This course focuses on recent advances in machine learning and on developing skills for performing research to advance the state of knowledge in machine learning. The material integrates multiple ideas from basic machine learning and assumes familiarity with concepts such as inductive bias, the bias-variance trade-off, the curse of dimensionality, and no free lunch. Topics range from determining appropriate data representations and models for learning, understanding different algorithms for knowledge and model discovery, and using sound theoretical and experimental techniques in assessing learning performance. Specific approaches discussed cover nonparametric and parametric learning; supervised, unsupervised, and semi-supervised learning; graphical models; ensemble methods; and reinforcement learning. Topics will be discussed in the context of research reported in the literature within the previous three years. Students will participate in seminar discussions and will present the results of their individual research project.

Course prerequisites: 

605.649 Introduction to Machine Learning; multivariate calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics, discrete mathematics.

Course instructor: 

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