How to join the lab

It is always nice to hear from people who want to join the Computational Linguistics lab, but unfortunately, I don’t always have time to respond to these requests in as much detail as they deserve. Here is some general information about the various ways to join the lab. (I am on leave from Summer 2018 until Fall 2019, and am not taking any new students at this time.)

Postdocs: We do not currently have funding for postdoctoral researchers, but feel free to reach out in case the situation changes.

PhD students: If you are currently a PhD student at Georgia Tech, please feel free to reach out by email. Acceptance depends on the availability of funding, my bandwidth to advise additional students, your prior performance in the PhD program, and a good academic fit. Taking CS 7650 (Natural Language) and doing impressive work is the best first step.

PhD applicants: The Computational Linguistics group includes students in the CS and HCC PhD programs, and we plan to recruit students in the new Machine Learning program in the future. Admission to these programs is by committee, and not by individual faculty members. Applicants with an interest in natural language processing and computational linguistics are encouraged to reach out to by email. The best emails are short, specific about interest in the Computational Linguistics Lab at Georgia Tech, and include a CV. You can find out more about our PhD programs here:

  • Computer Science:
  • Human Centered Computing:
  • Machine Learning: coming soon!

Master’s Students: The Computational Linguistics lab typically includes a small number of masters students, many of whom have published with the lab at top conferences such as ACL, NAACL, and EMNLP. In general, a strong performance in CS 7650 is a minimum prerequisite for joining the group as a master’s student. Additional background in machine learning and linguistics is also helpful. GRA support for master’s students is relatively unusual, and depends on the availability of funding.

Undergraduates at GT: The lab typically includes 1-2 undergraduate students at a time. In general, a strong performance in CS 4650 is a minimum prerequisite for joining the group as an undergraduate. Additional background in AI, machine learning, and linguistics is also helpful.

Interns / visiting students: I get many emails from prospective undergraduate interns, usually from abroad, and I have not been able to accommodate anyone yet. One reason is that I often travel during the summer, so I am usually unable to offer the level of advising necessary to make it worth the time and expense. Another reason is that bringing international students as interns to GT is a surprisingly complicated administrative process, even if the student were to address all the visa issues themselves. Prospective interns are welcome to reach out (include a CV!), but I cannot promise to respond.

Getting started in computational linguistics: For most students, CS 4650 and CS 7650 are prerequisites for joining the lab. Many students consider these classes to be difficult, so you may find it helpful to prepare in advance. A good start is to read the course notes, which are available online (feedback is always welcome). These notes are updated frequently, so check back often. Background material includes probability, statistics, linear algebra, and related data science topics. Programming assignments are in python, so you may want to build experience with this language. For more background on linguistics, you may start with this text (free online from GT internet). Here is another reading list, which hasn’t been updated in a few years.

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