Waterloo AI Institute's first 'Reverse Co-op' course in Deep Learning is a big success

Monday, February 25, 2019

The focus of Waterloo.AI is to collaborate with industry partners to seize opportunities to lead interdisciplinary AI research and application in emerging areas; enable conditions that support impact in the AI sector; and build a better awareness around the world of Waterloo’s AI research expertise.

As part of that mandate, one of the core pillars we offer to our partners is our 'Reverse Co-op' short courses.  This is an innovative twist on the University of Waterloo's long-standing success with our co-op program, where undergraduate students are placed in work terms with leading employers to learn how to apply their skills in real-world situations.  With our Reverse Co-op courses in Artificial Intelligence, Waterloo.AI aims to provide practicing professionals with the opportunity to return to the university setting to deepen their technical skills in AI through intensive short courses with top instructors in the field. And to do so in a practical way so they can bring those skills back to their companies and put them to immediate use.

Our first Reverse Co-op in Deep Learning was recently held on the University of Waterloo's campus on February 19-22, 2019.  Throughout the intensive 3.5 course, 45 participants from 11 partner organizations learned about the theoretical and practical implementation of a number of deep learning techniques from senior faculty that include Dr. Ali Ghodsi, Dr. Alexander Wong, Dr. Mark Crowley, Dr. Peter van Beek, and Dr. Fakhri Karray.

 Attendees participating in roundtable panel discussion

The response from attendees was overwhelming positive, with the vast majority reporting that the course more than met their expectations and they would definitely be recommended it to their colleagues. Some of the comments included:

  • "Very impressed with presenter's knowledge and ability to explain concepts. Improved my understanding of deep learning greatly."
  • "Great content, great delivery by the professors, great way to show concepts in the morning and practical aspect in the afternoon. Last discussion by Alex was amazing to see practical problems or rules of thumb in industry."
  • "Thank you very much. It was all well suited to making me feel comfortable with Deep Learning/ NN's etc."
  • "Very good workshop. I particularly enjoyed how some of the concepts in deep learning was presented in a very simple way by Dr. Ali Ghodsi."

Summary graph from a few questions

The next major events of the Institute will be in the Fall with our Annual Partners Meeting as well as another Reverse Co-op. Details of these events will be provided to our partners shortly.