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DSI AI Transformer Intensive Jan. 4-7 – Virtual!

Posted by on Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in Events, News, Students.

Do you have an idea which uses text, image, sound, or other sequential data but you’re not sure how to use it? Are you interested in learning how to use state-of-the-art deep learning models in AI, and are you looking for opportunities with Vanderbilt researchers who leverage these tools for undergraduate research or Immersion? Join Vanderbilt’s Data Science Institute (DSI) January 4th – January 7th from 9am – 1pm CT for a virtual hands-on intensive on AI, focused on using transformers – undergraduates welcome!

What are transformers?

AI Transformer Workshop

The practice of data science is changing with the rise of powerful, flexible and capable models called transformers. Transformers provide solutions to many different problems using a single pre-trained model, sometimes with no additional training on your data (“zero-shot” solutions) needed. From text, to images, to audio (“textless natural language processing”), you can ask and answer questions, identify objects in images, identify concepts in spoken conversations, ask questions about tables of data, and more, all using the same type of model – transformers. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use, train, and deploy them to solve a variety of problems.

Do I need to be an expert on transformers to attend?

Not an expert in AI, deep learning, or programming? No problem. This intensive is suitable for beginners and novices alike. For undergraduates, some familiarity with basic Python (e.g., built-in data types and data structures, conditional execution, list comprehensions) will provide the best experience (see resources below). Undergraduate students are encouraged to attend to learn technical skills, and this is a great opportunity for finding advisors for research and Immersion in several disciplines or with the DSI. Undergraduates are expected to attend all sessions of the intensive.

An introduction to programming in Python can be found in the repo here. The links to videos in the ReadMe will provide the appropriate skills for those unfamiliar with programming with Python. Faculty members and staff with more limited experience with Python can participate in pre-workshop training – contact Jesse Spencer-Smith for information (

How do I register?

Register here to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!