Policies and requirements


Your grade is determined based on:

  • Participation: 15%
  • Homeworks: 25%
  • Literature review: 15%
  • Project milestone: 10%
  • Final presentation of project: 5%
  • Final project paper: 30%

Class participation

The primary way that participation will be recorded is via the bake-offs – informal, data-oriented tasks aimed at providing hands-on experience with the material and stimulating new project ideas.

  • Bake-offs will begin in class but can continue outside of it.
  • Bake-offs can be done in groups.
  • Bake-offs scores and notes are submitted via Canvas. The scores let us figure out who "won" – top scores will receive a bit of extra credit. The notes give us information about how different approaches are doing, which we can then summarize and report back to the class.
  • All bake-off submissions must be submitted by 11:59 pm on the day they are due.

Asking questions in class is another way to participate, as is posting on the discussion forum (questions and especially responses to questions) and coming to office hours to interact with the teaching team.


Our goals for the homeworks: (i) to raise important questions, (ii) to foster common ground for the in-class discussions, and (iii) to help you master central NLU concepts.

  • All homeworks must be submitted by 11:59 pm on the day they are due.
  • All homeworks are adminstered via the course Canvas site
  • Collaboration on weekly assignments is permitted. Please remember to note who you collaborated with in the appropriate (optional) assignment question.

Policy on late work

Each student will have a total of 4 free late (calendar) days applicable to any assignment (including the lit review and project milestone) except the final project paper. These can be used at any time, no questions asked. Each 24 hours or part thereof that a homework is late uses up one full late day. Once these late days are exhausted, any homework turned in late will be penalized 20% per late day. Late days are not applicable to final projects. If a group's assignment is late n days, then each group member is charged n late days.

Final project

For details, see the final projects page.

Policy on submitting related final projects to multiple classes

On the one hand, we want to encourage you to pursue unified interdisciplinary projects that weave together themes from multiple classes. On the other hand, we need to ensure that final projects for this course are original and involve a substantial new effort.

To try to meet both these demands, we are adopting the following policy on joint submission: if your final project for this course is related to your final project for another course, you are required to submit both projects to us by our final project due date. If we decide that the projects are too similar, your project will receive a failing grade. To avoid this extreme outcome, we strongly encourage you to stay in close communication with us if your project is related to another you are submitting for credit, so that there are no unhappy surprises at the end of the term. Since there is no single objective standard for what counts as "different enough", it is better to play it safe by talking with us.

Fundamentally, we are saying that combining projects is not a shortcut. In a sense, we are in the same position as professional conferences and journals, which also need to watch out for multiple submissions. You might have a look at the current ACL/NAACL policy, which strives to ensure that any two papers submitted to those conferences make substantially different contributions — our goal here as well.

Academic honesty

Please familiarize yourself with Stanford's honor code. We will adhere to it and follow through on its penalty guidelines.

Students with documented disabilities

From Stanford's Office of Accessible Education:

Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Office of Accessible Education (OAE). Professional 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 OAE as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. The OAE is located at 563 Salvatierra Walk (phone: 723-1066, URL: http://oae.stanford.edu).