edX: Machine Learning

 with  Professor John W. Paisley

Machine Learning is the basis for the most exciting careers in data analysis today. You’ll learn the models and methods and apply them to real world situations ranging from identifying trending news topics, to building recommendation engines, ranking sports teams and plotting the path of movie zombies.

Major perspectives covered include:

  • probabilistic versus non-probabilistic modeling
  • supervised versus unsupervised learning

Topics include: classification and regression, clustering methods, sequential models, matrix factorization, topic modeling and model selection.

Methods include: linear and logistic regression, support vector machines, tree classifiers, boosting, maximum likelihood and MAP inference, EM algorithm, hidden Markov models, Kalman filters, k-means, Gaussian mixture models, among others.

In the first half of the course we will cover supervised learning techniques for regression and classification. In this framework, we possess an output or response that we wish to predict based on a set of inputs. We will discuss several fundamental methods for performing this task and algorithms for their optimization. Our approach will be more practically motivated, meaning we will fully develop a mathematical understanding of the respective algorithms, but we will only briefly touch on abstract learning theory.

In the second half of the course we shift to unsupervised learning techniques. In these problems the end goal less clear-cut than predicting an output based on a corresponding input. We will cover three fundamental problems of unsupervised learning: data clustering, matrix factorization, and sequential models for order-dependent data. Some applications of these models include object recommendation and topic modeling.


Week 1: maximum likelihood estimation, linear regression, least squares
Week 2: ridge regression, bias-variance, Bayes rule, maximum a posteriori inference
Week 3: Bayesian linear regression, sparsity, subset selection for linear regression
Week 4: nearest neighbor classification, Bayes classifiers, linear classifiers, perceptron
Week 5: logistic regression, Laplace approximation, kernel methods, Gaussian processes
Week 6: maximum margin, support vector machines, trees, random forests, boosting
Week 7: clustering, k-means, EM algorithm, missing data
Week 8: mixtures of Gaussians, matrix factorization
Week 9: non-negative matrix factorization, latent factor models, PCA and variations
Week 10: Markov models, hidden Markov models
Week 11: continuous state-space models, association analysis
Week 12: model selection, next steps
4 Student
Cost Free Online Course
Pace Upcoming
Institution Columbia University
Provider edX
Language English
Certificates $199 Certificate Available
Hours 8-10 hours a week
Calendar 12 weeks long

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What are MOOCs?
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Reviews for edX's Machine Learning
5.0 Based on 4 reviews

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5.0 10 months ago
by Kush Kulshrestha completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
There are not many courses online that provide such in-depth learning experience in Machine Learning. This course goes into some details and mathematics of the algorithms being used. It demands a good amount of time every week to understand and apply all that is being taught but that is what makes it good. It is not like many other courses that you can take and pass with minimal effort but at the end of it, it is worth spending time taking this course.
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5.0 7 months ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
A great introduction to machine learning for those who are well grounded in the mathematics of undergraduate level. It explains the algorithm and the mathematical background of various machine learning techniques very clearly.

Only one point I did not like about this course was that the assignments were not well organized. I hope it will be improved in the future.
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5.0 2 months ago
by Harish Ramakrishnan completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Beautiful course which covers advanced concepts of machine learning. Professor Paisley covers a whole range of topics and breaks down hard concepts clearly. This course is very theoretical. There are four programming assignments which give an opportunity implement some of the algorithms learned. The only downside is that weekly assignments lack mathematical/programming rigor which can be improved in future sessions. Overall must do course for anyone interested in this topic.
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5.0 a year ago
by Hong Xu completed this course.
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