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Anthony C. Woodbury, Chair CLA 4.304, Mailcode B5100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1701

Computational Linguistics

The Computational Linguistics concentration area educates the student in the theory, technologies and applications of Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing (NLP).  Computational Linguistics is an interdisciplinary field addressing human languages by applying methods of both Linguistics and Computer Science.  One can distinguish two major subdisciplines:
  1. Research in Computational Linguistics addresses the computational properties of linguistic models of natural language and develops algorithms and computational implementations of such linguistic models;
  2. Research in NLP emphasizes the goal of developing systems that can deal effectively with natural language data in an application context.

The Computational Linguistics concentration area at the UT Linguistics department is structured as follows: the core techniques of Computational Linguistics and NLP are introduced in a sequence of two 1-semester survey courses:  Introduction to Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing.  The material presented in these courses is then further elaborated on in seminar courses on various more specific topics. A seminar course may focus on a particular NLP application type, on language technological methodology, on algorithmic techniques, or on a linguistic formalism applied in computational linguistics. Examples of seminar courses are: Semisupervised Methods in Computational Linguistics, Natural Language Learning, Computational Syntax, Word Meaning and Concepts, etc. For a full list of past and current courses, see the computational linguistics course page.

Depending on the student's focus, advanced courses from other concentration areas in Linguistics will tie in very well with the Computational Linguistics concentration area.  For example, a student focusing on computational syntax and semantics will benefit greatly from advanced syntax courses such as Lexical-Functional Grammar, or Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar.

For more information on the UT Computational Linguistics concentration, including research focus and a list of computational linguistics faculty across UT departments, please see the computational linguistics web page.

Students in this area are also greatly encouraged to take courses in the UT Computer Science department and the iSchool. Courses which are especially useful are continually taught classes such as algorithms and design, artificial intelligence, machine learning, specific programming languages (e.g. Java). The CS department and iSchool also offer special subject classes that can be interesting, such as information retrieval, expert systems, etc.

For more information on upcoming CS classes, visit the Course Information page.

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