Instructor:  Noah Smith
Meeting time:    Thursdays, 4:30-5:50 pm
Location: Wean 5304 GHC 4102 -- note change starting 9/13!


This course aims to improve participants' knowledge of current techniques, challenges, directions, and developments in all areas of NLP (i.e., across applications, symbolic formalisms, and approaches to the use of data and knowledge); to hone students' critical technical reading skills, oral presentation skills, and written communication skills; to generate discussion among students across research groups to inspire new research.


The course is designed for MLT and PhD students, though it may also be of interest to students in graduate programs who have a peripheral interest in natural
language, or advanced undergraduates who have taken Natural Language Procesing (11-411).


We will select about six dissertations to read.  Each will be allocated two or three weeks and assigned a team of about two students responsible for leading the discussion of that thesis.  These students are responsible for dividing the thesis into parts to be read for each of the (two or three) meetings about that thesis.

At a given meeting, we'll begin with a ten-minute summary of what was covered, presented by the discussion leaders.  This presentation can take the form of a mini-lecture, but there are no requirements on the format, except one: there will be strict penalties for going over time.  The key is to summarize the main ideas from the reading. The remainder of the time will be devoted to open discussion, and discussion leaders are encouraged to prepare any useful materials (e.g., handouts, backup slides, etc.) that will help organize this discussion or clarify technical material.