### 1. Machine Learning for Beginners: An Introduction to Neural Networks

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A simple explanation of how they work and how to implement one from scratch in Python.

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This 4-post series, written especially with beginners in mind, provides a **fundamentals-oriented** approach towards understanding Neural Networks. We’ll start with an introduction to **classic Neural Networks** for complete beginners before delving into two popular variants: **Recurrent Neural Networks** (RNNs) and **Convolutional Neural Networks** (CNNs).

For each of each these types of networks, we’ll:

- See the
**structure**of the network. - Understand the
**motivation**behind using that type of network. - Introduce a
**real-world problem**that can be solved using that network. **Manually derive the gradients**needed to train our problem-specific network.**Implement a fully-functioning network completely from scratch**(using only numpy) in Python.

**This series requires ZERO prior knowledge of Machine Learning** or Neural Networks. However, background in the following topics may be helpful:

**Multivariable Calculus**, used when deriving the gradients needed to train our networks. These gradient derivations can be skipped if you don’t have the background.**Linear Algebra**, specifically Matrix algebra - matrices are often the best way to represent weights for Neural Networks.**Python 3**, because the Python implementations in these posts are a major part of their educational value. A baseline proficiency in Python is enough.

Ready to get started? Here we go:

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A simple explanation of how they work and how to implement one from scratch in Python.

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A simple walkthrough of what RNNs are, how they work, and how to build one from scratch in Python.

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A simple guide to what CNNs are, how they work, and how to build one from scratch in Python.

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A simple walkthrough of deriving backpropagation for CNNs and implementing it from scratch in Python.

Still eager to learn? Some more things you can do include:

- Build your first neural network with Keras.
- Apply neural networks to Visual Question Answering (VQA).
- Experiment with bigger / better neural networks using proper machine learning libraries like Tensorflow, Keras, and PyTorch.
- Try your hand at using Neural Networks to approach a Kaggle data science competition.
- Review notes from Stanford’s famous CS231n course on CNNs.
- Take one of many good Neural Networks courses on Coursera.

I plan on writing more about Neural Networks in the future, so subscribe to my newsletter if you want to get notified of new content.

Thanks for reading!

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*This blog is open-source on Github.*