Announcements
Course summary
Course announcement:  Please see the course posting/announcement for an overview of the course content.  
Course description:  Teaching computer programs to improve their performance through guided training and unguided experience. Symbolic and numerical approaches. Concept learning, decision trees, neural nets, latent variable models, probabilistic inference, time series models, Bayesian learning, sampling methods, computational learning theory, support vector machines.  
Course homepage:  http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/faculty/mbeal/cse574  
Location / Time:  NSC 210 56.20pm T R (schedule) (first lecture Aug 31, last lecture Dec 9, no lecture Sep 16 & Nov 25)  
Instructor:  Prof. Matthew J. Beal  
Contact:  Office: 210 Bell Hall, Phone: (716) 645 3180 x154, Email: mbeal [at] cse.buffalo.edu  
TA:  Harish Srinivasan  
Office hours: (subject to change) 
 
Credits:  3.00  
Recitations/Registration: 


Prerequisites: 
1. CSE 250 and any of EAS 305, STA 401, or permission of instructor. 2. A basic background in statistics, calculus and linear algebra. 3. Basic knowledge of probability will be assumed. (You should check that you are familiar with the material in the following crib sheet [pdf][ps].) 

Computing:  Some examples and homework will require Matlab, a straightforward but powerful programming language. So, you must either know Matlab or Octave, or be taking a course in either, or be willing to learn Matlab (we will make use of this primer [pdf]).  
Required texts: 
T. M. Mitchell (1997) Machine Learning, McGraw Hill. D. J. C. MacKay (2003) Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms, Cambridge University Press (I highly recommend this book; it is also very cheap and available free for online viewing). 

Optional text:  T. Hastie, R. Tibshirani, J. Friedman (2003) The Elements of Statistical Learning, Springer.  
Grading: (subject to change) 
35% Homework Assignments (best 5 out of 6, worth 7% each) 15% MidTerm Exam 20% Projects (10% each) 30% Final Exam (will also include topics covered before the MidTerm Exam) 

Academic Honesty: 
Group study and discussion are encouraged, but project and homework assignments must be your own work. For coding assignments, if you use a piece of code which you borrowed from elsewhere and therefore did not write yourself, make sure you comment it to show this. Zero tolerance on plagiarism/cheating: if the TA suspects misconduct then you are on shaky ground and if found to be true you will be failed. Consult the University Code of Conduct for details on consequences of academic misconduct, and see also Prof. Shapiro's page on Academic Integrity of the CSE department: http://www.cse.buffalo.edu/~shapiro/Courses/integrity.html. 

Handing in work: 
Homeworks and Projects are due at the beginning of the lecture of the due date. Late homeworks will receive a 10% penalty immediately, and a further 10% for each weekday late, regardless of excuse. No credit will be awarded once the assignments are discussed in the recitations or lectures after the due date. 