CSE 40657/60657
Natural Language Processing

Fall 2023
MWF 11:30–12:20
313 DeBartolo
David Chiang

Computers process massive amounts of information every day in the form of human language. Although they do not understand it, they can learn how to do things like answer questions about it, or translate it into other languages. This course is a systematic introduction to the ideas that form the foundation of current language technologies and research into future language technologies.

The official prerequisite is CSE 20312. Students should be experienced with writing substantial programs in Python. The course also makes use of finite automata, context-free grammars, basic linear algebra, multivariable differential calculus, and probability theory. Ideally, students should have taken CSE 30151, Math 10560, and ACMS 30440, but please contact the instructor if you have questions about the necessary background.


The best way to contact the teaching staff is on Campuswire.

Prof. David Chiang
Office hours: Tues 1:30–3:30pm, WTh 1:30–2:30pm
179 Fitzpatrick
Teaching assistant
Aarohi Srivastava
Office hours: Wed 5–7pm
150B Fitzpatrick


Unless otherwise indicated, assignments are due at 5pm Eastern time.

Week Topic Readings/Assignments
08/23 Introduction Chapter 1
Project idea (due 09/01)
08/28 Language models (n-grams) Chapter 2
09/04 Language models (RNNs) HW1: Text prediction (due 09/15)
09/11 Machine translation (IBM models) Chapter 3
09/18 Machine translation (attention and transformers) HW2: Machine translation (due 10/06)
09/25 Language models (transformers)
10/02 Speech and writing Chapter 4
Project baseline (due 10/13)
10/09 Words: parts-of-speech and morphology Chapter 5
Fall Break
10/23 Syntax and parsing HW3: Parsing (due 11/08)
Chapter 6
10/30 Parsing, continued
11/06 Semantics Chapter 7
HW4: Named entity recognition (due 11/20)
11/13 Generation Chapter 8
11/20 M: Projects HW5: Generation (due 12/01)
11/27 MW: Generation, continued
F: Projects
12/04 Conclusion Project report (due 12/15)



Your work in this course consists of five homework assignments and a research project.

requirement points
homeworks 5 × 30
project 3 × 30 + 60
total 300
letter gradepoints
A 280–300
A− 270–279
B+ 260–269
B 250–259
B− 240–249
C+ 230–239
C 220–229
C− 210–219
D 180–209
F 0–179


Honor Code

Students in this course are expected to abide by the Academic Code of Honor Pledge: “As a member of the Notre Dame community, I will not participate in or tolerate academic dishonesty.”

The following table summarizes how you may work with other students and use print/online sources:

Resources Solutions
Consulting allowed not allowed
Copying cite not allowed
See the CSE Guide to the Honor Code for definitions of the above terms.

If an instructor sees behavior that is, in his judgement, academically dishonest, he is required to file either an Honor Code Violation Report or a formal report to the College of Engineering Honesty Committee.

Students with Disabilities

Any student who has a documented disability and is registered with Disability Services should speak with the professor as soon as possible regarding accommodations. Students who are not registered should contact the Office of Disability Services.

Late Submissions

For university-excused absences (e.g., documented illness, travel for athletics or a job interview), coursework submissions will be accepted late by the same number of days as the excused absence. Otherwise, you may submit part of an assignment on time for full credit and part of the assignment late for a penalty. No part of the assigment may be submitted more than once. The late penalty increases by 5% per day and stops increasing when it reaches 50%; thereafter, it remains at 50% until the final project due date, after which no work may be submitted.


All course materials written by the instructor and published on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

All other course materials, including lecture recordings and materials written by the instructor and distributed privately (including through Sakai) should not be redistributed in any way; doing so is a violation of both US copyright law and the University of Notre Dame Honor Code.