Advanced NLP (Spring 2019)


1. Course Description

1.1 Objectives

This course will cover some advanced materials on natural language processing and machine learning. The majority of this course includes presentations of academic papers published on recent top-tier NLP and machine learning conferences.

The objectives of this course is to provide opportunities to

  1. understand the recent progress of natural language processing and some related machine learning methods
  2. study the reproducibility of deep learning for NLP
  3. practice writing and presentation skills

1.2 Prerequisites

This is an advanced course on NLP, which means it assumes that you already have solid background on both NLP and machine learning.

Please use this question form for the prerequisites evaluation. If you are confident to answer 80% of the questions without referring any textbook or paper, then you are ready for this course.

2. Schedule

3. Readings

For presentation, please select papers from the following list. Most of the papers are from the conferences in 2018 and the upcoming ICLR 2019.

4. Assignments and Grading Policy

4.1 Assignments

and the breakdowns of the 100 points of this course:

4.2 Grading Policy

General policy:

Here is the detail grading policy.

5. Other Related Statements

5.1 Honor code

I trust every student in this course to fully comply with all of the provisions of the University’s Honor Code. By enrolling in this course, you have agreed to abide by and uphold the Honor System of the University of Virginia, as well as the policies specific to this course.

All suspected violations will be forwarded to the Honor Committee, and you may, at my discretion, receive an immediate zero on that assignment regardless of any action taken by the Honor Committee.

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the course honor policy. If you believe you may have committed an Honor Offense, you may wish to file a Conscientious Retraction by calling the Honor Offices at (434) 924-7602. For your retraction to be considered valid, it must, among other things, be filed with the Honor Committee before you are aware that the act in question has come under suspicion by anyone. More information can be found at here.

Adapted from Honor Syllabus Example Statement on the UVa Honor Committee website

5.2 Students with disabilities or learning needs

It is my goal to create a learning experience that is as accessible as possible. If you anticipate any issues related to the format, materials, or requirements of this course, please meet with me outside of class so we can explore potential options. Students with disabilities may also wish to work with the Student Disability Access Center to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. Please visit their website for information on this process and to apply for services online: sdac.studenthealth.virginia.edu. If you have already been approved for accommodations through SDAC, please send me your accommodation letter and meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

5.3 Discrimination and power-based violence

The University of Virginia is dedicated to providing a safe and equitable learning environment for all students. To that end, it is vital that you know two values that I and the University hold as critically important:

  1. Power-based personal violence will not be tolerated.
  2. Everyone has a responsibility to do their part to maintain a safe community on Grounds.

If you or someone you know has been affected by power-based personal violence, more information can be found on the UVA Sexual Violence website that describes reporting options and resources available - www.virginia.edu/sexualviolence.

As your professor and as a person, know that I care about you and your well-being and stand ready to provide support and resources as I can. As a faculty member, I am a responsible employee, which means that I am required by University policy and federal law to report what you tell me to the University’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator’s job is to ensure that the reporting student receives the resources and support that they need, while also reviewing the information presented to determine whether further action is necessary to ensure survivor safety and the safety of the University community. If you wish to report something that you have seen, you can do so at the Just Report It portal. The worst possible situation would be for you or your friend to remain silent when there are so many here willing and able to help.

5.4 Religious accommodations

It is the University’s long-standing policy and practice to reasonably accommodate students so that they do not experience an adverse academic consequence when sincerely held religious beliefs or observances conflict with academic requirements.

Students who wish to request academic accommodation for a religious observance should submit their request in writing directly to me via Email (yangfeng@virginia.edu) or post it on Piazza as far in advance as possible. Students who have questions or concerns about academic accommodations for religious observance or religious beliefs may contact the University’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) at UVAEOCR@virginia.edu or 434-924-3200.

Section 5.2 - 5.4 are adapted from a SEAS wide example