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  • Akshay Bahadur

Google AI | Explore ML Academy, Hyderabad

Updated: Apr 25

This blog is about the Explore ML Academy, Hyderabad which is a Google-sponsored program for university students to get started with Machine Learning.

Link to Akshay's slides[Deck 1] and Sayak's Slides [Deck 1] [Slide 2].

Google AI
Abstract

Explore Machine Learning (ML) is a Google-sponsored program for university students to get started with Machine Learning. The curriculum offers 3 tracks of Machine Learning Content (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) and relies on university student facilitators to train other students on campus. In order to help equip student facilitators to train others, Google hosts a series of Machine Learning Academies. Explore ML is a 2-day training experience for student facilitators to get familiar with the programs’ content, meet one another, and connect to Googlers.

Link for applications: https://events.withgoogle.com/explore-ml-in/

Google AI | Explore ML
Participants & Event

Out of all the applications, 60 students were selected to participate in the program.

The event was scheduled to take part over 2 days (14th and 15th September) at Google, Hyderabad. Agenda :


Day1

  • Welcome

  • Exploring Machine Learning

  • Problem framing and definition

  • How to gather data set and ML fairness practices

  • Selecting the data model

  • Introduction to tools used in ML

  • Problem Statement Sharing


Day2

  • Solving the problem statement

  • Presentations by students

  • Cruising on AI waves

  • Ending note - Pratyusha Simharaju

  • Schwag Distribution

  • Photograph session

Day 1

Nikita Gandhi started the academy by welcoming the students followed by Siddhant Agarwal overseeing an ice breaker activity so that all the students get to know each other.

Siddharth welcoming the students

The ice breaker activity was fun and helped the students to get to a common start along with slowly progressing onto the next session.



After the icebreaker, Nikita Gandhi gave a session on 'Exploring Machine Learning'. The session was about the basics of Machine Learning and the models. The interaction was wonderful and very informative along with relevant feedback from the trainers and students. Overall, we couldn't have asked for a better opening session.

Nikita Gandhi - Exploring Machine Learning

After Nikita's session, the baton was passed to Sayak Paul. Sayak gave a great session on 'Problem framing' and 'How to gather data set and ML fairness practices'. Personally, I love Sayak's expertise and dedication. His session cleared some of my doubts and gave a new perspective on these topics. One of the major points that he mentioned was whether a problem was worth solving using Machine Learning.

Sayak Paul - Quality of Dataset

It was tough to follow up after Sayak. However, I, Akshay Bahadur, tried my best and shared my findings on 'Selecting the data model' and 'Introduction to tools used in ML'. The idea was to make the students more creative in their approach. One of the most basic concepts of Statistics i.e., Normalization was used to display how a simple concept could improve the accuracy of the model by 400%. I tried to emphasize on building efficient models that could work in low a low resource environment.

Tools in ML

This was the end of Day 1. The students were organized in groups of 6 and given a problem statement to work on. The goal was to come up with a unique approach and be able to present their work on the same.


Day 2

Day 1 was fantastic. The students were intrigued by the problem statements and even reached out to the mentors late at night to understand the problem better and validate the approach. A couple of hours were given to the students to complete the implementation as well as prepare the demonstrations.

Students preparing for the demo

The demonstrations were surreal. Some of the groups gave us unique ideas. I would like to discuss the projects in detail but I would encourage you to try for the Explore ML this year. To give you an overview, the students were given a unique problem either related to Computer Vision or Natural Language Processing. The idea was not to solve the problem but to work in a team and try to approach the problem as uniquely as possible.


After the presentations, Siddhant Agarwal explained his vision for building AI in India through his talk on 'Cruising on AI wave'. Siddhant discussed the importance of Artificial Intelligence and how it has and will impact India.

Cruising on AI wave

This was followed by a session on 'How to be a good influencer' by Pratyusha Simharaju. This was especially useful for the students who were looking to open a chapter of Explore ML in their college and spread the ML knowledge.

How to be a good influencer

Finally, the last session was taken by Nikita where she addressed the next steps for the students.


And finally, the much-awaited photo session took place. All of us had a great time clicking photos while discussing ideas. I remember discussing some project ideas with Sayak and photobombing the students. I think I enjoyed this part the most.

Feedback

The feedback from students was very overwhelming, let's see what they had to say.


In the words of Sonal Sisodiya - "Attending the #ExploreML Academy at Google ,Hyderabad has been an amazing experience. A very big thanks to Nikita Gandhi for organizing this academy and being an amazing project coordinator , Siddhant Agarwal for the fantastic talk on "cruising on AI wave" , Sayak Paul and Akshay Bahadur for being such good mentors , for sharing the knowledge about the right ways of implementing machine learning and helping through the projects given to us , Pratyusha Simharaju for the talk on "how to be a good influencer" . With all the learning felt very confident about being a facilitator , now looking forward to sharing my knowledge with other students through workshops."


Tarun Gorle explained his feelings by saying - "Google is not a place, it's an emotion! The Zeal of #ExploreML academy at Google, Hyderabad campus is happened in such a fascinating way... Thanks to Nikita Gandhi who have made us better throughout the programme. and thanks to Sayak Paul and Akshay Bahadur who mentored us in problem statements.. Thanks to our teammates, Vignaan Vardhan, Omkar Ajnadkar, Anirban Mukherjee, Avijit Chakraborty and Akshay kumar for your efforts throughout the project and presentation.. Last but not the least, Pratyusha Simharaju who taught us how to give an effective presentations and tips on that.. And this is the huge shoutout to all Facilitators for ExploreML academy by google, you guys nailed it."


Khushboo Verma, a GitHub Campus Expert and Facilitator at Google Explore ML, posted this about the academy - "The vibe of #ExploreML Academy at Google, Hyderabad was unmatched with intellectual speakers and attendees talking about the scope, best practices and impactful applications of Machine Learning. 😍 Thank you Nikita Gandhi for running this program and the academy, Siddhant Agarwal for your inspirational talk on 'Cruising on AI Waves', Akshay Bahadur and Sayak Paul for being such amazing mentors and putting in tireless efforts to guide us through our projects and Pratyusha Simharaju for teaching us the art of being a wonderful influencer. ❤️ Looking forward to organising #ExploreML workshops on campus and creating an impact! 😊"

Thoughts

First of all, I just want to apologize for the delay in the blog post. I had already done most of the work for the blog but then delayed the release due to other commitments. Now, since I have some time at hand, I thought that I would release it quickly so that people who couldn't attend the event could also get a taste of the Explore ML Academy. I had a great time during the first phase of the academy in September. We had the second phase (Explore ML Bootcamp) in February of this year. Hopefully, I will release some information for that soon.

Overall, the two days were surreal. I got to mentor the students as well as learn from them. I shall always cherish the memories and I am looking forward to the future of Explore ML.


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© 2018 by Akshay Bahadur