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This page lists obligatory and optional courses for students of General and/or Computational Linguistics at the Seminar für Sprachwissenschaft (SfS). Other courses of interest outside the SfS can be found on Course reviews.

Please note that the reviews on these courses are mainly subjective. The content of courses may vary from one lecturer to another or between different semesters.

Data Structures and Algorithms for Language Processing (Java 1)

Audience: ISCL B.A. majors 1st semester, ISCL B.A. minors 3rd semester, ISCL M.A. students who do not know Java

Semester described here: WS 2010/11

Lecturer: Frank Richter, tutorial by Jochen Saile, homework graded by Anne Brock

Room: 2.26, the computer lab

Course Website:

Description: This is a programming course in Java for beginners. It introduces students to data types, variables, conditional statements and loops, before quickly focusing on object oriented programming, and finishing off with file input / output.

Literature: In the WS 2010/11, the first ten chapters of Java: An Introduction to Problem Solving and Programming, 5th Edition by Walter Savitch and Frank Carrano were covered. Many students found the book to be very helpful, although somewhat lengthy. Students who already know a programming language might not find much new information in it, however.

Effort: weekly homework, weekly lab sessions with extra assignments, two exams, presence during lectures required

How to prepare: Learn any programming language. If you do not know which one to start with, learn Java, as it is the language taught in this course. There are lots of free tutorials available online. But knowledge in anything that is a bit like programming will help, including MS Excel / OpenOffice formulae, HTML, or even cheats in computer games.

Introduction to Computational Linguistics

Audience: ISCL B.A. majors 1st semester, ISCL B.A. minors 1st semester

Semester described here: WS 2010/11

Lecturer: Adriane Boyd

Room: 0.02 (may change in future semesters)

Course Website:

Description: The course provides a non-technical introduction into different areas in computational linguistics.

Literature: various, mainly Speech and language processing by Daniel Jurafsky and James H. Martin (2009)

Effort: one or two papers to read each week, occasional homework, two exams

How to prepare: Be interested in computational linguistics, that's it. Absolutely no previous knowledge is required for this course.