AI and Computational Language and Linguistics Development Project

Starting in Dec. 2019, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature has begun a pioneering “AI and Computational Language and Linguistics Development Project”. The goals of this project are:

1. To introduce computational and AI content in our existing courses, including language training courses.

2. To develop a new “AI and Computational Linguistics” course for FLLD majors.

3. To organize a lecture series on “AI and Computational Education for Language Teachers and Learners”. The speakers will be experts on AI, Computational Linguistics, and Digital Humanities and will include both academic experts and IT professionals from major corporations in Taiwan and overseas. With the help of these speakers faculty and students will gain more expertise in this rapidly developing field and create beneficial long-term linkages with researchers, consultants, and employers.

4. To develop a new certificate program consisting of three to five courses on computational content for FLLD majors.

5.  To serve as a key agent for AI and computational curriculum development and faculty research in the College of Arts.

Project team members are Dr. Henk Vynckier, Dr. Chen Meihua and Dr. Bruno Galmar.

Natural Language Processing Course

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the technology used to aid computers to understand human natural language. Specifically, by combining the power of artificial intelligence, computational linguistics, and computer science, Natural Language Processing helps machines “read” text by simulating the human ability to understand language.

The application of methodologies of NLP has led to dramatic advances in fields such as lexicography, corpus linguistics, descriptive grammar, and language teaching. In view of its importance, the FLLD will attempt to equip our students with NLP knowledge. To achieve this goal, we plan to offer a course on “Natural Language Processing and Corpus Linguistics” in our MA program. It is to be noted that NLP is not only about mathematics, but also about linguistics. Corpora play an essential role in NLP research, as well as a wide range of other linguistic investigations. In this course, besides being introduced to the fundamental concepts or methods of NLP (such as lemmatization, segmentations, POS tagging, parsing), our students will gain hands-on experience in building corpora using basic NLP methods as well as practically applying corpora in language analysis.

While the course is only offered as an MA course at present, we also plan to offer a crossdisciplinary course entitled “Introduction to Natural Language Processing” for undergraduate students; this course will be open to both foreign language majors and computer science majors. Through learning computational approaches (for example, word frequency, language models, MI, TF/IDF, lemmatization, segmentations, POS tagging, parsing, and collocation extraction), students from both departments will gain interdisciplinary perspectives. By the end of the course, FLLD students and CS students are expected to work together on carrying out small-scale research projects. By doing so, FLLD students would be able to gain basic programming skills in addition to their language training, whereas CS students would be able to apply computer technology to language learning.

Dr. Meihua Chen is teaching MA course in Spring 2020.