Computer Science, Machine Learning, and Biomedicine: The Best Free Resources
By Saadia El Karfi Azzarone
PhD candidate in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University
3 minute read
If you are a high school student who has been contemplating exploring a project-based learning experience in Computer Science, AI, and their intersection with Medicine and Healthcare, and you don’t know where to begin, I am here to help you get started. Over the past few months I have been speaking with industry experts and academics including professors, PhD candidates, researchers and doctors to compile a list of resources for students who want to dip their toes into the field. These resources were shared with me by over 20 educators and experts serving at the forefront of these fields and they believe that they can help high school students like yourself begin their research journey. Here is a curated list of resources I compiled for you. It includes free online courses, books, podcasts, scientific articles, and more so that you can kickstart your journey towards a successful project-based learning experience:
Explore this online course called CSE 158: Web Mining and Recommender Systems by Professor Julian McAuley at the Computer Science department at UCSD. In this course you will learn about how some of your favorite online platforms work such as Spotify, Youtube, Netflix and more. Professor McAuley, is also currently offering a Free Coursera course that begins on February 17th, 2022 called Python Data Products for Predictive Analytics Specialization.
Take this free course called Google's fast-paced, practical introduction to machine learning, featuring a series of lessons with video lectures, real-world case studies, and hands-on practice exercises.
This blog post explains how to learn data science if you are broke
Here is another blogpost that can help you learn data science
Watch this video to learn how to learn data science in 2022 (the minimize effort maximize outcome way)
Another video called How I Would Learn Data Science in 2021 (What Has Changed?)
Learn about Computer Vision
Learn what convolutional neural networks are.
Discover what the 5 types of predictive analytics models are
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Now if you are interested in learning about CS/AI, Medicine and Healthcare, then explore these resources:
Read this book called The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age (2015) by Professor Robert Wachter who is the chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Watch this TedTalk called Artificial intelligence in healthcare: opportunities and challenges | Navid Toosi Saidy | TEDxQUT by Navid Toosi Saidy, PhD who is the Digital Health Lead at Max Kelsen.
Read this paper titled Overview of artificial intelligence in medicine (2019) published in the National Library of Medicine.
When high school students hear the word research they may feel intimidated, scared, and overwhelmed. The truth is research is not as scary as one may think, and believe it or not, each one of us has done some type of research at some point in their life. If you ever asked a question about a particular concept and proceeded to Google it or sought out a librarian to help you find books or other resources, then congratulations, you have already taken part in research.
All of us human beings are born with curiosity and this natural part of our humanity has made us researchers in one way or another. So if you are worried about whether you can do research or not, trust me you are not alone in feeling this way. Our society has created a narrative that research is something that is done in some obscure lab, perhaps in some prestigious and unattainable university. However, the reality is that we all have the power within us to become researchers as long as we have a well developed research question, a strong support network, and the right resources.
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If you are a high school student looking to get your hands on some research experience, then you are in the right place. Read up on the resources listed in this article and begin forming valuable relationships with mentors and expert educators who can guide you towards a successful project-based learning experience. If you are interested in discussing your CS/AI interests, or any other interests I definitely recommend that you check out Polygence’s Pathfinders Career Discovery Program as it might be the right place for you to get started.
As a Polygence mentor and educator with over a decade of teaching and advising experience, I have worked with several Pathfinder students who have found the program to not only be life-changing, but highly rewarding in that it offered them insights into areas of research that are best suited for them. In this program, the students I worked with got exposure to a diversity of college majors through their work with experts who are devoting their careers to those disciplines. The students walked away from the program with a clearer sense of their career and academic interests, ideas and next steps for further exploration, as well as a written diagnostic on their passion discovery journey.
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