Teaching

COSC 6342: Machine Learning - Fall 2017

 

Previous Courses

COSC 7363: Advanced Machine Learning - Spring 2016

COSC 6368: Artificial Intelligence - Summer 2015

COSC 4368: Artificial Intelligence Programming - Spring 2017

COSC 6342: Machine Learning - Fall 2015

COSC 7363: Advanced Artificial Intelligence - Spring 2014

COSC 6343: Advanced Topics in Pattern Analysis (Special Topic on Astrostatistics) - Spring 2009

COSC 1306: Computer Science and Programming - Fall 2016

 

Philosophy

My objective is to give students a solid foundation in computer science and the vision to apply their knowledge in real-world applications. The use of computer science in real-world applications requires more knowledge than that acquired by an introductory course in the field. Real-world applications are challenging because they involve the combination of several techniques interacting in complex ways. The recently-graduated student often finds a big gap between the understanding of basic concepts in computer science and the knowledge necessary to comprehend the structure of a full industrial solution. My teaching strategy is to bridge the gap between the theory behind an introductory course in computer science and the knowledge necessary to understand practical applications in the real-world. For example, a course in artificial intelligence can be designed by covering the basic concepts in the field, while describing projects that have had an important impact in industry. From chess programs, to the use of machine learning for face recognition and fraud detection, to the design of highly massive parallel computers to investigate the protein-folding problem, the student should get a clear understanding of how techniques in artificial intelligence are combined to yield practical and tangible results.

My experience is that students (both undergraduates and graduates) need incentives to grow in motivation and remain focused during class. That is why explaining the practical value of a concept may help acquire a different perspective on the importance of the subject. Other examples include mentioning anecdotes about the history of how we obtained an understanding of a theory, or how a mechanism was designed. In summary, I believe a course must be designed with the purpose of educating students in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject of study.

 

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Current Address: Department of Computer Science, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Rd, Houston TX 77204-3010
Phone: (713) 743-3614 - Fax: (713) 743-3335 (attn. R. Vilalta)