Machine learning programme hits milestone of enrolling half a million students

The longstanding ’Mathematics for Machine Learning’ online specialisation is a runaway success, as students seek out digital learning opportunities.

Launched in 2018, the MOOC (massively open online course) has been developed and refined by Imperial on the digital education platform, Coursera.

We are proudly leading the way with these truly accessible online courses, designed to provide learners with a certification in this specialised field. Dr Sam Cooper Dyson School of Engineering
Over that timeframe anyone with an internet connection has been able to learn from some of the world’s top researchers in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and mathematics.

The set of three online courses are fully accessible across the world and support learners in developing their mathematical skills and intuition so they can understand the complex principles underpinning AI and apply them in their future jobs. The programme consists of three bespoke courses covering linear algebra, multivariate calculus, and principle component analysis.

Professor Ian Walmsley , Provost of Imperial College London, said: "AI has the potential to transform many sectors. During a time of great change in education, Imperial experts have reached hundreds of thousands of learners across the world. This exciting curriculum has clearly resonated with the large audience interested in the rapid advance of AI."

Why is the course offered digitally?

The enrolment milestone comes about as AI technology takes an increasingly prominent role in daily lives, both in practice and via media coverage. The UK Government forecasts GDP could be 10% higher by 2030 as a result of AI, and data scientists are some of the most highly sought-after professionals globally.

Dr Sam Cooper , senior lecturer at the Dyson School of Engineering, underlines the importance of Imperial offering digital learning opportunities "As a globally connected university, Imperial is keenly aware that we must play our part in teaching Machine Learning courses that provide learners, whether they are College students or not, with a compelling impetus to become the AI experts of the future.

"We are proudly leading the way with these truly accessible online courses, designed to provide learners with a certification in this specialised field."

Who is the course intended for?

As over 500,000 learners have already enrolled on the specialisation, with 100,000 have completed their studies, interest in machine learning is clearly at record levels.

The teaching team would particularly welcome enrolments from female students and those residing in Africa, South America, and Oceania, who are currently under-represented as part of the student cohort.

Imperial’s ambition to be a leader in online machine learning

Students’ expectations of their educational experience are changing, and institutions such as Imperial are transforming the way they teach to match this. Through its Learning & Teaching Strategy , Imperial continues to harness and create new learning tools to allow teachers to approach their work in new ways.

Helen McKenna , Head of the College’s Interdisciplinary EdTech Lab, said: "This course continues to be an example of Imperial’s ambition is to transform the way we teach and learn. By involving experts from across the fields of Material Sciences, Design Engineering, Computer Engineering and Physics, the full breadth of Imperial’s experience in this space becomes clear."

The series of courses is taught by Professor David Dye , Dr Sam Cooper , Dr Marc Deisenroth and Dr Freddie Page.