CSCI 544 — Applied Natural Language Processing

Spring 2016

Latest Announcements

Time and location Monday 4:00pm–8:00pm, THH 201
Instructor Ron Artstein
Office hours: Monday 2:00pm–3:30pm, PHE 516, or by appointment
Teaching Assistants Ramesh Manuvinakurike, Siddharth Jain
Office hours: Monday 9:30am–11:30am (Ramesh), 10:30am–12:30pm (Siddharth), SAL computer lab.

There will be no office hours on January 18 (Martin Luther King’s Birthday), February 15 (Presidents’ Day), or March 14 (Spring Recess).


This course covers both fundamental and cutting-edge topics in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and provides students with hands-on experience in NLP applications.

This graduate course is intended for:

Recommended preparation: Proficiency in programming, algorithms and data structures, basic knowledge of linear algebra and machine learning.

Related Courses

This course is part of USC’s curriculum in natural language processing. There is a sister course, CSCI 662 Advanced Natural Language Processing, offered in the Fall semester, which covers complementary (and advanced) material and is intended for PhD students (or students who want to continue to a PhD program).

Coursework and grading

Late policy


Please use the class discussion boards on Blackboard for questions and issues regarding homework assignments and the course in general. This way, the entire class can participate and see the questions and answers. Email should be reserved for communication of a personal nature. If we receive questions by email where the response could be helpful for the class, we may ask you to repost the question on the discussion boards.



Note: The weeks of January 18 and February 15 are instructional weeks. Class will not be held on these days because they are university holidays, but work will be assigned for the week and is due at the appropriate time.

Topics listed in the schedule are tentative and subject to change.

Statement on Academic Conduct and Support Systems

Plagiarism – presenting someone else’s ideas as your own, either verbatim or recast in your own words – is a serious academic offense with serious consequences. Please familiarize yourself with the discussion of plagiarism in SCampus in Part B, Section 11, Behavior Violating University Standards and Appropriate Sanctions, accessible here: Other forms of academic dishonesty are equally unacceptable. See the university policies on scientific misconduct:

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Help with scholarly writing is provided by a number of USC’s schools. Check with your advisor or program staff to find out more. Students whose primary language is not English should check with the American Language Institute, which sponsors courses and workshops specifically for international graduate students.

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USC Viterbi Honor Code

The Code was developed by Viterbi students, and its text is as follows:

Engineering enables and empowers our ambitions and is integral to our identities. In the Viterbi community, accountability is reflected in all our endeavors.

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Academic Integrity Violations

All coding and writing must be done individually (unless instructed otherwise), and not copied from other students. Copying or plagiarism is grounds for failure of an assignment, or in serious cases failure of the course.

Use of the internet or other outside resources to find solutions to homework problems is considered cheating.