CS6742 Fall 2014: Natural Language Processing and Social Interaction
Administrative info and overall course structure

Course homepage http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs6742/2014fa. Main site for course info, assignments, readings, lecture references, etc.; updated frequently.
Course CMS page http://cms.csuglab.cornell.edu. Site for submitting assignments, unless otherwise noted.
Course Piazza page http://piazza.com/cornell/Fall2014/cs6742 Course announcements and Q&A/discussion site. Social interaction and all that, you know.
Time and place Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:10-11:25, Gates Hall 344 breakout room (quietly enter through 344, since students are working there, an go to the room on the right).

Prerequisites As previously announced in the 2014-2015 Courses of Study, enrollment is limited to PhD students except by permission of instructor. August 14 addition: given the number of PhD students who have registered for credit, permission will not be granted to non-PhD students, and auditing will not be allowed. Required background: CS 2110 or equivalent programming experience, and at least one course in artificial intelligence or any relevant subfield (e.g., NLP, information retrieval, machine learning).

Related courses In Fall 2014, there's CS4744 Computational linguistics, CS6783 Machine learning theory, CS6788/INFO 6150 Advanced topic modeling, ECE 5960 Graphical models, IS 6320 Games, economic behavior, and the Internet. In Spring 2015, there's CS 4740 Natural language processing, and new IS professor Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil may be offering a course quite similar to CS6742.

Here is a tentative outline of the course schedule. (See course homepage for updates; click on the link above.) Many details will depend on the eventual size and interests of the class.

Class meeting Agenda item Pedagogical purpose Assignment released
#1 Course overview  

A1 released: pilot empirical study for a research idea based on the given readings. Initial reading should be done before lecture 4; final study write-up and, subsequently, presentation are around lecture 7.

#2 - #4 Lecture topics related to the A1 readings: Online reviews: individual expression, community dynamics; Online asynchronous conversations. Case studies to explore some topics and research styles I find interesting. Get-to-know-you exercises to get everyone familiar and comfortable with each other.  
Next 6 meetings, not counting presentations/discussions Lectures on, potentially, linguistic coordination, linguistic adaptation, influence, persuasion, diffusion, discourse structure, advanced language modeling Foundational material Potentially some assignments based on the lectures.
Next large block of meetings Dicussion of proposed projects based on the readings Practice with fast research-idea generation. Feedback as to what proposals are most interesting, most feasible, etc. Discussion of student project proposals, based on the readings for that class meeting. Each class meeting thus involves everyone reading at least one of the two assigned papers and posting a new research proposal based on the reading to Piazza.
Thoughtfulness and creativity are what I'm most interested in, but take feasibility into account.
Roughly the last half or third of the course Activities related to course projects Development of a "full-blown" research project (although time restrictions may limit ambitions). For our purposes, "interesting" is more important than "thorough".


Some time in December (to be determined by the registrar): final project writeup due

Grading Of most interest to me is productive research-oriented discussion participation (in class and on Piazza), interesting research proposals and pilot studies, and a good-faith final research project.

Academic Integrity Academic and scientific integrity compels one to properly attribute to others any work, ideas, or phrasing that one did not create oneself. To do otherwise is fraud.

We emphasize certain points here. The easiest rule of thumb is, acknowledge the work and contributions and ideas and words and wordings of others. Do not copy or slightly reword portions of papers, Wikipedia articles, textbooks, other students' work, something you heard from a talk or a conversation, or anything else, really, without acknowledging your sources. See http://www.cs.cornell.edu/courses/cs6742/2011sp/handouts/ack-others.pdf and http://www.theuniversityfaculty.cornell.edu/AcadInteg/ for more information and useful examples.

I take violations of the Code of Academic Integrity and the principles behind it very seriously, and have assigned failing grades for such violations in the past.

Code for generating the calendar above and css was (barely) adapted from the original versions created by Andrew Myers.