705.603.81 - Creating AI-Enabled Systems

Artificial Intelligence
Spring 2024


Achieving the full capability of AI requires a system perspective, extending beyond the models, to effectively leverage algorithms, data, and computing power. Creating AI-enabled systems includes thoughtful consideration of an operational decomposition for AI solutions, engineering data for algorithm development, and deployment strategies. The objective of this course is to bring a system perspective to creating AI-enabled systems. The course will explore the full-lifecycle of creating AI-enabled systems starting with problem decomposition and addressing data, development, design, diagnostic, and deployment phases. Each module will either introduce a domain in Machine Learning (Tabular, Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Physical Systems) or delve into the end-to-end development of a specific AI system. Students will be exposed to the common technologies and resources practitioners use to develop these systems.


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Vince Pulido

Course Structure

The course materials are divided into modules which can be accessed by clicking Modules on the course menu. A module will have several sections including the overview, content, readings, discussions, and assignments. You are encouraged to preview all sections of the module before starting. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days, exceptions are noted in the Course Outline. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics

ModuleWeek of
2Jan-29ML System Overview, Requirements Engineering
3Feb-5Data Engineering, and Pipelines
4Feb-12Metrics and Quality Assurance
5Feb-19Deployment, Responsible AI
6Feb-26Computer Vision System 1
7Mar-4Computer Vision System 2
8Mar-11Computer Vision System 3
9Mar-25Time Series System 1
10Apr-1Time Series System 2
11Apr-8NLP/Recommendation System 1
12Apr-15NLP/Recommendation System 1
13Apr-22Reinforcement Learning System 1
14Apr-29Reinforcement Learning System 2

Course Goals

This course prepares students for creating AI-enabled systems by considering the full-lifecycle for building practical AI solutions. We will study issues involving problem decomposition, requirements, data, design, diagnosis, development and deployment and demonstrates how this fulfills a development and deployment pipeline to construct working AI systems.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


No textbook is required. Each module will have a reading list that will include papers and textbooks chapters from O’Reilly online. Please use your JHED ID for logging into O’Reilly (https://www.oreilly.com). This is an excellent source for books and interactive tutorials. encourage your exploration of such a valuable tool.

Required Software

Assignments require a python development environment to generate Jupyter notebooks and python scripts. A tutorial on Jupyter notebooks can be found here.

Docker (docker.com) is required to create the necessary development environment and more. The class provides the necessary instructions in Module 1. This allows the creation of a docker container that contains jupyter lab, an environment to create and run jupyter notebooks and python scripts. This container also includes most of the python libraries required for the assignments and git, a version control for your created software. A video tutorial can be found here. You will also use docker to create deployable images to run your work. There is an interactive docker tutorial available here.

Docker containers avoid library and operating system conflicts to one to also run the containers regardless of their environment (as long as it supports docker). With git and docker you will build an accessible and managed machine learning portfolio of your classwork. Docker also allows straightforward and isolated installation of other software discussed in the course such as NoSQL databases (e.g. MongoDB) and messaging software (e.g. Kafka). Docker images/containers are easy to remove when no longer needed. Docker containers are far superior than installing and deinstalling software and all the various python libraries directly in your computer operating system.

You are required to have access to an operating system that supports Docker. Current Windows, Mac, and Linux all support Docker. If this is not available, you can access cloud virtual machines and install docker there.

Student Coursework Requirements

It is expected that each module will take approximately 10 hours per week to complete. This course will consist of the following basic student requirements:

Assignments (70% of Final Grade)

Assignments will be comprised of data analysis, software delivery, and a written explanation of the system design. All assignments are due according to the dates in the Calendar. Unless specified, all assignments should be submitted to Canvas. For coding assignments – submit to Canvas two links: 1) the link to your GitHub repository which contains your python scripts and jupyter notebook, and 2) the link to the Dockerhub repository for the complied image. I should be able to download and run your docker image.

Include a cover sheet with your name and assignment identifier. Also include your name and a page number indicator (i.e., page x of y) on each page of your submissions. Each problem should have the problem statement, assumptions, computations, and conclusions/discussion delineated. All figures and tables should be captioned and labeled appropriately.

Late submissions will be reduced by 10 points (out of 100) letter grade for each week late (no exceptions without prior coordination with the instructors).


Discussion Participation (30% of Final Grade)

The discussions supplements the Final Project by allowing students to delve deeper into their chosen project through question prompts. The weekly discourse is composed of two parts:

• Initial Posts: Students will post their initial response to the module's discussions prompt. Be detailed in your postings addressing these prompts. They may include figures, graphs, images .  They are expected to post by the evening of Day 7 (Sunday) for that module week. 
• Peer Responses:  Students will then choose at least two posts to submit a response by the evening of Day 14 (the following Sunday) of the following module. For responses, we want you to interact with your classmates, provide constructive feedback, and possibly influence the way your peers view problems and/or system. You are encouraged to agree or disagree with your classmates, and provide alternative solutions/approaches/insights. However, please ensure that your postings are civil and constructive. You will receive a severe penalty for inflammatory and disrespectful responses. An excellent thread will have some degree of closure for all concepts and ideas generated within the conversation.

I will monitor module discussions and will respond to some of the posts to provide feedback. You are encouraged to edit your responses based of the feedback you receive. 

Grading Policy

Assignments are due according to the dates posted in your Canvas course site. You may check these due dates in the Course Calendar or the Assignments in the corresponding modules.
Grades are typically posted one week after assignment due dates.

The course will use the following grading system:
100-90 = A,
89-80 = B
79-70 = C
69-63 = D

<63 = F

Final grades will be determined by the following weighting:


Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.