FAQ Master: All FAQs
Last change: November 2019
- What can I do if I have problems with the LSF/HISPOS system for registering for an exam or committing a module?
- Where can I get additional advice?
- Which prerequisites do I need for applying to the Masters program in Computational Linguistics?
- Which language skills do I need to have?
- Do I have to study a secondary subject?
- If I am matriculated at Heidelberg university and change from Bachelor to Masters, is this a new matriculation or a change of program?
- How are the marks entered into LSF/HISPOS?
- How can I register for the final oral exam?
- My mark is not yet entered into the LSF system.
- I was sick at exam time but already committed. What should I do?
- If I change program, can I get credit for modules from a different subject in Computational Linguistics?
- What can I do when my term paper or thesis has not been marked in a long time?
- Can I get credit points during a semester on leave?
- Which deadlines apply for changes of study program and who is responsible for changes of program?
- I want to change program and now want to study Computational Linguistics. Do I have to consult with the study advisor?
- Is Computational Linguistics closer to Linguistics or to Computer Science?
- Modules at ICL take place at the same time as modules in other institutes. Can we change module times?
- I am in one of the first terms and encounter difficulties. Whom can I ask for advice?
- How to contact the study advisors?
- I have a technical problem. How do I get help?
- How plagiarism is handled at our institute and how to avoid it?
- Are there any constraints or rules for the written form of the thesis?
- How do I find a supervisor?
- What can I do when I have problems or difficulties with my thesis?
- How do I write the thesis?
What can I do if I have problems with the LSF/HISPOS system for registering for an exam or committing a module?
In order to make sure you can sit an exam and that your talks/exercises/projects/term papers count, you have to commit yourself for each module in the online LSF/HISPOS system before the end of the commitment deadline ("Commitmentfrist"). If you do not do this, even exercises you already handed in or talks you already give do not count. The commitment period is announced on the main home page of the institute and normally ends 3-4 weeks before end of term.
If you have any problems with commitment you have to contact the administrative office immediately (or at the latest before the commitment deadline) so that they can note down your commitments.
There is more information on the general Masters page. If this is insufficient then contact the study advisor (studienberatung-mastercl.uni-heidelberg.de).
The Heidelberg Masters program is a consecutive program, i.e. you will need a Bachelors degree in Computational Linguistics (at least 50%). You will find more information on our Admission page.
You will need B2 English language skills. You will find more information on our Admission page.
You can study a secondary subject if you choose 80% CL with secondary subject. However, you can also study 100% CL.
If I am matriculated at Heidelberg university and change from Bachelor to Masters, is this a new matriculation or a change of program?
It is a change of program ("Umschreibung"). You will have to reregister in time for the following term and then use your master admission for the program change.
The marks for all CL modules will be entered by the Computational Linguistics administration if you committed on time for the corresponding module. For marks in the secondary subject, please contact the study advisor or administration in the secondary subject.
Download the corresponding form from the Examination office (Gemeinsames Prüfungsamt) and fill it in as far as possible. You will also need to collect signatures of your thesis advisor and/or examiner for the oral exam. Once this is complete, hand in the form to the secretaries in Computational Linguistics who will check everything and hand it to the institute director to sign. You can then recollect the form and go to the examination office with it. Please note that the date on the form counts as the beginning of your final thesis phase ("Abschlussphase"), not the hand-in date at the examination office.
Please give the module leaders 4 weeks after end of term for marking. The marks will be entered directly by our administrative office.
If the mark has not been entered before the next term, contact the administrative office to find out the reason. Please take note of our commitment regulations (see this FAQ).
You will have to hand in a doctor's note that covers the day of the exam to our administrative office. The director then decides whether your commitment can then be canceled. If so, you will have to take the next possible exam for that module.
If I change program, can I get credit for modules from a different subject in Computational Linguistics?
This might be possible but can only be done in person (not per email or telephone). Please contact the study advisor (studienberatung-mastercl.uni-heidelberg.de) for a personal meeting. For the meeting you need to bring along the proof of the credit points ("Schein") you would like to transfer. You will then bring the list of the modules/credits we allow you to transfer to the administrative office who will enter it into the LSF system. If they do not appear in the transcript after a few weeks, please contact the administrative office again.
If the marking of your thesis exceeds the official periods given in the examination regulations, then please contact the administrative office, then the module leader and enquire politely after the reason. If this does not help, you can also ask the student representatives ("Fachschaft") or study advisor for help. As a very last resort, you can also ask the institute director for assistance. In case of final bachelor or master thesis it is also possible that the thesis has been marked but that the examination office has not yet entered the mark.
No, this is not possible.
Changes of study program are done in the central university "Studierendenadministration" (Seminarstrasse 2). Our Computational Linguistics study advisors are only responsible for consulting prior to such a change and for the potential transfer of credit points. If you want to change program and are already in the third semester or higher it is obligatory to consult the study advisors of the new program. The deadline for program changes are on the pages of the Studierendenadministration.
I want to change program and now want to study Computational Linguistics. Do I have to consult with the study advisor?
Although overall recommended, such a consultation is only obligatory if you are already in the third or higher semester in your old program.
Computational Linguistics is an interdisciplinary subject so that it has close ties to both subjects. Please note that formal models are essential for computational linguistics, however. Which direction you want to focus on in your studies, will depend on your own interests. Heidelberg offers possibilities for focusing on both directions, including a close link to computer science.
Modules at ICL take place at the same time as modules in other institutes. Can we change module times?
The module times of different institutes are in general not coordinated with each other. However, you do not have to follow the recommended study plan in the module overview to the letter. You can for example swap modules between different semester to avoid collisions in the current semester. If you do so, please take into account module prerequisites.
If you encounter difficulties in your studies, try to get help as early as possible. Talk to other students or to older students among the student representatives (Fachschaft). If you have personal problems (such as examination anxiety) contact the Career Service (Zentrale Studienberatung). If you have organizational or program-specific problems then our study advisors (studienberatung-mastercl.uni-heidelberg.de) in Computational Linguistics can help.
Please see the study advisor page.
The first step is to consult our technical FAQ. If that does not help you can write an email to the technical support at technikcl.uni-heidelberg.de. The following rules apply:
- Make it as easy as possible for the technical support to help you. Include a concrete description of your problem: "My program does not work" is insufficient.
- The email should include the following information that allows to reproduce the error: the exact command (with all arguments and options), system changes, environment variables (command env), needed files etc. Important: Make sure that the technical support has the rights to access the files needed.
- Describe the error. If there is an error message, copy it into the email.
- Please include the code that produces the error or a link to it. Make sure it is accessible. If the code is long, it should be commented and accessible.
- Which computer/server are you working on? What is your user name? Which operating system do you use?
- What did you already try to solve the problem? It is extremely frustrating to look for solutions just to find out that you already tried them without success. Have you already looked for solutions yourself? After all, you can use a search engine and look for solutions...
- If there are several emails between you and support, please use the reply-button so that one can follow the email thread. Please do not delete the old text in the email so that the whole thread can be seen in one go.
- Use concrete subject lines that allow technical support to identify the problem and the thread. Do not use general subject headers such as "Help", "Problem", "Python", "Hello", "Software project". Emails are not a movie where we are supposed to wait for the exciting resolvement until the end.
- When you work with others: please be organized. Send emails to all (cc). Your replies should also go to all who are concerned (reply-all).
- If you visit technical support in person: Please have the relevant information ready. Where are the files? What are the environments one needs? How is the program started? You should be able to reproduce the mistake while visiting.
- If you come with your own laptop, be prepared. Does the internet connection work? Is there an ssh/client? Do you know your unix user name? Your password?
Definition of plagiarism: (intentionally or unintentionally) taking someone else's work and passing it off as one's own without proper attribution (i.e. without mentioning the original author and sources).
To plagiarize seminar papers or final theses is not only scientific misconduct, but also an offense according to the copyright act. Since 1st March 2009, the "Zweite Gesetz zur Umsetzung der Föderalismusreform im Hochschulbereich" (ZHFRUG) is in force. The change of this law states that scientific misconduct (as plagiarism) may lead to exmatriculation (§3, section 5, LHG and §62, section 3, ZHFRUG).
Therefore, we especially point out once more, that you have to draw up seminar papers and final theses on your own. In particular, that means that you always have to mark the use of someone else's works and cite the corresponding sources.
The ICL regularly offers courses on scientific writing. Moreover, various guides to this subject are available, such as (last access July 4 2019):
- How to Avoid Plagiarism (Northwestern University, 2018; pdf-Version)
- Avoiding plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and other questionable writing practices: A guide to ethical writing (Miguel Roig, 2006)
There are no general institute-wide rules. The form, especially length and structure, should be discussed with the supervisor. Here is a LaTex that you can use for inspiration.
Supervisors have to be (honorary of full) professors at ICL, or group/project leaders of an ICL project with special permission to supervise theses. The main supervisor has to be chosen before registration ("Anmeldung") of the thesis, the second supervisor has to be chosen before submitting the thesis. At least one of the superviros has to be fully employed at the ICL. See "Folien zur Abschlussphase" (slides about graduation), page 6 for a complete list. Some supervisors provide a list of specific topics online. Usually it helps to take a look at the topics of previous theses and to match them with your own interests, to get a feeling for topics per supervisor, in order to discuss them in person (during office hours).
First try to talk to your supervisor directly, especially when it's about the contents of your thesis or organizational issues: Often there are misunderstandings and unclear details, that are easy to fix as soon as you talk about them - don't be scared! Furthermore, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, the Fachschaft or study advisors (list).
Here's a collection of tipps and guidelines: Leitfaden zur Abfassung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Katarina Klein, Leitfaden zur Abfassung wissenschaftlicher Arbeiten, TU Dresden, Maria Lieber, Dos and Donts, Uni Heidelberg, Anette Frank.