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In Too Deep (Learning) — Workshop on Image Recognition by DSC

Manipal’s newest club, the Data Science Club, kicked off their semester with a workshop as their first event. Based on Image Recognition using deep learning, the idea behind conducting this type of workshop was to shed light on the topic of neural networks and how image classifiers work.

Akshaj Verma, the founder and president of this club, conducted the workshop and received praise for his efforts by the attendees of the event. “The presenter had done his research well. He knew the topic well enough to solve any doubts which was appreciated by us”, said Vispi, a fourth-year student. Akshaj began with a brief introduction to the theory involved in image recognition along with the genesis of convolutional neural networks and its working. As this was a practical workshop, he decided not to delve into the statistics of the subject on hand to prevent any confusion during the introductory talk. This was done to help people develop an intuition behind the working of these complex processes.

Soon after, the organisers had an interesting activity planned, that would help explain all the previously mentioned concepts. They decided to explain the process behind a basic pokemon image classifier. The attendees then got a chance to implement the code themselves while developing a step by step idea of how the process occurs. As expected from any event, the activity was not smooth sailing throughout, and a few technical problems were encountered. Unfortunately, the highly awaited part of the workshop where participants run their code did not take place. Having to stick to a very strict timeframe, the organisers were forced to vacate the room by 8:00 PM at which time the power was cut off as well. The participants were told to run the code by themselves instead. This did put a slight damper on an otherwise smoothly conducted event.

The event as a whole saw a good turnout, one which the organisers were very satisfied with. The event had a wide range of participants from in their first year to people doing their masters. All in all the event, aside from the hiccup at the end, was a great success. “Our aim is to give people an idea about machine learning and AI so they can start implementing themselves. More often than not, people don’t know where to begin,” said Arijit, a core team member at DSC.

Image Credits: The Photography Club, Manipal