HLT Masters

Human Language Technology (HLT) Masters Track

Human Language Technology is the science behind computer processing of human language, and is the driving force in modern software and consumer electronics. Automatic speech recognition and natural language processing underlie many technologies that are now used daily by millions of people to interact with mobile technology. Machine translations is being used more and more as its accuracy improves to translate web pages from one language to another, and our ability to extract useful information from text allows us to index and search billions of websites in fractions of a second.

While HLT has grown in its use and importance, the supply of PhDs from academia has failed to keep up with industry’s growing demand for experts capable of developing and deploying needed technologies. The HLT track at Johns Hopkins aims to prepare students for work in industry over the course of just three or four semesters.

In the HLT master’s track, students learn the mathematical and computational ideas behind these increasingly common technologies. You will learn how to implement these  methods using popular programming languages and open-source frameworks and how to deploy these methods at scale using cloud computing resources and high-performance graphics processing units (GPUs). Students will have the opportunity to work on group projects under the direct supervision of distinguished academic researchers in a practicum-style course. The HLT track requirements are intended to allow specialization in a particular technology, such as machine translation, machine learning, or automatic speech recognition.


Sample Courses
  • Introduction to human language technology for computer scientists and engineers

    Computer systems for human language technology I

    Analysis for human language technology I

  • Natural language processing

    Computer systems for human language technology II

    Analysis for human language technology II

  • Start Thesis/ Internship
  • Application course, e.g., Speech Recognition

    Application course, e.g., Machine Translation

    Thesis (completion)

    Students are allowed and encouraged to select other courses from other departments that are relevant to the Human Language Technology Master’s Track.

The HLT track is an intense introduction to Human Language Technology, open to those enrolled in the MSE or PhD programs in the Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments at Johns Hopkins University. The academic year 2019-2020 will be the first year this track is offered.

The HLT track is intended to prepare students  for careers in industry, though we anticipate that a minority of our graduates will go on to pursue PhD studies. Students in the HLT concentration will take courses alongside PhD students, especially students affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Center for Language and Speech Processing. Successful applicants will have a strong background in undergraduate-level programming and math (primarily calculus and linear algebra). The application process is handled through the university’s online graduate student application.

Johns Hopkins University is home to an active group of exceptional researchers in Human Language Technology. Our PhD students have gone on to work in both academia and at leading technology companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon, and may have gone on to form their own startups. PhD programs at Johns Hopkins and similar universities are not producing graduates fast enough to meet the intense industry demand for expertise in HLT. The HLT track aims to prepare students for work with HLT in industry over just three or four semesters.

Center for Language and Speech Processing