IIT Madras and NPTEL invite applications for Free Online Course on Basic Machine Learning

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IIT Madras has organised this course while keeping in mind the growing usage of Machine Learning in every industry. The course introduces the basic concepts of machine learning from a mathematically well motivated perspective. It will also cover the different learning paradigms and some of the more popular algorithms and architectures used in each of these paradigms.


The objective of this IIT Madras Machine Learning course is to prepare a student to take a variety of focused, advanced courses in various subfields of Programming. The course is further designed to develop a basic understanding of problem-solving, knowledge representation, reasoning and learning methods of Machine Learning.

Who can enrol in the course?

This is an Undergraduate computer science level course. But anyone can enrol in the course. The only prerequisite is you should know basic programming and probability and linear algebra. You also should have the desire to expand the horizon of your knowledge. Moreover, this course is a must-take for people in the data analytics, data science, big data domain.


Timeline of the course

This Elective course has a duration of 12 weeks. It will start from 18 January 2021 and end on 9 April 2021. If you want the certificate, you have to give a proctored exam on 25 April 2021. The last date to enrol is 25 January 2020.

Who will teach this Machine Learning course?


Prof. Balaraman Ravindran will lead the course. He is currently a Professor in Computer Science at IIT Madras and Mindtree Faculty Fellow. Further, he has nearly two decades of research experience in machine learning and specifically reinforcement learning. Currently, his research interests center on learning from and through interactions. They also span the areas of data mining, social network analysis, and reinforcement learning.

What will the course teach?

This is an 8-week-long course. Here’s the itinerary for the course.

W0: Probability Theory, Linear Algebra, Convex Optimization - (Recap)


W1:  Introduction: Statistical Decision Theory - Regression, Classification, Bias Variance

W2: Linear Regression, Multivariate Regression, Subset Selection, Shrinkage Methods, Principal Component, Regression, Partial Least squares

W3: Linear Classification, Logistic Regression, Linear Discriminant Analysis


W4: Perceptron, Support Vector Machines

W5: Neural Networks - Introduction, Early Models, Perceptron Learning, Backpropagation, Initialization, Training & Validation also Parameter Estimation - MLE, MAP, Bayesian Estimation

W6: Decision Trees, Regression Trees, Stopping Criterion & Pruning loss functions, Categorical Attributes, Multiway Splits, Missing Values, Decision Trees - Instability Evaluation Measures


W7: Bootstrapping & Cross Validation, Class Evaluation Measures, ROC curve, MDL; also Ensemble Methods - Bagging, Committee Machines and Stacking, Boosting

W8: Gradient Boosting, Random Forests, Multi-class Classification, Naive Bayes, Bayesian Networks

W9: Undirected Graphical Models, HMM, Variable Elimination, Belief Propagation


W10: Partitional Clustering, Hierarchical Clustering, Birch Algorithm, CURE Algorithm, Density-based Clustering

W11: Gaussian Mixture Models, Expectation Maximization

W12: Learning Theory, Introduction to Reinforcement Learning, Optional videos (RL framework, TD learning, Solution Methods, Applications)

How to obtain a certificate from IIT Madras?

The course is free to enrol and learn. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the optional proctored exam. The fee for this exam is ₹ 1000. Also, the successful completion of the exam does not guarantee a certificate. To get a certificate, you need to get 25% from the assignments and 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100.

Final score = Average assignment score (>10/25) + Exam score (>30/75). If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will still not get the certificate even if the Final score > 40/100.

This printable certificate will carry the stamp from both NPTEL and IIT Madras.

Further, enrol in the course here.

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