This course is designed to introduce students to the field of machine learning, an essential toolset for making sense of the vast and complex datasets that have emerged in fields ranging from biology to finance to marketing to astrophysics in the past twenty years.

This class will present a number of important modeling and prediction techniques that are staples in the fields of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. In addition, this course will cover the statistical underpinnings of the methodology. The tentative list of topics includes:

Regression and classification as a predictive task and general model fitting: a review of linear regression, cross-validation, bootstrapping, sparse regression (Ridge, LASSO), tree-based methods.

Neural networks and deep learning: convolutional neural networks, backpropagation, transformer neural networks, language modeling.

Causality, reasoning, inference: potential outcomes, inverse propensity weighting, matching, difference-in-difference.

Unsupervised learning: Principal component analysis, clustering.

Week 1, Sep 6: Introduction

Examples about linear regression, image classification and language modeling (naive Bayes).

Week 2, Sep 10: Linear regression and estimation, Sep 13: Bias-variance tradeoff; K-nearest neighbors

Simple linear regression, multiple linear regression, with some review of linear algebra.

The bias-variance tradeoff in supervised learning, learning polynomial functions, and K-nearest neighbhors.

Week 3, Sep 17: Logistic regression and linear discriminant analysis, Sep 20: LDA and QDA

Logistic function, logistic loss (log-loss), maximum likelihood estimation, and cross-entropy loss. See notes on logistic regression using gradient descent.

Mixture of Gaussians, estimation of linear discriminant analysis (LDA).

Quadratic discriminant analysis, estimation of QDA.

Logisitic regression vs. LDA vs. QDA.

Week 4, Sep 24: Cross validation, bootstrap, and subset selection, Sep 27: Ridge regression and LASSO

Leave-one-out cross validation, k-fold cross validation.

Bootstrap.

Forward subset selection.

Regularization: Ridge regression, LASSO.

Week 5, Oct 1: Decision trees

Regression tree; classification tree.

Bagging.

Week 6, Oct 8: Random forests, boosting, Oct 11: Introduction to neural networks

Cross-validation in bagging.

Random forests.

Gradient boosting.

MNIST.

Artificial neuron (perceptron), activation functions, feedforward neural networks

You are responsible for keeping up with all announcements made in class and for all changes in the schedule that are posted on the Canvas website.

The grade will be based on the following:

Homeworks (5): 40%

Exam (takehome, choose 24 hours): 30%

Course project report (submitted on GitHub): 15%

Course project presentations (one proposal and one final presentation): 15%

Textbooks for reference:

An Introduction to Statistical Learning (ISL). Gareth James, Daniela Witten, Trevor Hastie, and Robert Tibshirani.

Elements of Statistical Learning (ESL). Trevor Hastie, Rob Tibshirani, and Jerome Friedman.