NLP Fundamentals


Extracting knowledge from text data has always been one of the most researched topics in machine learning, but only recently we witnessed breakthroughs that put NLP in the spotlight. Many pieces of information are stored in unstructured data, like text, which is extremely important in many different fields, from finance to social media and e-commerce.

In this course we will go through Natural Language Processing fundamentals, such as pre-processing techniques,tf-idf, embeddings, and more. It will be followed by practical coding examples, in python, to teach how to apply the theory to real use cases.

The goal of this workshop is to provide the attendees all the basic tools and knowledge they need to solve real problems and understand the most recent and advanced NLP topics.

Session Outline
Lesson 1 Text Representation
Theory: Familiarize yourself with NLP fundamentals and text preprocessing, to prepare the data for our models. We will go through the main steps like removing stopwords, stemming, One-Hot Encoding, and more.

Exercise: Apply text preprocessing methods on a simple dataset.

Outcome: You will be able to apply to the appropriate methodology to preprocess the text.

Lesson 2 Topic Modeling (45m)
Theory: We will see what LDA is and how it can help to extract information from documents. We will also try different clustering techniques and implement a Non-negative Matrix factorization.

Exercise: Apply topic modeling techniques on a simple text.

Outcome: You will be able to apply to extract the main information from documents using topic modeling techniques.

Lesson 3 Text Classification (30m)
Theory: We will learn how it’s possible to represent text and how a classifier can use this representation. We will use TF-Idf and experiment with a couple of supervised learning models.

Exercise: Build an NLP pipeline to perform classification.

Outcome: You will be able to solve a text classification problem end to end.

Lesson 4 Introduction to Deep Learning in NLP (45m)
Theory: Understand word embedding, how it works, and how to use it. We will go through the main concepts behind word embedding and see some practical examples using the Gensim library.

Exercise: Leveraging python deep learning libraries to create an NLP pipeline for sentiment analysis.

Outcome: You will be able to use word embedding to perform any text classification task.

Lesson 5 Overview of Advanced Deep NLP

We will introduce the most recent development of Deep learning in NLP, in particular we will see how to leverage BERT and ELMo and their pre-trained models to solve NLP problems.

Background Knowledge
We will be using python in all exercises therefore some python knowledge is required. Some machine learning knowledge is beneficial but not required. We will introduce all the basic concepts needed but without spending much time on the most basic ML concepts.


Leonardo De Marchi holds a Master in Artificial intelligence and has worked as a Data Scientist in the sports world, with clients such as the New York Knicks and Manchester United, and with large social networks, like Justgiving. His previous experience includes Head of Data Science and Analytics in Bumble, the largest dating site with over 500 million users, heading the team through an acquisition and an IPO.

He is also the lead instructor at, a company specialized in Reinforcement Learning, Deep Learning and Machine Learning training. He is also a contractor for several companies and for the European Commission, as an expert in AI and Machine Learning. As an author he wrote “Hands On Deep Learning” and he authored an online training course for O’Reilly, Introduction to Reinforcement Learning. In the academic world, he also helped set up the PhD center on Interactive Artificial Intelligence and will take part in the Inner Assessment Board to assign funding to Irish research in AI.

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