Artificial intelligence

Summer course on artificial intelligence for high school students

AI Bootcamp: A Gentle Introduction to Artificial Neural Networks and Computer Vision

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, in our mobile phones as well as in our cars either autonomous or not. Indeed, thanks to neural networks machines, (AI) can nowadays understand a lot of the world surrounding us.

Neural networks, a computing mechanism inspired by the human brain, can learn complex tasks from examples. Today Neural Networks are becoming the most powerful artificial intelligence models when it comes to understanding images, text, or sound.

In this course we will focus on images, introducing computer vision and artificial intelligence techniques for classifying images, the simplest but perhaps most meaningful visual recognition task.

Course Organization

The course is divided into three modules to present how to use neural networks to classify tabular data and images. The course alternates traditional lectures (slides, blackboard) with workshop activities to provide participants with a direct programming experience.

The first module presents the fundamental concepts of Python programming, which will be used to display and manipulate digital images and perform simple operations to prepare data for training neural networks.

The second module focuses on classification and presents neural networks. Neural networks will be used to classify images in a workshop session.

The third module introduces Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN), the most popular architecture in deep learning. CNN will be used to address more challenging image classification problems successfully.

During the afternoon hands-on sessions, students will learn step-by-step how to process images with a computer and how to program a neural network to perform image classification.

Detailed Course Program

Basics of Python programming: the Google Colaboratory programming environment, basic Python programming, basics of vectors, matrices, and tensors
Basics in image processing: Images and their representation, basic image manipulation, convolution, and morphological operations for feature extraction.
Classification and Neural Networks: the classification problem, from the perceptron to feed-forward neural networks, network training and performance assessment.
Image classification: major challenges, image classification using hand-crafted features.
Deep Learning and CNNs: the deep learning revolution, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), CNN training and performance assessment


During this course, you’ll be requested to develop and test your code. Having some programming background in any language is considered a plus. However, we will provide the basic notions, such that even students who are completely new to programming are welcome.

To take part in this course you need to bring your laptop. Tablets are not sufficient, as they won’t let you develop the assignments.

Since we will be programming on Colab, any operating system is fine. Moreover, we do not have special requirements in terms of computational power. You only need a Google account.

If you need assistance, write an email to o just ask in the Telegram group.

Video presentation