Computer programming techniques for collecting and analyzing data in linguistic research. Introduction to Unix, regular expressions, and Python scripting. Hands-on experience gathering, formating, and manipulating corpus, field, and experimental data, combining data from multiple sources, and working with existing tools. Knowledge of computer programming not required. 2-4 units.
The main goal is to empower you — to bring you to the point where you can process massive amounts of linguistic data. If you immerse yourself in the assignments and actively seek out ways to apply the concepts to your own research, then you'll emerge a skilled Python programmer as well.
The assignments are all designed to be relevant to linguistic research. Right from the start, you will be doing interesting things that you can connect with your work. To make this possible, the assignments typically involve code-fragments that you flesh out into (more or less) complete solutions. Part of doing the assignment is studying and thinking about the code provided, so that you can adapt it to other tasks later in the course and to your own projects.
Assignments will be distributed on Mondays and due the next Sunday by 17:00. I want them by then so that I can look them over to see what kind of follow-up review is needed in class the next day.
Penalties for late work: for each assignment A, 2 points off your total points earned for A for each day it is late.
Extra credit: Each challenge problem is worth the same as a homework problem. You can substitute challenge problem grades for homework grades up to two times. (I'll find the overall set of 10 assignments that maximizes your final grade.)
These will be hands-on, problem-oriented sessions. You are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop, so that you can try things out, solve problems on your own, etc.
We will not devote class time to getting software installed, dealing with mysterious bugs, etc. I will be holding twice-weekly offices specifically for this course: MW, 4:45-5:45 (right after class). Please feel free to come for troubleshooting code, installations, etc., as well as substantive questions.
There is not space in the schedule for (at least) two important topics:
- Python/CGI programming for creating web-based surveys
- Taking advantage of NLTK (at least two meetings).
We should schedule ad hoc meetings to do these things.
Students with documented disabilities
Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) located within the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). SDRC staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current quarter in which the request is being made. Students should contact the SDRC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066).