International Fellowship applications for Part 2 now openWritten: 17 Jan 2018 by Rachel Thomas
From the time of our very first deep learning course at the USF Data Institute (which was recorded and formed the basis of our MOOC), we have allowed selected students that could not participate in person to attend via video and text chat through our International Fellowship. This International Fellowship, along with our Diversity Fellowship, has been an important part of our mission:
We want to get deep learning into the hands of as many people as possible, from as many diverse backgrounds as possible. People with different backgrounds have different problems they’re interested in solving. We have seen and experienced some of the obstacles facing outsiders: inequality, discrimination, and lack of access. We’ve also observed that the field of artificial intelligence is missing out because of its lack of diversity.
In fact, many of our strongest students and most effective projects have come from the International Fellowship. By opening up the opportunity to learn deep learning in a collaborative environment, students have been able to apply this powerful technology to local problems in their area. For instance, past International Fellows have worked to:
- Provide better crop insurance to farmers in India who otherwise have to take predatory loans from thugs, which have led to high suicide rates
- Provide resources for Urdu speakers in Pakistan
- Develop wearable devices for patients with Parkinson’s disease
This year, we’re presenting an entirely new version of part 2 of our deep learning course, and today we’re launching the International Fellowship for it. The program allows those who can not get to San Francisco to attend virtual classes for free during the same time period as the in-person class and provides access to all the same online resources. (Note that International Fellowships do not provide an official completion certificate through USF). International fellows can come from anywhere on the planet (including from the USA) other than San Francisco, but need to be able to attend each class via Youtube Live at 6.30pm-9pm Pacific Time each Monday for 7 weeks from March 19, 2018 onwards. For many people that means getting up in the middle of the night—but our past students tell us it’s worth it!
The prerequisites are:
- Familiarity with Python (including numpy), git, and bash
- Familiarity with the content covered in Deep Learning Part 1, version 2, including the fastai library, a high-level wrapper for PyTorch (it’s OK to start studying this material now, as long as you complete it by the start of the course)
- Available on Monday evenings (Pacific Standard Time) to attend via Youtube Live, from March 19 to April 30
- Able to commit 10 hours a week of study to the course.
- You took the updated, in-person deep learning part 1 course during fall 2017
- You are comfortable solving problems using python and numpy to solve problems, have watched the first 2 videos of the online course before you apply, and a commitment to work through all 7 lessons before the start of the course. We estimate that each lesson takes approximately 10 hours of study (so you would need to study for the 7 weeks prior to the course starting on March 19, for 10 hours each week).
- You have previously taken the older version of the course (released last year) AND watch the first 4 lessons of the new course to get familiar with the fastai library and PyTorch.
To apply, email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, and:
- Title your email “International Fellowship Application”
- Include your resume
- Write 1 paragraph describing one or more problems you’d like to apply deep learning to
- Describe how you fulfill the deep learning prerequisite (e.g. have already taken deep learning part 1, or have started part 1 and plan to finish it before part 2 starts)
- State where you are located
- Confirm that you that you can commit 8 hours a week to working on the course and that you are able to participate in each class via Youtube Live at 6.30pm-9pm Pacific Time each Monday for 7 weeks from March 19, 2018 onwards.
The deadline to apply is February 28, 2018. You will not be notified if you have been selected until AFTER the deadline.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will the updated course be released online? Yes, the course will be recorded and released after the in-person version ends.
- Can I apply again if I was an international fellow last year? Yes, you are welcome to apply again.
- Do I get a certificate of completion for the international fellowship? No, the USF Data Institute only awards certificates to graduates of the in-person course.