• Length:
    7 Weeks
  • Effort:
    4–6 hours per week
  • Price:
    $799 USD
  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
  • Language:
  • Video Transcript:
  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time

Associated Programs:


The course is intended for financial professionals (analysts, portfolio managers, traders, quants, advisers) and other practitioners with an interest in finance. Solid programming skills are advised; knowledge of Python is an advantage. Students should also have knowledge of basic probability, statistical techniques (including linear regression), calculus; linear algebra.

About this course

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Classical Machine Learning refers to well established techniques by which one makes inferences from data. This course will introduce a systematic approach (the “Recipe for Machine Learning”) and tools with which to accomplish this task. In addition to the typical models and algorithms taught (e.g., Linear and Logistic Regression) this course emphasizes the whole life cycle of the process, from data set acquisition and cleaning to analysis of errors, all in the service of an iterative process for improving inference.

Our belief is that Machine Learning is an experimental process and thus, most learning will be achieved by “doing”. We will jump-start your experimentation: Engineering first, then math. Early lectures will be a "sprint" to get you programming and experimenting. We will subsequently revisit topics on a greater mathematical basis.

What you'll learn

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By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • apply a systematic approach to solving problems involving analyzing and making inference from data. These problems can come from many different domains but our emphasis will be on Finance.

  • make predictions based on financial data

  • use alternate data sources such as images and text for prediction

  • use these techniques and data for

    • optimizing portfolios

    • risk management

    • streamlining operations

Week 1: Classical Machine Learning: Overview

  • What is Machine Learning (ML) ?

  • ML and Finance; not ML for Finance

  • Classical Machine Learning: Introduction

  • Supervised Learning

  • Our first predictor

  • Notational conventions

Week 2: Linear regression. Recipe for Machine Learning

  • Linear Regression

  • The Recipe for Machine Learning

  • The Regression Loss Function

  • Bias and Variance

Week 3: Transformations, Classification

  • Data Transformations: Introduction and mechanics

  • Logistic Regression

  • Non-numeric variables: text, images

  • Multinomial Classification

  • The Classification Loss Function

Week 4: Classification continued, Error Analysis

  • Baseline model

  • The Dummy Variable Trap

  • Transformations

  • Loss functions: mathematics

Week 5: More Models: Trees, Forests, Naive Bayes

  • Entropy, Cross Entropy, KL Divergence

  • Decision Trees

  • Naive Bayes

  • Ensembles

  • Feature Importance

Week 6: Support Vector Machines, Gradient Descent, Interpretation

  • Support Vector Classifiers

  • Gradient Descent

  • Interpretation: Linear Models

Week 7: Unsupervised Learning, Dimensionality Reduction

  • Unsupervised Learning

  • Dimensionality Reduction

  • Clustering

  • Principal Components

  • Pseudo Matrix Factorization: preview of Deep Learning

Meet your instructors

Ken Perry
Adjunct Professor
New York University Tandon School of Engineering

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.