NYU CS-GY 6923 Machine Learning

A broad introduction to the exciting field of machine learning through a mixture of hands-on experience and theoretical foundations.

Special Semester on Generative Machine Learning

Course Team:

Christopher Musco
Christopher Musco
Aarshvi Gajjar
Course Assistant
Aarshvi Gajjar
Atsushi Shimizu
Course Assistant
Atsushi Shimizu
Teal Witter
Course Assistant
Teal Witter

Lectures: Friday 11:00am-1:30pm, 2 Metrotech, Room 911. Recordings available through Brightspace.
Prof. office hours (general): Mondays 11:00am-12:30pm, Zoom link.
Aarshvi office hours: Mondays 4:00pm-5:00pm , Zoom link.
Atsushi office hours: Tuesdays 11:00am-12:00pm, 8th floor common area, 370 Jay.

Grading breakdown: Written Problem Sets 20%, Programming Labs 20%, Midterm 25%, Final Exam 25%, Participation 10%

Ed Discussion: All course communication will be via EdStem, so please join our site from Brightspace. All questions should also be posted to Ed (not sent via emails). We prefer that lectures or homework questions are asked publicly, since they will often help your classmates. Ed also supports private questions for things relevant only to you.

Python and Jupyter: Demos and labs in this class use Python, run through Jupyter notebooks. Jupyter lets you create and edit documents with live Python code and rich comments and images. We suggest that students run their Jupyter notebooks via Google Colaboratory, and we will share them via Colab.

Prerequisites: Modern machine learning uses a lot of math! Probably more than any other subject in computer science outside theoretical computer science. You can get pretty far with an understanding of just calculus, probability, and linear algebra, but that understanding needs to be solid for you to succeed in this course. Formally we require a prior course in probability or statistics. If you need to freshen up on linear algebra, this quick reference from Stanford is helpful.

Homework: Homework (both written problems and coding labs) must be turned in to Gradescope by the specified deadline. Use the code V5XZJ5 to join the class on Gradescope. We do not accept late work without prior permission.

Labs should be turned in as evaluated Jupyter notebooks. Do not clear the output before turning in. While not required, for written problem sets I encourage students to prepare problem sets in LaTeX or Markdown (with math support.) You can use this template for LaTeX. While there is a learning curve, these tools typically save students time in the end! If you do write problems by hand, scan and upload as a PDF.

Discussion is allowed on homework, but solutions and code must be written independently. See the syllabus for details. We have a zero tolerance policy for copied code or solutions: any students with duplicate or very similar material will receive a zero on the offending assignment. My advice is to never share code or solutions with other students.

Resources: There is no textbook to purchase. I may post readings, some of which will come from the following book, which is available free online via the NYU library:

I have also found the lectures and notes from the companion site to the book Learning With Data (ISBN 978-1-60049-006-4) can be very helpful. This is a compact, inexpensive book if you want to purchase.

Lecture # Topic Reading Homework
Function Fitting and Regression
1. 1/27 Introduction to Machine Learning, Loss Functions, Simple Linear Regression, Multiple Linear Regression
  • Work through Demo 1 on numpy and working with arrays and plots.
  • Work through simple regression example in Demo 2.
  • Complete Lab 1. Due 11:59pm, Monday 2/6.
2. 2/3 Finish Multiple Linear Regression, Data Transformations, Model Selection, Regularization
  • Work through multiple regression example in Demo 3.
  • Work through Demo 4 on polynomial regression and model order selection.
  • Complete Lab 2. Due 11:59pm, Tuesday 2/21.
  • Complete written Homework 1. Due 11:59pm, Friday 2/17. 10% bonus if you typeset solutions in Markdown or Latex!
Bayesian Methods and Probabilistic Models
3. 2/10 Naive Bayes
  • Lecture 3 slides (annotated).
  • Additional reading on feature selection: Chapter 6.1 in AISL.
  • Additional reading on regularization: Chapter 6.2 in AISL.
4. 2/17 More on the Bayesian Perspective, Modeling Language
  • Complete Lab 3. Due 11:59pm, Friday 3/3.
5. 2/24 K-nearest neighbors, Logistic Regression, Optimization
6. 3/3 Gradient Descent, Stochastic Gradient Descent
3/10 Midterm Exam

The midterm will be design to be a 1:15 minute exam, but you will have the entire class period.
3/17 Spring break, no class.
7. 3/24 Finish Gradident Descent, Introduction to Learning Theory, the PAC model
  • Complete Lab 3, gradient_descent_demo_and_lab.ipynb. Due 11:59pm, Mon. 4/10.
  • The first half of this lab is a demo, which you should go through slowly. The parts you actually have to fill in don't start until the "L2 Regularization" section.
Beyond Linear Methods
8. 3/31 Kernel Methods, Support Vector Machines
9. 4/7 Introduction to Neural Nets, Backpropagation
10. 4/21 Convolution, Feature Extraction, Adversarial Examples
  • Lecture 10 slides (annotated).
  • For additional reading on generalization in neural nets, see Chapter 10.8 in An Introduction to Statistical Learning.
Unsupervised Learning
11. 4/28 Auto-encoders, Principal Component Analysis, Semantic Embeddings
  • Complete written Homework 3. Due 11:59pm, Monday 5/8.
12. 5/5 Semantic embeddings, Image Sythesis
5/12 Final Exam