SFU Data Fellowships: AI Essentials

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This online interactive course offers foundational data science and AI concepts that can be directly applied to your work and organization.

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Course Overview

This part-time, four-day course offers foundational data science and AI concepts that can be directly applied to your work and organization. Designed and taught by leading data science and AI experts at Simon Fraser University, this online interactive course offers a hands-on learning environment, enabling you to immediately apply concepts and techniques you learn with live feedback and guidance from instructors. You will come away with the kind of data science experience and knowledge that organizations and recruiters value.

This course runs from January 18-21, 9am-1pm PST each day.

What You Will Learn

  • Gain foundational knowledge in data science and AI concepts and techniques.
  • Apply data science and AI techniques and concepts to real world problems.
  • Use best practices to identify and mitigate biases and risks throughout a project.
  • Implement machine learning to analyze and gain new insights from your datasets.
  • Gain additional expertise with commonly used data science tools, making use of Python and Jupyter Notebooks.

Course Syllabus

Download the course syllabus

Key Topics

Basic Methodology

Understand the core concepts of AI and machine learning including the tools, terminology and best practices for setting up and running a project.

Data Preparation

Learn how to prepare data for AI or machine learning algorithms. Gain knowledge of best practices for effective project pipelines.

Machine Learning

Understand the full machine learning pipeline, from training, validation and testing to evaluating the success of your algorithms and solutions.

Bias in AI

Examine best practices to critically evaluate data and algorithms for bias, identify your own biases and how to mitigate against biases in your data and algorithms.

Why Choose SFU?

Taught By Leading Big Data and AI Experts

Our instructors, who have decades of experience in both development and state-of-the-art research, will teach you in-demand skills, approaches, concepts and tools.

Experiential Learning

Gain hands-on experience working on complex data science problems, ensuring the knowledge you gained in this course can be directly applied to the real-world.

Get Real-Time Feedback

This course is taught in a live learning environment, enabling real-time feedback and encouraging you to build connections with your peers.


Fred Popowich

PhD, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

Scientific Director, SFU’s Big Data Initiative and Professor of Computing Science

Jillian Anderson

MSc, Computer Science

Big Data Developer, Simon Fraser University


Steven Bergner

PhD, Computer Science

University Research Associate, Simon Fraser University

Paige Tuttosi

BSc Candidate, Statistics

BASc Candidate, Systems Engineering

Research Assistant, SFU's Big Data Initiative

Course Investment

SFU is committed to supporting our communities, partners and students during these challenging times. In an effort to increase capacity in data-intensive careers, SFU’s Big Data Initiative, together with Scale AI, will offer a grant to qualifying people applying for this course.

Apply for the Scale AI Grant

You may qualify for the $500 Scale AI grant. Apply for the grant. This grant cannot be combined with the Athena Pathways scholarship.

Scholarship Opportunity

You may qualify for a $500 scholarship from our partner Athena Pathways. Please contact sfu_bigdata@sfu.ca to inquire about your eligibility.


Please contact sfu_bigdata@sfu.ca if you have any questions.


Will I receive SFU credit for this course?

This is a non-credit course for which you will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Can I take this course at my own pace?

This course offers a live, structured learning environment with learning objectives and activities for each day. You will need to be available during the designated class times.

What is the refund policy?

There are no refunds offered for this workshop, however you may transfer your seat to another person free of charge. For questions about seat transfers please contact sfu_bigdata@sfu.ca.

What time zone is this course within?

Pacific Standard Time (PST), UTC -8

How do I know if this course is right for me?

This course is for those interested in switching or expanding their career in the data science and AI fields. Designed to be practical and application-focused, this course ensures you can apply what you learn in your work environment immediately. Whether you are just starting your career or are already a seasoned professional, SFU Data Fellowships: AI Essentials will give you the knowledge and tools to train up your data science and artificial intelligence skills in order to apply more data rigorous methods or automated processes to your job.

What is SFU's Big Data Initiative?

Simon Fraser University leverages the power of big data so Canada can lead in a digital world. With over a decade of leadership in the big data field, SFU’s Big Data Initiative engages with our partners to fill critical talent shortages, generate new knowledge and contribute to an innovative economy. We connect government to industry and the community to deliver data-driven solutions to challenging problems. With 24 governmental partners and over 90 companies actively engaged, we are empowering people to use data for impact and social good to solve global challenges and transform society.

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