2018 MPCR Short Course

FAU’s Machine Perception and Cognitive Robotics (MPCR) Lab launched its inaugural Deep Learning Short Course, attracting 49 students and researchers from across the University, the community, and institutions around the world. The Short Course ran from June 19-22, 2018 and consisted of a series of talks and activities centered around understanding Deep Learning and its applications.

MPCR is housed in the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at FAU, headed up by its co-directors, Dr. Elan Barenholtz and Dr. Will Hahn, who work closely with MPCR Lab co-founder and doctoral researcher, Michael Teti, and Lab Manager and doctoral researcher, Emily Stark. Hahn and Barenholtz led the Short Course, alongside Michael Teti, in addition to Emily Stark, who served as Lead Organizer.

Students, faculty, and researchers came from as far as the University of Warwick in England, to the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Carnegie Mellon University. Students from nine area high schools also attended, including, FAU High School, Sun Coast High School, Yeshiva High School, and Lexington High School. A number of research scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology were also in attendance. Click here to see photos from the course.

Course participants learned about the latest, most advanced Deep Learning tools. The topics presented are all used regularly in MPCR research projects and provide incredible power for data analysis, while still accessible to someone just beginning to use Deep Learning. Most of the participants had little experience with programming and research, and were new to many of the topics shared during the course. Survey results showed participants were much more comfortable and knowledgeable with the topics after completing the Short Course.

Participants learned the fundamentals of artificial intelligence, neural networks, with hands-on interaction and activities to develop skills to excel in the burgeoning field.

Dr. Barenholtz shared a number of talks throughout the Short Course, including “AI Gets Real: Machine Learning and the Next Big Bang,” “Convolutional Cortical Code, Cracked,” and “Are you Sure I’m Not a Robot?”

Dr. Hahn covered topics such as General Adversarial Networks and Convolutional Neural Networks, while Michael Teti led a research exhibition and interactive tutorials.

Special Thanks

A special thank you goes to the donors who generously sponsored numerous scholarships for area students to attend the Short Course this summer. Scholarship donors include: Rubin Gruber, Stilson Tomita, and Barry Dorfman.

Additionally, individual recognition should be given to Keyla Thamsten for assisting with logistics and financial processes. Finally, the steering committee, Elan Barenholtz, William Hahn, Emily Stark, Michael Teti, and Rachel Wong, should be recognized for their months of planning, organizing, and overall commitment to this event. Without the support of the department and college, numerous lab members, and the lab directors, this vision would have never become a reality.

If you are interested in attending future events, visit the MPCR website.