Algorithms and Applications

From robotics, speech recognition, and analytics, to finance and social network analysis, machine learning comprises one of the most useful scientific toolsets of our age. This course provides an overview of the core principles of machine learning using a hands-on, project-based curriculum. There is an intense focus on implementing popular machine learning algorithms to solve real problems using real data.

This is designed for people working in any number of data-intensive fields, including consulting, finance, IT, healthcare, and logistics, as well as for recent college graduates and entrepreneurs interested or specializing in those fields.

Firm knowledge of the Python programming environment.

Basic understanding of vector and matrix algebra (how to add and multiply vectors/matrices), as well as basic understanding of the notion of a mathematical function (e.g., understanding what f(x)=x^2 or f(x) = sin(x) means).

Basic calculus and linear algebra is helpful but not required (e.g., how to take derivatives, what a linear system of equations is, etc.). A quick refresher on these topics will be provided. (Note: Knowledge of statistics is not required for this course.)

Upon completion of the Machine Learning course, students have:

An understanding of the basic principles of machine learning from both an intuitive and practical level.

An intuitive understanding of common feature design principles for image, text, and speech data.

An understanding of how to use popular machine learning and deep learning software packages in Python, as well as know how to implement several popular machine learning algorithms from scratch.

Extensive experience applying machine learning algorithms to real data sets.

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Sergey Fogelson is the vice president of analytics and measurement sciences at Viacom. He began his career as an academic at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he researched the neural bases of visual category learning and obtained his Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience. After leaving academia, Sergey got into the rapidly growing startup scene in the NYC metro area, where he has worked as a data scientist in alternative energy analytics, digital advertising, cybersecurity, finance, and media. He is heavily involved in the NYC-area teaching community and has taught courses at various bootcamps, and has been a volunteer teacher in computer science through TEALSK12. When Sergey is not working or teaching, he is probably hiking. (He thru-hiked the Appalachian trail before graduate school).

When using a smartphone to take pictures of other people, built-in face detection algorithms locate faces in the camera viewfinder (usually putting little squares around each one), so the camera knows where to focus the image. We will explore how the core piece of this machine learning algorithm works, and students will get hands-on experience completing a prototype face detection system.

How can we intelligently guess the price of a stock or commodity in the near future? Students design a simple financial times series model using real data taken from the Federal Reserve.

Deep learning, or neural networks, are popular because they can scale with enormous datasets. Students get hands-on experience using a popular software package to perform a common deep learning task called general object detection.

Gauging the general population’s feelings about a product, company, or politician (referred to as 'sentiment analysis') is getting easier thanks to massive public datasets generated by social media sites like Twitter. Students practice performing sentiment analysis on real data to understand how it’s done.

Handwritten digit recognition is a classic machine learning problem with popular solutions implemented in ATMs, mobile banking apps (to automatically read checks), and postal services (to automatically sort mail). Students implement a multi-class classification scheme to perform digit recognition using real-world datasets.

Do you ever wonder how large online retailers and video providers recommend content based on a person's purchasing and/or viewing history? Students deploy a common recommender system model to recommend movies.

Can we predict who needs preventative care that could drastically improve – if not save – their lives? Students mine a real-world dataset to determine individuals who most likely require preventative healthcare in order to avert catastrophic medical costs and consequences.