About this class
This course provides a broad introduction to natural language processing.
We target this class mainly at advanced undergraduates and graduate students in computer science, but welcome other students that have the necessary background and programming skills. We expect students to have some programming experience (we use Python 3), as well as a basic exposure to algorithms, calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics. We do not assume any prior knowledge of machine learning or linguistics.
Course Objectives
At the end of this course, students should have a good understanding of the research questions and methods used in different areas of natural language processing. Students should also be able to use this knowledge to implement simple natural language processing algorithms and applications. Students who take this course for 4 hours credit should also be able to understand and evaluate original research papers in natural language processing that build on and go beyond the textbook material covered in class.
Going Virtual: Course Structure
This year, CS447 will consist of prerecorded video lectures, Zoom office hours as well as optional Zoom activities during our regular class time. Obviously, this will be very different from how we normally run this class.
Instead of one midterm and one final exam, we will have ten online quizzes throughout the semester. We will also have four programming assignments (homework) for all students. Dates and deadlines for these can be found on our main page.
Additionally, students taking the class for four credits are expected to complete a literature review or research project by the end of the semester.
Going Virtual: Course Platforms
In addition to this website, we will use Piazza for discussion, Gradescope for quizzes and assignments, Mediaspace for lecture videos, and Zoom for office hours and (optional) in-class activities. We will add your Illinois email to our class on Gradescope, but you will need to subscribe to Piazza and our Mediaspace channel yourself.
  • Video lectures will be recorded and uploaded to our Mediaspace channel on the day when the regular class would take place or before. You can subscribe to this channel here
  • Optional synchronous activities will happen every Friday from 11am–12:15pm Central on Zoom. You will have to sign in with your Illinois account for these meetings.
  • Assignments will be released and completed on Gradescope. If you are not registered for this class, please email us from your Illinois email address to get added to the roster.
For students taking the class for three hours credit, grades are composed of the following two components:
  • 66.6% Quizzes
  • 33.3% Homework assignments
For students taking the class for four hours credit, grades are composed of the following three components:
  • 50% Quizzes
  • 25% Homework assignments
  • 25% Literature Review or Research Project