Machine Learning I

Machine Learning I


Credit Spring 2021
01/19/2021 - 05/16/2021

Course Information

Section 001
Distance Learning
Karina Hernandez

Office Hours

  • M W
    9:00am - 10:45am
    Google Hangouts
    Any other time by appointment (send email to instructor)
  • T
    8:00am - 8:45am
    Google Hangouts
  • Th
    8:00am - 8:45am
    Google Hangouts
    Any other time by appointment (send email to instructor)

Course Requirements

The Blackboard course access for this class will be available to students starting 01/19/2021 (First day of class). 

Once the BB course for this class is available, students must complete "mandatory" orientation (found under "Course Orientation" module in BB) within first week of class (01/19/2021-01/24/2021) to be counted as "Attending" and to get access to all content material in this course (Competency modules, Assignments and Assessments).

Course Description: This course will introduce the student to terms and concepts related to artificial intelligence (AI), including augmented intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. The material will be presented using an application-oriented approach, focusing on the techniques and methods rather than on the statistics behind these methods. Python libraries will be used for implementing the Machine Learning models.

Pre-requisite: ITSE 1372

Credit Hours: 3

Course Rationale: This course is required as part of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Software Development degree. In this course we will implement programs capable of learning from data following the Machine Learning process: data preparation, model building, model evaluation, model optimization.

Instead of implementing our own version of each machine learning algorithms; we will be using the production-ready Python framework Scikit-Learn that implements many Machine Learning algorithms efficiently. It is assumed students have some Python programming experience and familiarity with Python’s main scientific libraries: NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib. Experience with Jupyter notebooks is also a plus. However if you are not familiar with all of these pre-requisites or just need a refresher , the Pre-requisite module in our BB course is a great place to start before you attempt any of the main competency modules for this class.

Instructional methodology: This course will be taught over the Internet. The course consists of video lectures, discussions, and project assignments that provide practical application of skills. All assignments, announcements, grades, and instructional materials will be available through the Blackboard class management system.  Assessments will be administered via Blackboard.

For students new to distance education, please review the ACC Distance Education General Information available at

Technology Support Services: In response to COVID-19-related campus closures, Austin Community College now provides free, secure drive-up WiFi to students and employees in the parking lots of all campus locations. WiFi can be accessed seven days a week, 7 am to 11 pm.  Additional details are available at

Students who submit the Student Technology Access Form and indicate they need help accessing their online learning environment to successfully complete their courses are eligible to check out an ACC iPad for use during the semester.  You must be registered for a credit course, Adult Education, or Continuing Education course.




Hands-On Machine Learning with Scikit-Learn, Keras, and TensorFlow

Author: Aurélien Géron

ISBN: 978-1-4920-3264-9

Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Explain key principles of machine learning (ML).
  2. Compare and contrast machine learning paradigms and their applications.
  3. Implement end-to-end machine learning process using Python libraries.
  4. Evaluate quality of machine learning model by utilizing different performance metrics
  5. Compare differences in interpretability of learned models and impact of decisions arising from results.

In 1989, the U.S. Department of Labor education jointly surveyed U.S. employers to find out the most important skills and competencies needed by workers. The results of that survey identified SCANS (Secretaries Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills). These are skills that employers need the most from their workers. SCANS skills are the predictors of success in workplace. The following list summarizes the SCANS competencies addressed in this course:


1.1 Manages Time


2.2 Teaches Others: Helps others to learn

2.4 Exercises Leadership

2.5 Negotiates

2.6 Works with Cultural Diversity


3.1 Acquires and Evaluates Information

3.2 Organizes and Maintains Information

3.3 Uses Computers to Process Information


4.1 Understands Systems

4.2 Monitor and Corrects Performance

4.3 Improve and Designs Systems


5.1 Selects Technology

5.2 Applies Technology to Task

5.3 Maintains and Troubleshoots Technology


6.1 Reading

6.2 Writing

6.3 Arithmetic

6.4 Mathematics

6.5 Listening

6.6 Speaking


7.1. Creative Thinking

7.2 Decision Making

7.3 Problem Solving

7.4 Mental Visualization

7.5 Knowing How to Learn

7.6 Reasoning


8.1 Responsibility

8.2 Self-Esteem

8.3 Sociability

8.4 Self-Management

8.5 Integrity/Honesty

For expanded definitions of the listed SCANS, please go to:

grade policy

Grade will be assigned based both on concepts and their practical application. Exams, labs, quizzes, and project assignments will be part of this class grade. An overall grade will be assigned based on the following:

Grading Method

Grading Scale

Project Assignments


Graded Discussions                                            

Capstone Project

4 Assessments


= 40 %

= 5 %

= 5 %

= 20 %

= 30%

= 100 %

90% - 100%   = A

80% - 89%     = B

70% - 79%     = C

60% - 69%     = D

0%   - 59%      = F


You are allowed 3 attempts in each Quiz and the final grade is the average of all attempts.

Every project assignment, quiz, and assessment are due at 11:59 PM on their corresponding due date (see the Course Schedule section in this document, and “Your Grades” or corresponding assignment link in Blackboard). Project assignments must be submitted through Blackboard. Instructor will not accept e-mailed submissions.

All project assignments are typically graded within one week after submission. Grades are recorded in Blackboard and may be accessed via the My Grades button.

There are NO makeup exams or extra credit assignments given in this course.

course/class policies

Course Orientation

To get access to all content material in this class (Competency modules, Assignments, Quizzes, and Assessments), you must complete the requirements listed in the mandatory “Course Orientation” module in Blackboard. Course orientation must be completed during the first week of class.

Attendance / Class Participation

Students who do not complete mandatory “Course Orientation” module in BB) during the first week of class (01/19/2021-01/24/2021) will be withdrawn from the class and reported as “Never attended” and will be ineligible for financial aid.

Students are expected to regularly monitor their ACC email and this class Blackboard site to keep up with the course schedule.

Regular and timely class participation in discussions and completion of work is expected of all students.  If attendance or compliance with other course policies is unsatisfactory, the instructor may withdraw students from the class.”

In the event classes are cancelled because of weather, pandemic, or other emergencies, the student is responsible for communicating with their professor during the closure and completing any assignments or other activities designated by their professor.

Withdrawal Policy

It is the responsibility of each student to ensure that his or her name is removed from the rolls should they decide to withdraw from the class.  The instructor does, however, reserve the right to drop a student should he or she feel it is necessary.  If a student decides to withdraw, he or she should also verify that the withdrawal is recorded before the Final Withdrawal Date.  The Final Withdrawal Date for this semester is April, 26th, 2021.  The student is also strongly encouraged to keep any paperwork in case a problem arises.

Students are responsible for understanding the impact that withdrawal from a course may have on their financial aid, veterans’ benefits, and international student status.  Per state law, students enrolling for the first time in Fall 2007 or later at any public Texas college or university may not withdraw (receive a W) from more than six courses during their undergraduate college education. Some exemptions for good cause could allow a student to withdraw from a course without having it count toward this limit. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor when making decisions about course selection, course loads, and course withdrawals.


An incomplete (grade of "I") will only be given in Spring 2021 due to extenuating circumstances.  What constitutes “extenuating circumstances” is left to the instructor’s discretion.  If a grade of I is given, the remaining course work must be completed by a date set by the student and professor.  This date may not be later than two weeks prior to the end of the Spring, 2021 semester.  A grade of I also requires:

  1. Student must have earned at least half of the grade points needed for a “C” by the end of the semester.
  2. Completion and submission of the Incomplete Grade form, to be signed by the faculty member (and student if possible) and submitted to the department chair.

Students may request an Incomplete from their faculty member if they believe circumstances warrant.  The faculty member will determine whether the Incomplete is appropriate to award or not.  The following processes must be followed when awarding a student an I grade. 

  1. Prior to the end of the semester in which the “I” is to be awarded, the student must meet with the instructor to determine the assignments and exams that must be completed prior to the deadline date.  This meeting can occur virtually or in person.  The instructor should complete the Report of Incomplete Grade form.
  2. The faculty member will complete the form, including all requirements to complete the course and the due date, sign (by typing in name) and then email it to the student.  The student will then complete his/her section, sign (by typing in name), and return the completed form to the faculty member to complete the agreement.  A copy of the fully completed form can then be emailed by the faculty member to the student and the department chair for each grade of Incomplete that the faculty member submits at the end of the semester.
  3. The student must complete all remaining work by the date specified on the form above.  This date is determined by the instructor in collaboration with the student, but it may not be later than the final withdrawal deadline in the subsequent long semester.  
  4. Students will retain access to the course Blackboard page through the subsequent semester to submit work and complete the course. Students will be able to log on to Blackboard and have access to the course section materials, assignments, and grades from the course and semester in which the Incomplete was awarded.  
  5. When the student completes the required work by the Incomplete deadline, the instructor will submit an electronic Grade Change Form to change the student’s performance grade from an “I” to the earned grade of A, B, C, D, or F. 

If an Incomplete is not resolved by the deadline, the grade automatically converts to an “F.”  Approval to carry an Incomplete for longer than the following semester or session deadline is not frequently granted.


Students should ONLY use their ACC email student account (email ending in  or ACC online Blackboard email system when communicating with instructor.

All course material, announcements, changes to course schedule/assignments and grades will be posted on Blackboard. Students are expected to check both Blackboard and their ACC email accounts on a regular basis (at least twice a week). Student emails from non-ACC accounts will not be acknowledged.

When emailing instructor, you must include your course id (COSC3380) in the “Subject” field (e.g., COSC3380 need help with project 1)

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of Discussion board forums, and FAQ module in Blackboard. In the Q&A forum, you can post questions and comments of general interest so that everyone can benefit from the discussion.

Other questions, such as questions about your grades, should be sent directly to the instructor. Students are encouraged to ask questions. The instructor knows that some material may be difficult to grasp at times and will be glad to give additional examples or one-to-one assistance when asked.


You must have access to a computer with Internet connection.

Instead of implementing our own version of each machine learning algorithms; we will be using the production-ready Python framework Scikit-Learn that implements many Machine Learning algorithms efficiently.

You will need to have Python installed and the following Python modules: Jupyter, NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, and Scikit-Learn. There are many ways to install them (and their dependencies). Please refer to “Simulation Environment” module (under RESOURCES section, menu on the left) in Blackboard.

Class progress

In this course students can pace themselves to work at an accelerated pace.  The lab assignments can be turned in earlier than the due dates listed in the schedule but not later than scheduled.

Students are expected to keep up with the schedule of the class and demonstrate progress as they engage in each of the weekly material/resources outlined for this course. Each new concept builds on previous concepts and regular progress through the material is crucial to success on exams and assignments.

If an assignment is taking longer than expected to complete and you are struggling, reach out to instructor for guidance. You are not alone! Time is valuable and critical! Use it wisely!

It is going to be difficult to catch up if you fall behind. If you feel you are falling behind, reach out to instructor PROMPTLY, to find ways to get you back on track. If you wait, the only viable option is likely to be dropping or withdrawing from the class.


Students are expected to complete lab assignments and a final project to get experience and practice with the concepts and techniques covered in the course.

Adequate amount of time needs to be set to complete lab assignments and to not get behind. You will need at least 3 hours per practical assignment and 3 hours per competency assessment. If an assignment is taking longer than expected to complete and you are struggling, reach out to instructor for guidance. You are not alone! Time is valuable and critical! Use it wisely!

Quizzes are available for each competency module to help you validate your own understanding in the corresponding topics under study for that module.

The Capstone Project assignment is a mandatory assignment. Failure to submit the Capstone Project will cause a drop on your final course grade by a letter grade. Detailed information about Final Project can be found under “Capstone Competency” module in this class Blackboard site.

Competency Assessments

Assessments will cover material from the textbook and material shared under the corresponding competency modules in this class Blackboard site.

All assessments will be administered via Blackboard. Each assessment due date (last day exam available in Blackboard) is posted in the Course Schedule section in this document and in Blackboard (“Course Information” module). Failing to take any of the assessments will lead to a grade of 0 in the corresponding assessment which may jeopardize successful completion of this course.

Every assessment availability has been set-up with the following Blackboard “Adaptive release” rule:

“User has at least one attempt for this item. An attempt is recorded in the Grade Center when the user submits the Assignment, or when a grade is entered or edited (even if 0 grade)”

For the Assessments “this item” refers to project assignments related to that competency AND the corresponding previous competency Assessment:


Required Assignments/Labs/Exams


Orientation Quiz AND Competency1_Project


Competency1_Assessment AND Competency2_Project1 AND Competency2_Project2


Competency2_Project3 AND Competency2_Assessment AND Competency3_Project1


Competency3_Project2 AND Competency3_Assessment AND Competency4_Project1


college policies

Campus Operations

To limit the spread of COVID-19, ACC campuses remain closed to all but faculty, essential staff, and students who are enrolled in certain Career and Technical Education courses.   Face-to-face classes and services are limited.

Statement on Academic Integrity

Austin Community College values academic integrity in the educational process.  Acts of academic dishonesty/misconduct undermine the learning process, present a disadvantage to students who earn credit honestly, and subvert the academic mission of the institution. The potential consequences of fraudulent credentials raise additional concerns for individuals and communities beyond campus who rely on institutions of higher learning to certify students' academic achievements and expect to benefit from the claimed knowledge and skills of their graduates. Students must follow all instructions given by faculty or designated college representatives when taking examinations, placement assessments, tests, quizzes, and evaluations.  Actions constituting scholastic dishonesty include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, collusion, falsifying documents, or the inappropriate use of the college’s information technology resources.  Further information is available at

All submitted work must be the work of the student. Students may not share assignment solutions, except within their group on team project assignments.  Students must not publicly post their assignment solutions/exams or make it available (e.g. via GitHub), even after the course is over. Students may share it privately with recruiters, provided students make clear it must not be redistributed.

For this course, penalties for any detected cases of cheating or violation of academic integrity rules include: receiving a zero on the assignment (first offense), failing the course (second offense), having a note placed in your permanent academic record, suspension, and ultimately expulsion.

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Students at ACC have the same rights and protections under the Constitution of the United States. These rights include freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, petition, and association. As members of the community, students have the right to express their own views, but must also take responsibility for according the same rights to others and not interfere or disrupt the learning environment. Students are entitled to fair treatment, are expected to act consistently with the values of the college, and obey local, state and federal laws.

As a student of Austin Community College you are expected to abide by the Student Standards of Conduct.

Senate Bill 212 and Title IX Reporting Requirements 

Under Senate Bill 212 (SB 212), the faculty and all College employees are required to report any information concerning incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking committed by or against an ACC student or employee. Federal Title IX law and College policy also require reporting incidents of sex- and gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct. This means faculty and non-clinical counseling staff cannot keep confidential information about any such incidents that you share with them.

If you would like to talk with someone confidentiality, please contact the District Clinical Counseling Team who can connect you with a clinical counselor on any ACC campus:  (512) 223-2616, or to schedule online:

While students are not required to report, they are encouraged to contact the Compliance Office for resources and options:  Charlene Buckley, District Title IX Officer, (512) 223-7964; .

If a student makes a report to a faculty member, the faculty member will contact the District Title IX Officer for follow-up.

Student Complaints

A defined process applies to complaints about an instructor or other college employee. You are encouraged to discuss concerns and complaints with college personnel and should expect a timely and appropriate response. When possible, students should first address their concerns through informal conferences with those immediately involved; formal due process is available when informal resolution cannot be achieved.

Student complaints may include (but are not limited to) issues regarding classroom instruction, college services and offices on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or disability.

Further information about the complaints process, including the form used to submit complaints, is available at:

Statement on Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects confidentiality of students’ educational records. Grades cannot be provided by faculty over the phone, by e-mail, or to a fellow student.

Grades are recorded in Blackboard and may be accessed via the My Grades button (menu on the left).

Recording Policy

To ensure compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), student recording of class lectures or other activities is generally prohibited without the explicit written permission of the instructor and notification of other students enrolled in the class section.  Exceptions are made for approved accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Recording of lectures and other class activities may be made by faculty to facilitate instruction, especially for classes taught remotely through Webex, BlackBoard Collaborate or another platform.  Participation in such activities implies consent for the student to be recorded during the instructional activity.  Such recordings are intended for educational and academic purposes only.

Safety Statement

Health and safety are of paramount importance in classrooms, laboratories, and field activities. Students are expected to learn and comply with ACC environmental, health and safety procedures and agree to follow ACC safety policies.  Emergency Procedures posters and Campus Safety Plans are posted in each classroom and should be reviewed at the beginning of each semester.  All incidents (injuries/illness/fire/property damage/near miss) should be immediately reported to the course instructor. Additional information about safety procedures and how to sign up to be notified in case of an emergency can be found at

Everyone is expected to conduct themselves professionally with respect and courtesy to all. Anyone who thoughtlessly or intentionally jeopardizes the health or safety of another individual may be immediately dismissed from the day’s activity and will be referred to the Dean of Student Services for disciplinary action.

In the event of disruption of normal classroom activities due to an emergency situation or an illness outbreak, the format for this course may be modified to enable completion of the course. In that event, students will be provided an addendum to the class syllabus that will supersede the original version.

Students who have received approval for accommodations from SAS for this course must provide the instructor with the ‘Notice of Approved Accommodations’ from SAS before accommodations will be provided. Arrangements for academic accommodations can only be made after the instructor receives the ‘Notice of Approved Accommodations’ from the student. Students with approved accommodations are encouraged to submit the ‘Notice of Approved Accommodations’ to the instructor at the beginning of the semester because a reasonable amount of time may be needed to prepare and arrange for the accommodations.

Campus Carry

The Austin Community College District concealed handgun policy ensures compliance with Section 411.2031 of the Texas Government Code (also known as the Campus Carry Law), while maintaining ACC’s commitment to provide a safe environment for its students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  Beginning August 1, 2017, individuals who are licensed to carry (LTC) may do so on campus premises except in locations and at activities prohibited by state or federal law, or the college’s concealed handgun policy.  In addition, concealed weapons are not allowed on ACC-sponsored field trips where the school owns or has chartered or leased vehicles for transportation.

It is the responsibility of license holders to conceal their handguns at all times.  Persons who see a handgun on campus are asked to contact the ACC Police Department by dialing 222 from a campus phone or 512-223-7999.   Please refer to the concealed handgun policy online at

Discrimination Prohibited

The College seeks to maintain an educational environment free from any form of discrimination or harassment including but not limited to discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Faculty at the College are required to report concerns regarding sexual misconduct (including all forms of sexual harassment and sex and gender-based discrimination) to the Manager of Title IX/Title VI/ADA Compliance.  Licensed clinical counselors are available across the District and serve as confidential resources for students.

Additional information about Title VI, Title IX, and ADA compliance can be found in the ACC Compliance Resource Guide available at:

Use of ACC email

All College e-mail communication to students will be sent solely to the student’s ACCmail account, with the expectation that such communications will be read in a timely fashion. ACC will send important information and will notify students of any college- related emergencies using this account. Students should only expect to receive email communication from their instructor using this account.  Likewise, students should use their ACCmail account when communicating with instructors and staff.  Information about ACC email accounts, including instructions for accessing it, are available at:

student support services

The success of our students is paramount, and ACC offers a variety of support services to help, as well as providing numerous opportunities for community engagement and personal growth.

Student Support

ACC strives to provide exemplary support to its students and offers a broad variety of opportunities and services. Information on these campus services and resources is available at

Student Accessibility Services

Students with documented disabilities who need classroom, academic, or other accommodations must request them through the office Student Accessibility Services (SAS).   SAS offices are located at each major campus.  Students are encouraged to request accommodations when they register for courses or at least three weeks before the start of the semester; otherwise, the provision of accommodations may be delayed.  Students who have received approval for accommodations from SAS for this course must provide the instructor with the document titled “Notice of Approved Accommodations” from SAS before accommodations will be provided. Accommodations will not be provided retroactively.  Arrangements by the instructor for academic accommodations can only be made after he or she receives the “Notice of Approved Accommodations” from the student.

Additional information about Student Accessibility Services is available at

Academic Support

ACC offers academic support services on all of its campuses. These services, which include face-to-face and online tutoring, academic coaching, and supplemental instruction, are free to enrolled ACC students. Tutors are available in a variety of subjects ranging from accounting to pharmacology. Students may receive these services on both a drop-in and referral basis. Tutoring schedules can be found at:

Library Services

ACC has a full-service library at each of its campuses to support ACC courses and programs and to provide students with research and assignment assistance from expert faculty librarians, computers, course reserves, laptop and tablet check out, study spaces, and copying, printing, and scanning services.  In addition, ACC students have full rights and privileges to access Library Services online 24/7 via the ACC Library website and students can use their ACCeID logins to access all online materials, including ebooks, articles from library databases, and streaming videos.   ACC Libraries also provide an “Ask a Librarian” service, which allows  students to reach a librarian 24/7 through online chat.  Faculty librarians are also available via email, phone, and in person seven days a week during hours of operation. Visit:

In partnership with ACC’s Student Support Center, ACC Libraries also maintain a limited collection of textbooks for students to borrow. Priority access to the textbook collection is given to students receiving assistance. More information is available on the ACC website by searching “Student Support Center Textbook Collection.”

Student Organizations

ACC has over seventy student organizations, offering a variety of cultural, academic, vocational, and social opportunities.  They provide a chance to meet with other students who have the same interests, engage in service-learning, participate in intramural sports, gain valuable field experience related to career goals, and much else.  Student Life coordinates many of these activities, and additional information is available at

Personal Support

Resources to support students are available at every campus. To learn more, ask your professor or visit the campus Support Center. All resources and services are free and confidential. Some examples include, among others:

Mental health counseling services are available throughout the ACC Student Services District to address personal and or mental health concerns: .

If you are struggling with a mental health or personal crisis, call one of the following numbers to connect with resources for help. However if you are afraid that you might hurt yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately.

Free Crisis Hotline Numbers:

  • Austin / Travis County 24 hour Crisis & Suicide hotline: 512-472-HELP (4357)
  • The Williamson County 24 hour Crisis hotline: 1-800-841-1255
  • Bastrop County Family Crisis Center hotline: 1-888-311-7755
  • Hays County 24 Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-877-466-0660
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “home” to 741741
    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline:   1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline:1-800-950-NAMI (6264)


Course Subjects

  1. The Fundamentals of Machine Learning
  2. Machine Learning Workflow
  3. Data Preparation
  4. Feature Engineering
  5. Building Learning models
  6. Evaluating Learning Models

schedule [*]






Week 1

Course Orientation



Orientation Quiz

Week 2 – Week 4

Competency 1: Explain fundamental concepts of Machine Learning (ML)

Chapter 1 (Textbook)

Competency1 Lecture Notes




Competency 1 Assessment

Week 5 – Week 7

Competency 2: Explain the importance of data preparation and feature engineering in the machine learning process

Chapters 1-2 (Textbook)

Competency2 Lecture Notes





Competency 2 Assessment

Week 8 - Week 10

Competency 3: Analyze different Machine Learning paradigms for building models

Chapters 3,6, and 9 (Textbook) Competency3 Lecture Notes




Competency 3 Assessment

Week 11 – Week 13


Competency 4: Evaluate the predictive performance of machine learning models

Chapters 7-8 (Textbook)

Competency4 Lecture Notes




Capstone Competency: Capstone Project


Competency 4 Assessment

Week 14 – Week 16


Capstone Competency: Capstone Project



[*]This schedule is intended to give the student guidance in what may be covered during the semester and will be followed as closely as possible. However, the professor reserves the right to modify, supplement and make changes as the course needs arise. Students will be notified of any changes in class and via Blackboard announcements.