3.7, 12.7-12.7.1, 13.1, 13.2; BK&L: 8.0-8.5
4-8 Oct Lexical semantics J&M: 19.1-5, 20.8
18-22 Oct Word sense disambiguation J&M: 20.1-5
29 Oct Chart parsing J&M: 13.3-4; A: 3.4, 3.6: BK&L: 8.4 and online extra section 8.2
1-5 Nov Even more parsing J&M: 12.3.4-6, 15.0-3; A: 4.1-5; BK&L: 9
19-24 Nov Statistical parsing J&M: 5.2-5.5.2, 5.6, 12.4, 14.0-1, 14.3-7
29 Nov - 3 Dec Semantic representations J&M: 17.0-17.4.1, 17.5, 20.7; BK&L: 10.0-4

J&M: Jurafsky and Martin; BK&L: Bird, Klein and Loper; A = Allen; italics indicate additional reading.

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Tentative Course outline

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Calendar of important course-related events

Date Event
Fri, 10th September First lecture
Mon, 20th September Last day to add course (CSC 2501)
Mon, 20th September Essay 1 due (CSC 2501)
Wed, 22nd September Last day to add course (CSC 485)
Fri, 1st October Essay 2 due (CSC 2501)
Fri, 8th October Assignment 1 due
Mon, 11th October Thanksgiving -- no meeting
Fri, 15th October Essay 3 due (CSC 2501)
Mon, 25th October Last day to drop course (CSC 2501)
Fri, 29th October Essay 4 due (CSC 2501)
Fri, 5th November Assignment 2 due
Mon, 8th November Last day to drop course (CSC 485)
8th-12th November Reading Week - no meetings
Fri, 26th November Essay 5 due (CSC 2501)
Thu, 9th December Last lecture
Thu, 9th December Assignment 3 due

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Evaluation and related policies

There will be three homeworks and no final exam. For CSC 2501 students, there will also be 5 essays to write based upon assigned readings.
Component CSC 485 CSC 2501
Essay 1 5%
Essay 2 5%
Assignment 1 33% 25%
Essay 3 5%
Essay 4 5%
Assignment 2 33% 25%
Essay 5 5%
Assignment 3 33% 25%
Important note on homeworks: No late homeworks will be accepted except in case of documented medical or other emergencies.

Policy on collaboration: No collaboration on homeworks is permitted.  The work you submit must be your own.  No student is permitted to discuss the homeworks with any other student unless the instructor or TAs make the solutions publicly available.  Failure to observe this policy is an academic offense, carrying a  penalty ranging from a zero on the homework to suspension from the university.

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In this space, you will find announcements related to the course. Please check this space at least weekly. Back to the index


In this space you will find on-line PDF versions of course handouts, including homeworks.

To view these handouts you will need access to a PDF viewer. If your machine does not have the required software, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.

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Gerald Penn, 31st December, 2021
This web-page was adapted from the web-page for another course, created by Vassos Hadzilacos.