Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Mitchell, a Moore, and an LDA Hacker

If you don't know what this title refers to, then I'll quickly remind you. Tom Mitchell and Andrew W. Moore are the two (high caliber) professors who are teaching the Machine Learning course I'm taking this semester.

First of all, I'd like to mention that Tom Mitchell is teaching a class titled "Advanced Statistical Language Processing" next semester.

The course description goes as follows:
This is an advanced, research-oriented course on statistical natural language processing. Students and the instructor will work together to understand, implement, and extend state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms for information extraction, named entity extraction, co-reference resolution, and related natural language processing tasks. The course will involve two primary activities: reading and discussing current research papers in this area, and developing a novel approach to continuous learning for natural language processing. More specifically, as a class we will work together to build a computer system that runs 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, performing two tasks: (1) extracting factual content from unstructured and semi-structured web pages, and (2) continuously learning to improve its competence at information extraction. We will begin the course with a simple prototype system of this type. During the course, students will populate it with a variety of statistical learning methods that enable it to extract information from the web, and to continuously learn to improve its capabilities.

Doesn't that sound awesome!

Secondly, Andrew Moore gave the last two lecture on reinforcement learning. What I like about this theory is that it literally places action in perception (remember Alva Noe's book titled "Action in Perception"). I think it is always exciting to see Andrew Moore talk about something he is passion about and these last two lectures were high quality.

Last, but not least, I got my Machine Learning project back today. 100/100. It was a great project and I feel like Jon and I deserved it. I'm generally much more proud of a high grade on a longer project compared to an exam and this is why I'm spreading my joy. I sent an email to Jon (since he is gone at NIPS [lucky, lucky, lucky] this week) and he said something like, "I went to a Jordan tutorial on hierarchical dirichlet processes." Then he summarized it all in 3 words: "It was intense." One day I will cross paths with this Michael Jordan fellow and I will be ready for the intensity that ensues.