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The Trials and Tribulations of Machine Learning

Me presenting my final project

Last night I presented my final project for my Applied Machine Learning class. I tried to predict whether patients would or wouldn’t show up for medical appointments. I tried to use age, alcoholism, hypertension, and a variety of other features in my model.

In all honesty, the project didn’t go as well as I hoped. My model wasn’t really able to perform better than human intuition. Maybe with a more robust dataset, deeper models, or more instances, we might be able to solve the problem, but I wasn’t able to at least.

I am glad this happened though. It taught me that human beings and the world are full of complexities and randomness. And that sometimes you can’t just throw machine learning at a complex problem and expect that to magically solve it.

Through this process, I learned the obstacles of big end to end machine learning projects and how to communicate those projects to my peers.

To quote Frederick Douglass “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.”

If you would like to check out the project:

Repository: https://github.com/chasekregor/NoShows

Final Notebook: http://nbviewer.jupyter.org/github/chasekregor/NoShows/blob/master/Final%20Notebook/KregorFinalNoShows.ipynb

Presentation Slides: https://github.com/chasekregor/NoShows/blob/master/presentation%20slides/KregorFinalProjectPresentationSlideshow.pdf

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