Why is it necessary to understand the algorithm before using it?

Ekaterina Tuzova

Audience level:


It is important to apply algorithms to real-world situations, as algorithms developed for theoretical problems often do not perform well in practice. In this talk we will discuss why it is important to understand algorithms to successfully put them into practice.


Machine Learning is a broad and fascinating field. It has applications in an incredibly wide variety of application areas. It's importance is likely to grow, as more and more areas turn to it as a way of dealing with the massive amounts of data available. Funny enough, it's extremely difficult to explain why the use of an algorithm without understanding is a waste of time. I'm giving lectures on Machine Learning to Software Engineering majors and I designed special assignments for each standard algo. To make it more engaging each assignment has a new topic, from image processing to computational neuroscience. I also launched the Kaggle competition to explain students this simple idea. Assignment examples and competition results will be presented.