Posted by: Chris Brew | March 18, 2010

Are you a linguist interested in taking CS classes at OSU?

If so, I have two options for you:

Option 1

If you want to prove that you know some computer science and to demonstrate the ability to do your own programming (all scientists should want these skills), then take the

Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization/Minor in Applied Software Engineering

which requires you to take:

1) CSE 502: Object-Oriented Programming for Engineers and Scientists (can be waived if you have some programming experience)


CSE 688: Applied Component-Based Programming for Engineers and Scientists

2) One of:

a) CSE 767 Applied Use-Case-Driven OOAD for Engineers and Scientists

b) CSE/ECE 794R: Applied Enterprise Distributed Computing for Engineers and Scientists

3) One or more other elective courses to make up to 15 credit hours:

I strongly recommend that linguists taking this path choose their electives as CSE 630: Survey of Artificial Intelligence I and CSE 680: Introduction to Analysis of Algorithms and Data Structures.

Everything about this strikes me as recommendable. If you have the choice, maybe you should do 2b in preference to 2a.

Option 2: If you want to compete for postdocs and other jobs that need demonstrable CS training, Masters’ degree, Research track is your only sensible option.

This is a much bigger commitment of time and effort, but gets you an extra and very  solid academic qualification.

It is exceptionally hard to do this unless you have the energy, time and funding to devote an extra year or more to your studies. The 7xx classes in the Masters program are difficult. We are talking here about classes that substantial numbers of well-prepared computer scientists are prepared to fund themselves to do, because they judge that it will improve their earning potential. They are correct, but both you and they should expect to work very hard to realize the potential.

Similar options will be available once we move to semesters.



  1. It is in fact possible to do the CSE research master’s without allocating an extra year in addition to the PhD in linguistics. Just work harder ;).

  2. Clearly, I would not have survived a computational linguistics education at OSU–I stink at algorithms!

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