Welcome! This page contains instructional materials associated with the following paper:
Jason Eisner and Noah A. Smith. Competitive Grammar Writing. In Proceedings of the ACL Workshop on Issues in Teaching Computational Linguistics, pages 97-105, Columbus, OH, June 2008.
Just as programming is the traditional introduction to computer science, writing grammars by hand is an excellent introduction to many topics in computational linguistics. We present and justify a well-tested introductory activity in which teams of mixed background compete to write probabilistic context-free grammars of English. The exercise brings together symbolic, probabilistic, algorithmic, and experimental issues in a way that is accessible to novices and enjoyable.
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