This course offers a brief introduction to the multivariate calculus required to build many common machine learning techniques. We start at the very beginning with a refresher on the “rise over run” formulation of a slope, before converting this to the formal definition of the gradient of a function. We then start to build up a set of tools for making calculus easier and faster. Next, we learn how to calculate vectors that point up hill on multidimensional surfaces and even put this into action using an interactive game. We take a look at how we can use calculus to build approximations to functions, as well as helping us to quantify how accurate we should expect those approximations to be. We also spend some time talking about where calculus comes up in the training of neural networks, before finally showing you how it is applied in linear regression models. This course is intended to offer an intuitive understanding of calculus, as well as the language necessary to look concepts up yourselves when you get stuck. Hopefully, without going into too much detail, you’ll still come away with the confidence to dive into some more focused machine learning courses in future.

This course is part of the Mathematics for Machine Learning Specialization

Offered By

## About this Course

### Learner Career Outcomes

## 35%

## 26%

## Skills you will gain

### Learner Career Outcomes

## 35%

## 26%

### Offered by

#### Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a world top ten university with an international reputation for excellence in science, engineering, medicine and business. located in the heart of London. Imperial is a multidisciplinary space for education, research, translation and commercialisation, harnessing science and innovation to tackle global challenges.

## Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

**4 hours to complete**

## What is calculus?

Understanding calculus is central to understanding machine learning! You can think of calculus as simply a set of tools for analysing the relationship between functions and their inputs. Often, in machine learning, we are trying to find the inputs which enable a function to best match the data. We start this module from the basics, by recalling what a function is and where we might encounter one. Following this, we talk about the how, when sketching a function on a graph, the slope describes the rate of change of the output with respect to an input. Using this visual intuition we next derive a robust mathematical definition of a derivative, which we then use to differentiate some interesting functions. Finally, by studying a few examples, we develop four handy time saving rules that enable us to speed up differentiation for many common scenarios.

**4 hours to complete**

**10 videos**

**4 readings**

**6 practice exercises**

**3 hours to complete**

## Multivariate calculus

Building on the foundations of the previous module, we now generalise our calculus tools to handle multivariable systems. This means we can take a function with multiple inputs and determine the influence of each of them separately. It would not be unusual for a machine learning method to require the analysis of a function with thousands of inputs, so we will also introduce the linear algebra structures necessary for storing the results of our multivariate calculus analysis in an orderly fashion.

**3 hours to complete**

**9 videos**

**5 practice exercises**

**3 hours to complete**

## Multivariate chain rule and its applications

Having seen that multivariate calculus is really no more complicated than the univariate case, we now focus on applications of the chain rule. Neural networks are one of the most popular and successful conceptual structures in machine learning. They are build up from a connected web of neurons and inspired by the structure of biological brains. The behaviour of each neuron is influenced by a set of control parameters, each of which needs to be optimised to best fit the data. The multivariate chain rule can be used to calculate the influence of each parameter of the networks, allow them to be updated during training.

**3 hours to complete**

**6 videos**

**3 practice exercises**

**3 hours to complete**

## Taylor series and linearisation

The Taylor series is a method for re-expressing functions as polynomial series. This approach is the rational behind the use of simple linear approximations to complicated functions. In this module, we will derive the formal expression for the univariate Taylor series and discuss some important consequences of this result relevant to machine learning. Finally, we will discuss the multivariate case and see how the Jacobian and the Hessian come in to play.

**3 hours to complete**

**9 videos**

**5 practice exercises**

## Reviews

### TOP REVIEWS FROM MATHEMATICS FOR MACHINE LEARNING: MULTIVARIATE CALCULUS

Excellent course. I completed this course with no prior knowledge of multivariate calculus and was successful nonetheless. It was challenging and extremely interesting, informative, and well designed.

Very Well Explained. Good content and great explanation of content. Complex topics are also covered in very easy way. Very Helpful for learning much more complex topics for Machine Learning in future.

Very clear and concise course material. The inputs given during the videos and the subsequent practice quiz almost force the student to carry out extra/research studies which is ideal when learning.

Very well thought out course. Concepts covered in this course are very well explained. You would need to have at least a high school foundation in Calculus to appreciate the content in this course.

## About the Mathematics for Machine Learning Specialization

## Frequently Asked Questions

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