Informatics 2A: Processing Formal and Natural Languages   (2016-17)

Inf2A Webpages

Tutorials and Lab Sessions

Tutorial group allocations will be confirmed within the first two weeks of the course. If you need to change your tutorial group, please email the Course Secretary Kendal Reid using the ITO email ( to arrange this.

Lab sessions will run in Weeks 3,4,5,6,10 and 11. In order to keep the numbers even, please try to attend the session you are allocated to if possible; otherwise, you may just turn up to another session without prior arrangement.


As part of this course, you will learn how to program in Python, and how to use NLTK, the Natural Language Toolkit. The Lab Materials page has worksheets to help you get to grips with these. Another relevant piece of software is JFLAP, the interactive formal languages and automata package.


The Inf2A exam will take place in December (resit in August). The exam date, time and venue will be publicized here when available (these are set by Registry, not by the School of Informatics).

It will be a closed book exam, similar in format to last year's Inf2A exam. Calculators are permitted, but you must provide your own, and it must be one of an approved list of models specified by College.


The course will provide students with both summative feedback on their performance (i.e. feedback on assessed coursework that contributes to the final course mark) and formative feedback (i.e. feedback on aspects of the course not contributing to the final mark). Summative feedback will include:
  1. Printed feedback on each assignment, including automatic tests run on the student's submission, the results of such tests, and additional comments by a human marker where appropriate. This will be made available to students within two weeks of the assignment submission deadline.
  2. Oral feedback on Assignment 1 submissions, given at the lab sessions in Weeks 9 and 10.
Formative feedback will include:
  1. Oral feedback given by tutors in tutorials on students' solutions to tutorial problems (this will help students to prepare for similar questions in the course exam).
  2. Oral feedback given by demonstrators in lab sessions on students' solutions to the exercises on the Python/NLTK worksheets (this will help students to develop the skills required for Assignment 2).

Class Reps

If you wish to make a comment to the lecturers anonymously, you may do so through the class reps for Year 2 courses. Contact details are given on the Student Representation page.

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