STEM Spotlight: AI Club

%22STEM+Spotlight%22+is+a+new+Aquila+repeater+showcasing+STEM+clubs+and+their+initiatives+during+the+pandemic.

Michelle Liu

“STEM Spotlight” is a new Aquila repeater showcasing STEM clubs and their initiatives during the pandemic.

by Mark Hu, STEM Editor

STEM Spotlight is a new repeater exploring what clubs at Harker have been doing during remote learning. This week’s featured club is the AI Club, whose goal is to provide resources and experience to students interested in the field of artificial intelligence.

The club, led by Marina Peregrino, upper school computer science teacher, has held various speaker events and weekly workshops on machine learning and artificial intelligence, which have continued in modified forms into remote learning.

Prior to the pandemic, the club held weekly Wednesday workshops in the Nichols Atrium to teach club members concepts beginning with an introduction to Python, Jupyter notebooks and basic regression before going into more detail with topics such as neural networks and decision trees. This year, club officers have continued with similar events, such as round table discussions and in-depth workshops while continuing with their planned material.

“I think [remote learning] has affected us less than other clubs because a lot of our activities are done on our own personal laptops such as jupyter notebooks, but certainly, when other people are trying to get help on their notebooks, it’s a lot harder to debug,” Charles Ding (11), club secretary, said. “It’s not really the same as being in person.”

The club has also invited guest speakers, including Dr. Avanti Shrikumar, postdoc researcher in the Earth System Science department at Stanford, who gave a lecture titled “Battling Label Distribution Shift in a Dynamic World” on Jan. 15 and has seen an increase in students compared to years past.

“One nice thing [about remote learning] is that a lot of the time [while] in person, people had a lot of conflicts with other activities, but now in virtual, it’s allowed a lot more people to come to speaker events or workshops and learn about AI,” Anirudh Kotamraju (11), club vice president, said.

Dr. Avanti Shrikumar, postdoc researcher in the Earth System Science department at Stanford, speaks to the AI Club on Jan. 15. Dr. Shrikumar gave a lecture titled “Battling Label Distribution Shift in a Dynamic World.” (Mark Hu)