COMS 6998: Computational Models of Speech and Language

Michelle Levine
Office hour: Wednesday, 3-4 (7LW3 CEPSR/Shapiro)

Sarah Ita Levitan
Office hour: Tuesday, 11-12 (7LW3 CEPSR/Shapiro)

Teaching Assistants
Nishi Cestero
Office hour: Monday, 2-3 (7LW3 CEPSR/Shapiro)

Zixiaofan (Brenda) Yang
Office hour: Thursday, 11-12 (7LW3 CEPSR/Shapiro)

Time: Thursdays 4:10pm-6:00pm
Location: 304 Hamilton Hall
Prerequisite: COMS 3133/4/7/9 (Data Structures) or equivalent programming ability in at least one systems or scripting language (C++, Java, Python)

Computational Models of Speech and Language is a seminar in NLP and speech processing. This course introduces students to research and data analysis techniques in computational linguistics and psychology. Each week we will cover a topic in psychology that can be approached using computational models. Throughout the course, we will introduce a variety of speech and statistical tools that can be used to analyze spoken language and we will demonstrate how speech technologies can be applied in the real world. Topics include personality, deception, trust, depression, dementia.

Grade Breakdown

Absence policy: An unexcused absence will give you a zero for participation for that day. An excused absence will have no participation penalty. Absences must be cleared with the professors in advance of the class being missed. Weekly postings are required even if you miss a class.

Academic Integrity
The SEAS academic integrity policy is found here.
The CS academic integrity policy is found here.

Note: Schedule and readings are subject to change

Date Topic Readings Assignments & Due Dates
Week 1 (1/19)
Introduction to the Course

Download Praat to your laptop and bring to class.
Week 2 (1/26)

Intro to Praat
Classifying Subject Ratings of Emotional Speech Using Acoustic Features
Predicting Student Emotions in Computer-Human Tutoring Dialogues
Using Hashtags to Capture Fine Emotion Categories from Tweets
Using Context to Improve Emotion Detection in Spoken Dialog Systems
Download NLTK to your laptop and bring to class.
Week 3 (2/2)

Intro to NLTK
Sarcastic or Not: Word Embeddings to Predict the Literal or Sarcastic Meaning of Words
"Sure, I did the right thing": A system for sarcasm detection in speech
"Yeah, right": Sarcasm recognition for spoken dialogue systems
Data Assignment 1 Posted
Week 4 (2/9)
Mediated Communication

Scientific Method
Grounding in Communication
Validation and application of electronic propinquity theory to computer-mediated communication in groups
Virtual environments for creative work in collaborative music-making
Data Assignment 1 Due

Week 5 (2/16) Personality

Automatic Recognition of Personality in Conversation
Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans
Automatically Classifying Self-Rated Personality Scores from Speech

Week 6 (2/23)
Combining Acoustic-Prosodic, Lexical, and Phonotactic Features for Automatic Deception Detection
The Detection of Deception: The Effects of First and Second Language on Lie Detection Ability
Personality Factors in Human Deception Detection: Comparing Human to Machine Performance
Data Assignment 2 Posted

Week 7 (3/2)
Deception cont.
Lying Words: Predicting Deception from Linguistic Styles
Experiments in Open Domain Deception Detection
Finding Deceptive Opinion Spam by Any Stretch of the Imagination
Data Assignment 2 Due

Week 8 (3/9)

Trust and Deception in Mediated Communication
Detecting the Trustworthiness of novel partners in economic exchange
A Meta-Analysis of Factors Affecting Trust in Human-Robot Interaction
Project Proposals Due 3/12

Week 9 (3/16)
No Class; Spring Recess
Week 10 (3/23)
Mental Illness
Towards Automatically Classifying Depressive Symptoms from Twitter Data for Population Health
Vocal-Source Biomarkers for Depression: A Link to Psychomotor Activity
Efficacy of a Web-Based, Crowdsourced Peer-To-Peer Cognitive Reappraisal Platform for Depression: Randomized Controlled Trial
Proposal Feedback

Week 11 (3/30) Mental Illness cont.
Detecting late-life depression in Alzheimer's disease through analysis of speech and language
Towards Automatic Detection of Abnormal Cognitive Decline and Dementia Through Linguistic Analysis of Writing Samples
Using linguistic features longitudinally to predict clinical scores for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias
Week 12 (4/6) Entrainment
Measuring acoustic-prosodic entrainment with respect to multiple levels and dimensions
Mark My Words! Linguistic Style Accommodation in Social Media
Entrainment on the Move and in the Lab: The Walking Around Corpus
Literature Review Due

Week 13 (4/13) Charisma
Charisma perception from text and speech
"Would You Buy A Car From Me?"-- On the Likability of Telephone Voices
Extracting Social Meaning: Identifying Interactional Style in Spoken Conversation

Week 14 (4/20) Social Sharing
Readers will finish long stories-especially if they come from a trusted source
The Psychology of Sharing: Why Do People Share Online?
Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks

Submit Presentation Slides by 4/26

Week 15 (4/27) Final Project Presentations