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 CSC 475/592 - Natural Language Processing

Course Syllabus

CSC 475/592:     Lecture:  T     5:00pm-7:45pm  CI 1006

Schedule (Link removed)


Curry Guinn
E-mail: 475 (NLP)
Office hours:  MTWRF 11:00am-12:00pm and by appointment
Phone: (910) 962-7937


An introduction to natural language processing, computational linguistics, and speech recognition.   An exploration of both symbolic and stochastic algorithms for processing human languages.   Topics include parsing, part of speech tagging, semantic representation, pragmatic analysis, discourse structure, machine translation, n-gram statistical models, and Hidden Markov Models.  Prerequisite: CSC 332 and junior, senior, or graduate standing. 

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Speech and Language Processing by Jurafsky & Martin, 2nd Edition, Prentice-Hall. Prentice-Hall, 2008. ISBN: 0131873210.

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The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, by Steven Pinker, Penguin, 2008.  ISBN: 0143114247.

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This course will require substantial problem-solving and programming outside of class.   Homeworks will involve a combination of "pencil-and-paper" problems as well as Java programming assignments.  


Students enrolled in CSC 592 are enrolled in a graduate course.   Per UNCW policy, this graduate course must include responsibilities that go beyond what is required for undergraduates enrolled in CSC 475.  For this course, that responsibility includes making presentations before the class on assigned reading materials.  On the course schedule, the readings for each week is announced.  For certain readings, a graduate student will be assigned to lead the discussion on that reading.  To prepare for that discussion, the student should create PowerPoint slides that help introduce the material and present the main theses of the reading.  Further, the student should provoke open-ended discussion by asking questions that stimulate an interchange of ideas.   Further requirements will be spelled out by the instructor during lectures.  


90 - 100 A

80 - 89 B

70 - 79 C

60 - 69 D

Honor Code

It is the responsibility of every student to follow the UNCW Academic Honor Code (see Section V of your Student Handbook). You violate the honor code when you represent someone else's work as your own. Individual programming assignments may be discussed at a conceptual (i.e. design and algorithms) level with other students but implementation details and coding must be your own. Team programming assignments must be completed without collaboration with other teams. Copying of programs is prohibited and will result in disciplinary action (see your Student Handbook). Copying includes digital copies, hand copies, as well as representing a slight modification of someone else's code as your own work.

Learning Strategies

You are expected to take an active role in your learning in this course. This includes regular attendance, paying attention in class, reading the textbook, and completing all course requirements. You are encouraged to study with your classmates outside of class. Programming assignments usually require a lot more time than expected, so start early and work some every day.

Students with Disabilities

If you have a disability and need reasonable accommodation in this course, you should inform the instructor of this fact in writing within the first week of class or as soon as possible. If you have not already done so, you must register with the Office of Disability Services in Westside Hall (extension 3746) and obtain a copy of your Accommodation Letter. You should then meet with your instructor to make mutually agreeable arrangements based on the recommendations of the Accommodation Letter.

Harassment Policy

UNCW practices a zero-tolerance policy for violence and harassment of any kind.  For emergencies contact UNCW CARE at 962-2273, Campus Police at 962-3184, or Wilmington Police at 911.  For University or community resources visit