Machine Learning

Undergraduate course, South China University of Technology, Software College, 2019

Machine learning is the subfield of computer science that, according to Arthur Samuel, gives “computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.” Samuel, an American pioneer in the field of computer gaming and artificial intelligence, coined the term “machine learning” in 1959 while at IBM. Evolved from the study of pattern recognition and computational learning theory in artificial intelligence, machine learning explores the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data– such algorithms overcome following strictly static program instructions by making data-driven predictions or decisions through building a model from sample inputs. Machine learning is employed in a range of computing tasks where designing and programming explicit algorithms with good performance is difficult or infeasible; example applications include email filtering, detection of network intruders or malicious insiders working towards a data breach, optical character recognition (OCR), learning to rank, and computer vision.

Student Outcomes

In this course, you’ll learn about some of the most widely used and successful machine learning techniques. You’ll have the opportunity to implement these algorithms yourself, and gain practice with them. You will also learn some of practical hands-on tricks and techniques (rarely discussed in textbooks) that help get learning algorithms to work well. This is an “applied” machine learning class, and we emphasize the intuitions and know-how needed to get learning algorithms to work in practice, rather than the mathematical derivations.

Teaching Objectives

In this course, the students will learn about some of the most widely used and successful machine learning techniques. the students will have the opportunity to implement these algorithms themselves, and gain practice with them. The students will also learn some of practical hands-on tricks and techniques (rarely discussed in textbooks) that help get learning algorithms to work well.