The Brain, Neural Networks, and Machine Learning

Perhaps the most interesting emergent phenomena in nature are the functions of the brain. You start with what is essentially a bunch of neurons and you end up with a thinking thing. We will try to get a feel for how this is possible by examining simple models of learning based on computational analogues of physical neurons.

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Computational models of neurons are known as artificial neural networks, or sometimes just neural nets. While neural nets are grossly simplified models of the brain, they have become useful tools in computer science, engineering, and science to solve a variety of interesting and challenging problems. In this unit, we will look at three artificial neural networks in our investigation of learning.

Extra Credit: 25%