Together Duke: Advancing Excellence Through Community
Machine Learning Winter School
January 6-8, 2019
Together Duke is pleased to announce the Machine Learning Winter School (MLWS), being offered for the first time in January 2019, as a three-day class that provides lectures on the fundamentals of machine learning, and modern deep learning.
Machine learning is a field characterized by development of algorithms that are implemented in software and run on a machine (e.g., computer, mobile device, etc.). Each such algorithm is characterized by a set of parameters, and particular parameter settings yield associated algorithm characteristics. The algorithms have the capacity to learn, based on observed data. By “learn” it is meant that the algorithm can rigorously quantify which parameter settings are best matched to the data of interest. After algorithm parameters are so learned, the associated model ideally captures the underlying characteristics of the data. The algorithm, with learned parameters, may subsequently be applied to new data, with the goal of making predictions or learning insights. Machine learning methodology is primarily concerned with designing appropriate models/algorithms for datasets and problems of interest, plus the capacity to learn the model parameters given data (with challenges manifested when that data is of a massive scale).
In the context of prediction, one may be interested in developing algorithms that are capable of automatically interpreting data in a healthcare setting, to improve clinical care. In this case, the healthcare data may be radiological images, doctor notes, and/or a history of patient care (e.g., previous diagnoses, medications taken, etc.). In healthcare, the goal is to use machine learning to make improved diagnoses and recommendations for care. Similar concepts are of interest in business, where one may be interested in tailoring advertising and products to individuals. In education, machine learning may be used to tailor educational material to the level and interests of each student. Machine learning is increasingly making an impact in almost all areas of personal and professional life.
Recently, with increasing access to massive datasets, and to significant advances in computing resources, the quality of machine learning performance (e.g., prediction accuracy) has improved markedly. Further, over the last five years, significant advances have been made in a subfield of machine learning called “deep learning.”
This class will focus on the areas of machine learning that have made the biggest advances in utility over the last several years, particularly deep learning. The class will concentrate on methods that allow machine-learning algorithms to train effectively on massive datasets, i.e., “big data.” Emphasis will be placed on the latest methods for image and video analysis, as well as natural language processing. In addition to these application areas, the course is meant to provide participants with a strong foundation in deep learning fundamentals.
Professor Lawrence Carin, of the Duke Electrical & Engineering Department, will lead the MLWS, and several other Duke professors will also lecture.
Who Should Attend
The Machine Learning Winter School (MLWS) is targeted to individuals interested in learning about machine learning, with a focus on recent algorithms, like deep learning. The MLWS will introduce the mathematics and statistics at the foundation of modern machine learning. Additionally, the MLWS will provide details on case studies, demonstrating how this technology is used in practice.
The MLWS is meant to provide value to students at multiple levels of mathematical sophistication (including with limited such background). On each day of the MLWS, an initial emphasis will be placed on presenting the concepts in as intuitive a manner as possible, with minimum math. As the concepts are developed further, more math will be introduced, but only the minimum necessary to explain the concepts. Finally, case studies will show how the technology is used in practice, and these discussions should be accessible to most students (concepts emphasized over detailed math). Strength in mathematics and statistics is a significant plus, and will make all MLWS material accessible; however, it is not required to benefit from much of the program.
The three-day class will provide lectures on the fundamentals of machine learning, and modern deep learning. During each day of the MLWS, the morning sessions will be devoted to introducing fundamentals on the area of focus that day, and the afternoon sessions will be devoted to case studies, of the methods applied to specific application areas. While software details will not be discussed formally in class, participants will be pointed to available code such that the methods may be applied.
Each day of the MLWS will run from 9:00am-4:00pm and will be arranged as follows:
- 9:00-10:15am Lecture 1: Mathematically-light introduction to the focus of the day
- 10:45-noon Lecture 2: Mathematically rigorous discussion of the focus of the day
- 1:30-2:30pm Case Study 1: Example of the machine learning concept in practice
- 3:00-4:00pm Case Study 2: Example of the machine learning concept in practice
The broad areas of emphasis for the three-day class are as follows.
- Basic concepts in machine learning
- Introduction to model building
- Scaling to “big data” with stochastic gradient descent
- Backpropagation as an efficient computation method
- Deep convolutional neural networks
- Image analysis
- Image segmentation, object detection and object localization
- Methods for natural language processing
- Word embeddings
- Recurrent neural networks
- Sentiment analysis, and automated question-answer
Program Details: Location, Registration and Cost
MLWS is being held in Schiciano Auditorium, which is in the Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences FCIEMAS on Duke’s West Campus. Visitor parking is available in the nearby Bryan Center Parking Garage.
Students (with a valid ID, at Duke or other universities) will pay a course fee of $100; the fee for non-students is $500, payable through the registration site. All fees are non-refundable.
MLWS will be available for up to 200 participants. We will maintain a waitlist beyond the maximum registration, and will contact those on the waitlist as spots become available.
Lecturers in MLWS include: