Yale College offers new computing and linguistics joint major

Led by language professor Robert Frank, the new major is being established amid growing student interest in computing and connecting with a wide range of connected professionals.

Alex Ye & Pranava Dhar

12:25 am, November 01, 2022

Staff Reporter and Broadcast Reporter

Gavin Guerrette, Photo Editor

This fall, Yale College is offering a new computer science and linguistics program for students interested in studying human language computing.

Led by new Undergraduate Director Robert Frank, the core program will require students to take courses in four core areas: math, statistics, languages ​​and math. Students have the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science program, with the Bachelor of Arts program requiring 11 credits beyond the requirements and the Bachelor of Science program requiring 14 credits beyond than requirements. Regardless of degree program, all students must complete two math core courses, one statistics core course, two language core courses, two computer science core courses and one major requirement.

“I saw the need for this important project through my experience working with students at Yale College on projects in computer science,” Frank said. “I found a need from computer scientists who do not train in language and linguists with no knowledge of the subject. The main purpose came from the need to provide opportunities for students to learn about all aspects in one project.

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Computer Science and Technology joins an expanding list of associate majors and computer science courses. Yale College also offers degrees in computer science and economics, computer science and mathematics, computer science and psychology and computer science and arts. Other majors offered to undergraduate students include mathematics and philosophy, physics and philosophy and economics and mathematics.

The news comes after the University of Cambridge’s University of Computer Science and Technology stepped up and increased course offerings in response. record-high interest. Today, computer science is the second most popular major at Yale College. Total enrollment in computer science courses reached a new record of 3,260 students for the fall 2022 semester.

For Hannah Szabo ’25, the major provided the opportunity to pursue a lifelong career, combining her interests in computer science and the humanities.

“I planned to study computer science, but I was really interested in NLP [natural language processing], so this great project is perfect for my needs,” said Szabo. “One of the most exciting ways that computer science and people can connect is through computer languages. Also, I like the idea of ​​being in a smaller project that is a bit more permanent.

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As with other majors, computer science and language may allow students to complete the core requirements of two different subjects without a double-major, taking approximately two units of coursework. .

Core requirements for the new major include discrete mathematics, linear algebra, probability, an introduction to computer science and data structures and programming techniques. In terms of language, students should take courses related to phonology, syntax and semantics.

William Palmer ’26 explained that he wants to use computer techniques to better understand human behavior.

“I wasn’t sure what the major was, but I knew I was going to take a lot of language courses because language is so good at describing the mind and describing the meaning of a person. ,” Palmer said. “I really liked the idea of ​​using computer and mathematical techniques to describe the structure of language and the structure of the mind.”

According to Frank, the computer and language program opens up many opportunities. Students may decide to pursue anything from university and research to technology, banking and communications.

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In addition to the courses offered, students majoring in computing and linguistics can also explore research opportunities at the Computational Linguistics lab at Yale led by Frank and Language, Literature and Learning at Yale lab led by computer science professor Drago Radev.

Frank highlighted the diversity of research opportunities open to students in the major. A list of studios and activities related to the major, compiled by Frank for interested students, includes principal supervisors and various affiliations including the School of Management, School of Divinity and School of Music.

“I’m really excited about the combination of computer science and language because I’m very interested in natural language processing,” said Seth Goldin ’26. “It’s an area where new research is happening all the time.”

Yale College offers 83 major awards to undergraduates.


Alex Ye has expertise and experience. He previously covered economics, finance and donations. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, he is a sophomore at Timothy Dwight majoring in applied mathematics.


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