Empowering Black & Indigenous Students in Machine Learning

Vector’s Introduction to machine learning course enables Black and Indigenous post-secondary students to develop market-ready skills in model-building, optimization techniques, and other machine learning-related concepts.


“The Introduction to ML course offered by Vector Institute is a great, flexible and insightful program. It exposes one to the fundamentals (both theory and practical) in Machine Learning, ranging from supervised learning, unsupervised learning, etc. I highly recommend this program.”

Oluwabukola (Grace) Adegboro

Program particpiant

The program

This is a free 9-week online Introduction to Machine Learning course covering common algorithms such as linear and logistic regression, decision trees, neural networks, etc. and model-building techniques. It features 2 hours of lectures/workshops per week and weekly tutorials for hands-on learning.

Course participants get:

Participants in this course receive a comprehensive introduction to machine learning and:

  • Access to Vector’s weekly research talks with world-class faculty and researchers
  • Career development programming with companies driving AI adoption
  • Foundational knowledge and preparation in ML
  • A $500 award upon successful completion of the course
  • A professional development certificate of completion

Check out the latest capstone project winners

Meet previous course participants

Wintta Headshot

Wintta Ghebreiyesus

Project Management Intern, Summer / Fall 2022

“As a project management intern in the Industry Innovation team, I developed strategies for leveraging AI.”
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Mark Thomas

Vector Research Intern, Summer 2022

“I was very grateful to be able to contribute to a paper, work alongside world-class researchers.”
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Mohammed Awal Kassim Headshot

Mohammed Awal Kassim

Machine Learning Associate with Venterra Realty, Summer 2023 & Intro to ML Course Participant

“The MLA program was truly awesome – It provided me with comprehensive knowledge on forecasting, practical skills, and valuable connections.”
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Latest Intro to Machine Learning news

Students win award at inaugural Introduction to Machine Learning course for Black and Indigenous students


“The course has instilled the necessary skills and knowledge, necessary to excel in academia and industry”

Kissinger Sunday

Course participant

Who can apply

We are currently not accepting applications for this course at this time. This course is offered to individuals who meet the following criteria:

  • You are a self-identified Black or Indigenous student or postdoc (Indigenous ancestry or heritage – First Nations (status or non-status), Métis or Inuit)
  • You have completed at least one year of post-secondary education (i.e., you are in second-year or higher in your undergraduate degree, or in your master’s, PhD, or postdoctoral studies)
  • You are studying at a Canadian university or college
  • You are studying in a STEM program (Science, Technology/Computer Science, Engineering, Math) or adjacent disciplines such as Business, Economics or Life Sciences
  • You have coding experience with Python or R*. You have taken statistics or math at the post-secondary level
    • *If you are interested in applying for the course but have no or limited coding experience in Python, please submit an application. Vector also runs a 3-day Excel to AI course that you may be able to take, subject to space in the course, instead of the Introduction to Machine Learning course or prior to the course. See the FAQ below for more details.
  • You are committed to completing coursework on a weekly basis and participating in class

Please note that enrolment in this course is capped at approximately 50 students; a minimum of 10 students is required to run the course. Given Vector’s limited enrollment capacity, not all applicants will be offered a spot in the course.

Applications are currently closed

Subscribe to our monthly mailing list to be notified of our next intake period. You’ll also stay up-to-date on the latest AI news, research and Vector events.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use this course for degree credit?

This course is a professional development offering and cannot be used for degree credit. While Vector offers professional development to industry, health partners and students, it is not an accredited academic institution. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course that you can include on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Will there be assignments that are evaluated?

There will be four course assignments and a capstone project that will be reviewed and graded by the instructor and TA to provide you with feedback on your progress. Capstone projects are also a great way to showcase what you have learned in the course and demonstrate your knowledge to prospective employers.

An award for the Best Capstone Paper & Presentation, valued at $500 each for a total of $1,500, will be awarded to the top three capstones.

Why is Vector offering a free course on Machine Learning for Black and Indigenous students?

There are challenges facing Black and Indigenous people entering the field of Artificial Intelligence, STEM, and tech in general. Both statistical data on workforce participation*  and anecdotal evidence reflects that there are real barriers that require action. The purpose of Vector’s Introduction to ML course and internship programming is to increase the opportunities to build research and career pathways in AI for Black and Indigenous students in Canada. This initiative is designed to meet the criteria of Special Programs in line with the values of the Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code), to assist underrepresented groups to achieve equal opportunity in the field of AI.

*Based on 2016 Census data, Indigenous people make up 4% of adults in Canada but less than 2% of people working in STEM occupations are Indigenous (Analysis of 2016 Census data. Statistics Canada, “Data Products, 2016 Census.”). According to a Brookfield Study (2019) entitled Who are Canada’s Tech Workers? Indigenous people’s participation in tech occupations is less than half of non-Indigenous people’s participation in the field (2.2% vs. 5.2%). Similarly, Black people reflect 2.6% of the tech workforce but 3.5% of the population. A MaRS Discovery District analysis using a survey dataset powered by Fortay and Feminuity of tech workers in Toronto found that Black tech workers were more likely to report lower levels of diversity, inclusion and belonging compared to White, Asian, and other Visible Minorities.

I am a student at a university/college outside Canada. Am I eligible?

No, this course is open to students studying at a Canadian university or college.

I’m not in a STEM or STEM adjacent program OR I have limited to no coding experience. Can I still apply for this course?

We encourage you to submit an application. When applying, Vector will assess your technical proficiency based on your reported experience levels in Python or R, Excel, Statistics, Linear Algebra, and Multivariate Calculus. If you have limited proficiency in Python, Vector may offer you a spot in our Excel to AI course.

I have more questions about the course. Who do I email?

Please don’t hesitate to contact internships@vectorinstitute.ai if you have further questions about the application process or the course.