Machine Learning, 15:681 and 15:781, Fall 1998

Professor Tom M. Mitchell
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Machine Learning is concerned with computer programs that automatically improve their performance through experience. This course covers the theory and practice of machine learning from a variety of perspectives. We cover topics such as learning decision trees, neural network learning, statistical learning methods, genetic algorithms, Bayesian learning methods, explanation-based learning, and reinforcement learning. The course covers theoretical concepts such as inductive bias, the PAC and Mistake-bound learning frameworks, minimum description length principle, and Occam's Razor. Programming assignments include hands-on experiments with various learning algorithms. Typical assignments include neural network learning for face recognition, and decision tree learning from databases of credit records.

Class lectures: Tues & Thurs 12:00-1:20, Wean Hall 5403

Optional recitation section:

Mon 12:30-1:30 beginning Sept 21, Wean Hall 5409


Tom Mitchell, Wean Hall 5309, x8-2611, Office hours: Wed 3:00-4:00

Teaching Assistants:

Leemon Baird,Wean Hall 4207, x8-3728, Office hours: 3:00-4:00 thursdays
Dimitris Margaritis,Wean Hall 8122, x8-3070, Office hours: 3:00-4:00 tuesdays

Course Secretary:

Jean Harpley, Wean Hall 5313, x8-3802


Machine Learning, Tom Mitchell, McGraw Hill, 1997.

Course Website:

Course Newsgroup:


Course Projects (15-781 only):

This course is offered as both an upper-level undergraduate course (15-681), and a graduate level course (15-781). Ph.D. students registering for 15-781 will be expected to do an extra course project due at 5pm December 7, 1998.


Policy on late homework:

Homework assignments (postscript as available)

Lecture plan (and postscript slides when available).

Note to people outside CMU

Feel free to use the slides and materials available online here. Please email with any corrections or improvements. Additional slides are available at the Machine Learning textbook homepage.

 See also the Fall 2002 version of this course , and the Fall 1997 version of this course .