Once again, from 14 - 21 June, the IST campus welcomed the eager students of the Lisbon Machine Learning School 2018. With its popularity growing every year, it is by now with no surprise that the LxMLS organization announced that once again all the applications and participation records were broken. In its 8th edition, the LxMLS received 548 applications (in 2017 there were 530 applicants) from which 237 students were accepted (about 200 in 2017) from more than 20 countries.
During 8 days, students, researchers and professionals from the areas of Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics had the chance to gain a deeper understanding about automatic learning, with the focus on the main areas of machine learning and natural language processing. In the mornings participants attended lectures focused on Classification, Structured Prediction (sequences, trees, graphs), Parsing, Deep Learning and more. Then, in the afternoons, each of these concepts was tested in practice. This practical component consisted on implementing exercises in Python of the methods learned in the lectures, testing them on real examples. “The goal is not to give an in-depth vision of these contents, but to give a clear explanation about the basics and provide a general overview of what is done, particularly in NLP”, says Telmo Pires, one of the instructors of the LxMLS. During the late afternoons students also attended special talks of concrete applications of these techniques being currently used in production. These tutorials, conducted by highly recognized international specialists, were particularly popular among the students. As for the practical sessions, “The lab sessions about Deep Learning were the ones that arouse the greatest interest among the students“, says Telmo Pires.
Students also had the chance to expand their network during Demo Day (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZAYXTJXAQo), held this last June 19 within the LxMLS 2018. This informal gathering was a great opportunity for students and researchers to exchange ideas and for companies to showcase their products and services.