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Machine Learning (COMP30027)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeCOMP30027
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


Machine Learning, a core discipline in data science, is prevalent across Science, Technology, the Social Sciences, and Medicine; it drives many of the products we use daily such as banner ad selection, email spam filtering, and social media newsfeeds. Machine Learning is concerned with making accurate, computationally efficient, interpretable and robust inferences from data. Originally borne out of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning has historically been the first to explore more complex prediction models and to emphasise computation, while in the past two decades Machine Learning has grown closer to Statistics gaining firm theoretical footing.

This subject aims to introduce undergraduate students to the intellectual foundations of machine learning, and to introduce practical skills in data analysis that can be applied in graduates' professional careers.


Topics will be selected from: prediction approaches for classification/regression such as k-nearest neighbour, naïve Bayes, discriminative linear models, decision trees, Support Vector Machines, Neural Networks; clustering methods such as k-means, hierarchical clustering; probabilistic approaches; exposure to large-scale learning.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Recognise real-world problems as amenable to machine learning
  2. Apply machine learning algorithms and end-to-end statistical processes correctly
  3. Interpret the results of machine learning run on real data
  4. Compare benefits/drawbacks of competing models and algorithms, relevant to real problems
  5. Derive machine learning algorithms from statistical first principles.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject the student is expected to possess:

  1. Ability at logical problem solving: undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  2. Capacity for creativity and innovation
  3. Ability to communicate effectively within both the engineering team and the community at large
  4. Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship
  5. An expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, and the capacity to do so.

Last updated: 25 July 2019