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Interview with Ken Wu

Ken’s story about his interest in machine learning, Machine Learning Zoomcamp and work on NLP during his internship at delphai

22 Aug 2022 by Alexey Grigorev

In this interview, Ken Wu, a graduate of ML Zoomcamp, tells us about:

  • His background
  • His interest in ML and his school essay about ML
  • Machine Learning Zoomcamp projects
  • Working on Chinese NER at delphai


Please tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your background?

I’m an incoming student at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University studying computer science and business administration. I completed Machine Learning Zoomcamp when I was a senior in high school (American School of Milan). Since middle school, I have been programming a bit but only really started focusing on it after my sophomore year in high school. You can find more about me on my website, GitHub, and LinkedIn.


When and how did it occur to you that you’re interested in ML?

I had to write an extended essay on a subject to complete the International Baccalaureate program at my school, and I chose computer science since it was my intended major in university. I talked to a past IB student, Matvey (who also happened to be a UWaterloo student), and he guided me toward ML and computer vision, which were the basis of the essay I wrote. Here is a link to my final essay and GitHub repo, if anyone is interested.

Ken’s essay


What did you do to enter the field and what were your main challenges?

Just for the sake of completing my essay assignment, I started researching about the field and found it interesting. There weren’t many challenges, as I’m still a beginner in the field, but I would say finding adequate resources was initially somewhat challenging. Machine Learning feels like an overwhelming topic to get into.


What attracted you to Machine Learning Zoomcamp? Why did you decide to take it?

I saw a post on Reddit advertising a free 4-month introductory course to ML, and I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to expand my current knowledge and lead to a future career. I decided to enroll simply because it sounded like an outstanding deal (free, professional support, certification, internship opportunity). It also sounded super interesting.


What do you do now? Can you tell us more about the internship that you got and the work you needed to do?

I’m currently an intern at delphai, an AI-driven B2B company search engine. I’m working on Chinese NER. So far it has been very fulfilling, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. The colleagues were so helpful and welcoming. During the internship, I have learned about NLP from scratch, while deploying a working model for our company. I will be ending my internship this August and will continue to study computer science at university. However, I will be very happy to have the opportunity to come back to delphai next summer for another internship.

Named entity recognition example: detecting company names and dates


Do you have any suggestions for future students of ML Zoomcamp?

Hang in there. Sometimes you might feel lazy and want to give up. Just think about how much you will learn and how interesting this entire world of ML is. You won’t ever regret the time you spent learning for yourself.


What kind of other materials would you recommend to people who read this interview?

I don’t really know, I’m a beginner myself who learned mostly from ML Zoomcamp. Personally, I’m opposed to reading books as a form of learning. I would recommend thinking of cool projects that you would like to create and use Google and StackOverflow from there.


What was the most helpful thing for you in the course?

Definitely the capstone projects, where you actually get to do something cool you learned in the previous modules. Practicing with hands-on coding will always be the best method of learning.

Ken’s capstone project for classifying Doom vs Animal Crossing images


Anything else you’d like to mention?

Feel free to connect with me and contact me if you have any cool projects and opportunities.

Machine Learning Zoomcamp is open for registrations. Sign up here.


About delphai: delphai collects unstructured public company data all over the internet and then uses ML and AI to transform this unstructured data into a structured format to make it searchable and usable for our customers.

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