This online course is designed to introduce participants to the basic techniques involved in machine learning and text mining, with applications focusing on international trade policy. The short course will emphasize developing an intuitive understanding of the tools involved, so that participants can identify future applications in their own work. It is a hands on course, with participants expected to spend considerable time analyzing real-world data. All participants must have successfully completed ESCAP’s free online course on R for trade analysis (available here: https://r.tiid.org/) to be eligible. Participants should also have some background in econometrics and statistics, typically to graduate level.
The course consists of three modules. For each module, participants should first watch the pre-recorded lecture, covering key concepts and demonstrating their application in R. They should then work with replication files to ensure they can reproduce and understand all results in the demonstration. Next, they should prepare answers to discussion questions designed to develop intuition. They should then prepare answers to a short problem set using R and supplied datasets. The group will then meet for interactive sessions in which questions can be asked on each of the lecture and demonstration material, and discussion questions and problem sets can be analyzed.