Response to 2014/15 survey feedback.
The course is not running in 2015/16 but it has been renamed Accelerated Natural Language Processing and will be running under that name.
We have taken note of the feedback provided through the Student Online Survey. We have the following responses/clarifications:
- Some students with less programming background felt the programming expectations were too high. We plan to be clearer about expectations this year, and we also plan to reduce the amount of programming in the earlier parts of the course. However this course is intended to be intensive and in order to prepare students for other courses in second semester and for their projects, it is necessary to include real programming content. We have also tried to communicate to accepted students that even a little bit of programming preparation over the summer will help a lot with this course.
- Students felt that there was not enough opportunity to hand-simulate key algorithms or work through the kinds of pencil-and-paper exercises that will be on the exam. Some students also felt the mathematical content was very challenging for those with less background (especially in probability theory). To address these issues, we have (a) prepared a tutorial document with many examples and exercises covering the required probability theory, and (b) introduced tutorial groups to go over algorithms and exercises. The tutorials will run in alternate weeks with labs (replacing some of the labs from last year).
Sharon Goldwater and Henry Thompson, August 2015.