Dan Ventura
3324 TMCB
(801) 422-9075
Hours: By appointment

Meeting Time & Place

10:00–11:15 MW
3314 TMCB (Talmage Building)

The Schedule has dates and deadlines for
lectures, reading, assignments, and exams.

Please note the change in both time and place for the course

Course Description

This is a readings course in which we will study together current topics of interest in the fields of Neural Networks and Machine Learning (and related fields such as Artificial Intelligence and Data Mining).


We will not use a text for the course; instead, we will read papers from the literature. You are responsible for reading the material for a given day prior to that day's discussion. Because class time is limited, we may not cover everything in the reading. However, except where specifically noted otherwise, you are responsible for the entire reading assignment. Most papers will be available online. Any that are not will be provided to you in plenty of time for you to do your reading.

Make sure you have done the reading and tried to understand on your own before you ask questions. If you do not, it is usually readily apparent. This can lead to crankiness, and crankiness never was happiness. When you don't understand something, ask—there are no dumb questions, unless you haven't done your reading. When you understand something, help the rest of the class understand it.

Attendance & Participation

Class attendance and participation is expected (note that 25% of your grade is based upon it). The success of the course depends upon everyone contributing to the discussion as we learn the topics together.

As a part of this process, everyone will take a turn teaching a topic of their choice (in consultation with me) to the class from the current literature. These teaching opportunities should take two class periods, and may involve discussion of secondary papers depending on the topic, the class understanding, interest, etc. For your chosen topic, you will be responsible for finding a primary article as well as several supporting articles and for making these available to the class at least a week in advance of when we will discuss them (that means getting them to me so I can post them on the website). You will also be responsible for leading the discussion, eliciting feedback and discussion, etc.


There will be one mid-term (take-home), which will count for about 30% of your final grade, and which will cover material in the reading assignments and class discussions. There will also be a final exam, similar to the midterm (also take-home) which will count for another 30% of your grade.


Grading will be on a weighted curve. An approximate breakdown is as follows:

25% Attedance & Participation
15% Topic Teaching
30% Midterm Exam
30% Final Exam