We're excited to announce the fifth edition of the Text Analysis and Retrieval (TAR) course. If you're interested in search engines, text analysis, statistical natural language processing, and the application of machine learning to natural language processing, then this course is for you. However, since TAR might be a bit different than the courses you took in the past, we ask you to take into account the following information before you make your final decision about enrolling the course.
- TAR is taught in English only (level L3). All course material, including exams, will be in English. There is no "Croatian group" and no material in Croatian. If you enroll this course, we assume that you're accepting these terms and that you have a good-enough command of English to follow the lectures and participate in class.
- In the second half of the course, the classes will revolve exclusively around paper reading sessions. What this means is that you will be asked to read scientific papers (which are in English) published at recent and renowned conferences, summarize the papers, answer key questions about them, and finally participate in discussions, which we will have together in class. There will be no way around this: reading sessions are an integral part of the course, we're doing them for you and you only, and you can't make up for them by doing something else. Furthermore, you will have to attend all paper discussions, with at most one absence, which you will have to compensate for by answering additional paper-related questions. Why are we doing all this? Because we firmly believe that being able to read, review, and discuss scientific papers is a tremendously important skill, regardless whether you intend to pursue an academic career. We're also doing it because we found out it's a much better and a more amusing way to engage with the topics we want to cover. And while most students felt that reading and discussing papers was indeed a lot of fun, it is certainly not for everybody.
- The central activity of the course is the project work. Project are done primarily in the second half of the course and revolve around a practical and trendy information retrieval or natural language processing task. You get to choose a topic from a list of topics. Three points deserve a mention here. First, the projects are done in 2-3 person teams. There is no way around this; you can't do the project on your own, and you have to team up by yourself. Second, the project results will need to be wrapped up in a form of a short scientific paper. You can write the paper in English or Croatian. Third, there will be a short (5 min) project presentation at the end of the course. This again can be done in English or Croatian, and it suffices that one project member presents your work.
- Though machine learning is not a formal prerequisite for TAR, taking the course without knowing the ML basics will probably cause much frustration. Here we don't necessarily mean that you should have completed FER's ML course: any other course or self-study that provided you with the basics of ML will be fine. On the other hand, if you absolutely had no prior exposure to ML, we don't advise enrolling TAR.
We've just published TAR 2017 course project reports. It took us some time, but now they are online and available here. We hope that you are as proud of your work as we are!
Please take a look and let us know if there's anything that bothers you by next Friday, January 12 at 11:59 p. m., when we will finalize the reports.