Summer Schools are a really nice concept!
They are neither as intensive as a research internship/apprenticeship, nor as trivial as any other lecture at your university.
They are neither as intensive as a conference, nor as trivial as a seminar/oral presentation at your university.
A Summer School (SS from now!) is the perfect opportunity to dive into your area of interest. What is most beautiful about a SS is that it brings together people from all walks of life (different communities, different educational qualifications and so on). Okay, having glorified a summer school enough, let me take you through some of the opportunities that are available in AI,ML and DL in general.
Unless you’re living in a cave, you already know how Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is going to influence our future. If you are interested to dive into ML either due to the hype or the peer pressure, a Summer School is the best possible way to start. Most SS do not require you to have pre-requisite knowledge of Machine Learning or Deep Learning (just some Math with programming experience is more than sufficient). Summer Schools, although primarily intended for Graduate students and Industry professionals, also accept Undergraduate students and people from Academia. Following are some Machine Learning Summer Schools you can apply to!
Important : Most Machine Learning Summer Schools have official accounts on Twitter. (If you’re not on Twitter, what are you even doing?) Regular updates are posted regarding application deadlines, program schedule, scholarship details, venue and accommodation details and so on.
There’s one MLSS happening right now in Stellenbosch, South Africa. There’s one more that’s scheduled in July in London. In case you didn’t know, most of these SS are organised by specific research groups that are/have done amazing work in the areas of ML,DL and RL.
Deadline for MLSS 2019 London is 31 January, 2019. Apply soon!
2. EEML (formerly TMLSS)
Eastern European Machine Learning Summer School was formerly known as Transylvanian Machine Learning Summer School. It was mainly intended for countries in eastern Europe to raise awareness about ML. The SS is organised mainly by DeepMind (coolest place to work for in ML according to me!). Applications are accepted from all around the world. Application opens 30 January, 2019. Keep checking the website below regularly for updates.
The following website was the older version of EEML, where you can find some lecture and practical materials that could be useful.
You can follow EEML on Twitter too!
3. DLRL Summer School
DLRL is another prestigious Summer School in Canada organised by CIFAR and Vector Institute. You can subscribe to latest announcements by sending in your email. The list of speakers is really fantastic, the likes of which included Yoshua Bengio, Sanjeev Arora, Jimmy Ba, Hugo Larochelle, Sanja Fidler, Been Kim and so on.
4. Deep|Bayes — Summer School
Deep|Bayes SS is a great opportunity to all those who are interested in Bayesian methods. Applications are not yet open, but you can subscribe to get the latest updates. Personally, I loved their application since it was not a straightforward questionnaire. The application also required me to solve a few mathematical problems (theoretical proofs) and write a missing part of a program in PyTorch. Although I was able to solve one problem, I knew I was not good enough. (I really want to meet Dmitry Vetrov though!)
PS : Moscow is warm and beautiful in August. So apply!
Follow them on Twitter too.
Lisbon Machine Learning Summer School is another European Summer School in Portugal. I’m not sure of the status in 2019, but keep checking their website for more updates.
Prairie AI Summer School was held in Grenoble, France in July, 2018. Again, I’m not sure of the status as no announcements have been made on the website. Nevertheless, keep checking!
7. IEEE RAS Summer School
To be held in December 2019 in Chile. More details on the Website coming soon.
8. Deep Learning Summer School, Tsinghua University
Open to International Undergraduates currently enrolled at a university. Check the website for more details and apply early!
9. Deep Learning Indaba
Reserved the best for the end! I have a first hand experience of attending the Deep Learning Indaba. It was magical! The experience was surreal. There are some times when I think if I actually met and talked to Nando de Freitas, Shakir Mohammed, Moustapha Cisse, Kyunghyun Cho and David Silver. And listened to JEFF DEAN! Attend the Indaba, for it will change your life! Indaba 2019 is in Kenya. Cheers to the Indaba team for making it a memorable experience. 🙂
Follow them on Twitter for regular updates!
i) Most SS have scholarships for students. Apply if you feel you cannot afford to go on your own expenses. Yes, it can be costly. Scholarships either partially or fully cover you expenses. In order to be considered for scholarships, you need to have a strong profile and apply early!
ii) Since the number of applications significantly increase every year, you may/may not accepted to the program. In fact, I was rejected by six summer schools before being accepted to Deep Learning Indaba. So do not lose heart! There’s always another chance.
iii) Most SS have poster presentations. You could present a previous project, result of a conference paper you published or an ongoing project. Present a clean, attractive poster and you could stand a chance to win prizes. At Summer Schools, prizes usually include access to cloud GPU/TPUs, valuable books and other cool stuff.
iv) Summer Schools are often sponsored by companies (big ones) like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, DeepMind, NVIDIA, Amazon and so on. Basically, companies that are actively involved in cutting edge AI. They usually put up stalls on all the days. Visit them and talk to their representatives. They could be your potential recruiters if they find you interesting enough for a position!
v) In case you are selected, but do not get any scholarship, I’d still suggest you to attend a Summer school. You could also ask your university for some funds by providing the invitation letter. You really don’t know what you’re missing until you actually attend it!
The list is in no means exhaustive. If you find other Summer schools on ML and DL, feel free to mention it in the comments. I wish you luck in your application.
Thank You 🙂