Udacity Machine Learning Nanodegree – First Impressions

I recently signed up for the Udacity Machine Learning Nanodegree (MLND.) I’ve also decided to make occasional blog posts for myself to keep track of what I’ve learned/worked on, and for anyone that might be considering signing up for the class to help figure out if it’s a good fit for them.

First Assignment

The first big assignment for the class is analyzing a set of data regarding the passengers aboard the Titanic. In short, you go through the process of creating a classifier to predict whether someone would have survived the ship sinking or not. The simplest version of this is “men died, women survived.” The next layer is “men died, women and children survived.” You continue to iterate and train your classifier, and then test it against known outcomes until you are able to predict outcomes with >80% accuracy. To reach this metric, I ended up having to apply a few convoluted filters relating to passenger cabin class, sex, and number of siblings/family members on board. Continue…