CS 4650: Natural Language Processing
Georgia Tech (Spring 2021)
Course Information
This undergraduatelevel course provides an introduction to modern natural language processing using machine learning approaches. Content includes linguistics fundamentals (syntax, semantics, distributional properties of language), machine learning models (classifiers, sequence taggers, deep learning models), key algorithms for inference, and applications to a range of problems. Inperson attendance is not required for the course.
 Class Meets (Eastern Time)
 Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:304:45pm, Bluejeans
 Piazza (discussion, announcements, QA)
 piazza.com/gatech/spring2021/cs4650
 Canvas (quiz, etc.)
 gatech.instructure.com/courses/175774
 Gradescope (homework submission, grading)
 gradescope.com/courses/222248
 Online Office Hours (Eastern Time)
 Jingfeng Yang: Thursday 10:0011:00pm
 Kaige Xie: Wednesday 6:007:00pm
 Sarmishta Velury: Monday 6:007:00pm
Prerequisites
While natural language processing is super cool, it requires usage of many modern machine learning algorithms and involves a lot of math and programming. To be successful in the class, on the math side, you should feel comfortable with probability, linear algebra, and calculus. For example, there will be partial derivatives and multivariable chain rule in some of the lectures. If you are not yet familiar with calculus, the best course of action would be taking Math 2550 or Math 2551 or Math 2561 first, then coming back in a later semester to take 4650. On the programming side, assignments will be in Python; you should understand basic computer science concepts (e.g., recursion), data structures (e.g., trees, graphs), and key algorithms (e.g., search, sorting, etc.). The official prerequisite for CS 4650 is CS 3510/3511, “Design and Analysis of Algorithms.” Ideally, you also have taken CS 3600, the introlevel “Machine Learning” class.
Schedule
Tentative Schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zUnHII9tZ8STB8jknxSJuJL3pILO8sV_JtN1fbRiIM/edit?usp=sharing
Subject to change as the term progresses.
Date  Topic  Optional Reading 
Jan 14 
First day of Class. No Class
Background Test Out, Background Test Template, Due on Jan 21 

Jan 18 
No Class
MLK National Holiday 

Jan 20 
Course Overview
Slides 

Jan 25 
Text Classification (Naive Bayes)
Slides, Notes 

Jan 27 
Logistic Regression, Perceptron, SVM
Slides, Notes, HW1 Out, HW1 Template, Due on Feb 12th 11:59pm 

Feb 1 
Multiclass Classification
Slides, Notes 

Feb 3 
Neural Networks I (Feedforward)
Slides 

Feb 8 
Neural Networks II (Backpropagation)
Slides (updated), Notes 

Feb 10 
Sequence Models I (HMM/Viterbi)
Slides 

Feb 15 
PyTorch Tutorial
Slides 

Feb 17 
Sequence Models II (CRF)
Slides, HW2 Out, HW2 Template, Due on March 2nd 11:59pm 

Feb 22 
Word Embeddings
Slides 

Feb 24 
Word Embeddings (cont')
Slides 

Mar 1 
Recurrent Neural Networks
Slides, Notes 

Mar 3 
Convolutional Neural Networks
Slides, HW3 Out, HW3 Template, HW3 Programming, Due on March 26th 11:59pm 

Mar 8 
Neural CRFs
Slides 

Mar 10 
Course Project or HW5
Slides 

Mar 15 
Statistical Machine Translation
Slides 

Mar 17 
No Class  Joint Office Hour


Mar 22 
Statistical Machine Translation (cont')


Mar 24  No Class  Wellness Day  
Mar 29 
SequencetoSequence Model
Slides 

Mar 31 
Copy/Pointer Network and Transformer
Slides, HW4 Out, HW4 Template, Due on April 14th 11:59pm 

Apr 5 
Pretraining Language Models
Slides 

Apr 7 
Question Answering
Slides 

Grading
 5% Background Test (individual)
This background test is designed to help you determine whether you have enough math and programming background to succeed in this class.  55% Homework Assignments (individual)
 Homework 1: 15% (written + 1st programming)
 Homework 2: 10% (written)
 Homework 3: 15% (written + 2nd programming)
 Homework 4: 15% (written + 3rd programming)
 20% Final Project (group of 13) or the 4th programming homework (individual)
The final project is an openended assignment, with the goal of gaining experience applying the techniques presented in class to realworld datasets. Students should work in groups of 13 (groups of 23 preferred, 1 is possible). It is a good idea to discuss your planned project with the instructor to get feedback. The final project report should be 4 pages. The report should describe the problem you are solving, what data is being used, the proposed technique you are applying in addition to what baseline is used to compare against.
Alternatively, you may choose to complete the 4th programming homework individually, instead of the group final project.  20% Participation
You will receive credit for engaging in class discussion, asking and answering questions related to the homework on Piazza discussion board.
Policies
Late Policy:
Student can at most be late for 2 homework, each for 3 days. Each late day extends the deadline by 24 hours. Using late days will not affect your grade. However, homework submitted late after all late days have been used will receive no credit. Please email your homework to the instructor in case there are any technical issues with submission. No late submission for the final project and quizzes will be accepted.
No late penalties for medical reasons or emergencies. Please see GT Catalog for rules about contacting the office of the Dean of Students.
FAQs

The class is full. Can I still get in?
Sorry. The course admins in CoC control this process. Please talk to them. 
I am graduating this Fall and I need this class to complete my degree requirements. What should I do?
Talk to the advisor or graduate coordinator for your academic program. They are keeping track of your degree requirements and will work with you if you need a specific course. 
I have a question. What is the best way to reach the course staff?
Registered students  your first point of contact is Piazza (so that other students may benefit from your questions and our answers). If you have a personal matter, email the instructor.
Textbooks
 (J+M) Jurafsky and Martin, Speech and Language Processing, 3rd edition (Dec 2020 draft)
 (E) Jacob Eisenstein, Natural Language Processing (2018)