CMU Advanced NLP Seminar (11-713)

Fall 2013


Instructor:  Noah Smith
Teaching assistant:  YC Sim
Meeting time:  Thursdays, 6-7:20 pm
Place:  GHC 4102


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 PhD and MLT 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) and are considering research and/or graduate school.


Each week there will be one focus paper to read, and each student is expected to independently read one or two additional papers to read related to the focus paper.

Prior to each lecture, everyone will have some preparation work to do.  One person (the "leader") will be responsible for creating a page on the seminar site summarizing the key ideas from that week's focus paper in a few paragraphs.  This page must be prepared by 11:59 on the Tuesday before class meets.  Everyone else is responsible for adding material relating to the additional paper(s) he/she read to that page, by 11:59 pm on the Wednesday before class meets.

The result of this will be a page available to help frame discussion during the class meeting.

  • Summarizing a focus paper (20%)
  • Contributing supplements based on additional papers (65%)
  • Participating in class meetings (15%)