Monday, December 5, 2011

Machine Learning Stanford Class

Few months back my friend Vasanth asked me if I'd like to enroll in the machine learning class offered by Stanford university ( I'm in my 9th week in to it now and it's been great experience so far. I was always interested in machine learning and never had a chance to take a course in Data Mining.

This course explains the core concepts of machine learning. Andrew Ng, the instructor, is absolutely phenomenal. I was impressed witth his teaching style and how effective it was.

Some of the topics we covered in the class are
1. Linear Regression
2. Logistic Regression
3. Regularization
4. Neural Networks
5. Support Vector Machines
6. Clustering
7. Dimensionality Reductions
8. Anomaly Detection

The exercises took 6-8 hours each week. Most of the exercises are in Octave and the code is heavily commented to help understand the core concepts. Overall it was an amazing class and a great introduction to machine learning.

So I was keen to know how often statisticians and machine learners use these core algorithms and tweak them up to manipulating stuff at the matrix level. I spoke to a friend who was working at an internet startup doing R for customer/market segmentation and he said he never went down to the matrix level. Seems like R is pretty sophisticated in abstracting the stuff under the hood. Maybe one day I'll get to try it.


  1. Yash,
    Fantastic course you got yourself into. ;) I happenned to read about a presentation Andrew Ng did for either Business Process Management or Business Rules Forum, a couple of weeks back. Apparently he's closely involved with two of the Stanford professors emeritus - Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig - whose seminal text on AI I had the opportunity to translate parts of it into Portuguese back in Brasil.

    Good stuff! and Happy Holidays!!

  2. Hi Chad, Thanks for your comment. Andrew and Peter have gone to found their own companies in the online learning space after the phenomenal succes of their class. Looks like it went well. the class was a tremendous learning experience.