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Current opportunities

 

Express your interest in collaborating with WatSPEED to instruct or contribute to future programs and courses.

Overview

This course introduces the latest techniques, tools and applications of large language models. It will cover the history of natural language processors, the life cycle of large language models, and techniques such as fine-tuning and chain of thought prompting. The course will also cover constitutional AI, using search engines with large language models and inference and deployment.

Proposed timeline

The start and end date of the course is expected to be between March 2024 and May 2024. Expected involvement in the opportunity would be from just before to just after those identified dates. 

 

Additional details

  • The length of the course is four weeks and contains four modules.
  • An LMS platform will house the course information, module content and quizzes. A discussion board will be housed in Slack requiring instructor monitoring and engagement.
  • The practical exercises will be conducted using Google Colab and Open AI and feedback and grading will be required on the learning activities and final assignment.
  • There is a 90-minute live instructional session each week, in which the main topics and concepts are explained followed by a short Q&A session.
  • The purpose of the course is to provide learners with foundational knowledge of large language models and how to apply them for improved performance.

Course outline

  • Module 1: Basics of large language models

  • Module 2: Prompt engineering and fine-tuning

  • Module 3: Picking the right tool for the task

  • Module 4: Large language models in larger architectures


Intended audience

  • Software engineers, programmers and developers looking to apply natural language processors, machine learning, and prompt engineering to their stack.

  • Data analysts and data scientists.

  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence engineers.

 

Prerequisites for learners

  • Proficient in reading and writing code in Python (understanding of different data types and the basics of object-oriented programming).
  • Intermediate to advanced experience with data and machine learning Python libraries such as Numpy, Scikit-Learn, and Pandas.
  • Comfortable working with web applications and big data.
  • Experience working with API endpoints and the ability to write a simple Python code to send requests and parse responses from an endpoint.

 

Requirements for interested parties

  • Broad Requirements:
    • Availability for the timeline outlined.
    • Demonstrated experience/expertise in the subject and content outlined. eLearning/online learning experience, preferably within a lifelong learning environment.
    • Experience with Learning Management Systems (LMS).
  • Specific Requirements:
    • The subject matter expert should be able to provide some guidance and input to both learners and the WatSPEED community while having an in-depth understanding of the course outline, module objectives, learner objectives and outcomes, technology/tools for experiential learning opportunities, and assessment exercises to ensure learners have met criteria for acquiring WatSPEED certification.
    • Knowledge in the field of large language models, natural language processors, and python is important. Instructors will be expected to engage in a debrief with WatSPEED staff for the purpose of evaluation and continuous improvement initiatives.
  • Selections will be made on appropriate fit, knowledge/experience, and availability.

 

Service and remuneration

Will be based on the scope of engagement once identified. 

 

Submission requirements and process

Applicants are invited to make an expression of interest by following the outlined steps: 

  • Provide an expression of interest by email by no later than December 4, 2023. 
  • Please fill the form below with as much relevant/applicable information as possible.
  • Expressions of interest must be sent to Kathy Smyth, Program Management Specialist at Kathy.smyth@uwaterloo.ca
  • All inquiries relating to this REOI should also be directed to the above-mentioned email address. 

 

Evaluation of submissions

  • Submissions will be considered as they are received.
  • Stakeholders will convene to make selections.
  • Selected parties will be contacted for further information and possible engagement.
  • All parties expressing interest will be contacted with information on the results of the REOI and any immediate or future involvement with WatSPEED. 

 

Confidentiality  

Subject to the following, the expressions of Interest received in response to this REOI are solely for use by the members involved in the selection. Information provided will be retained by the deciding panel and will not be distributed outside their purview. 

 

Legal/limitations

This REOI does not constitute a solicitation. This request is merely seeking an expression of interest in participating in the tender. 

Response to this REOI does not automatically ensure that submitting parties will be selected to participate in the subsequent phase of the project. 

WatSPEED reserves the right to change or cancel the requirement at any time during the REOI and/or communication process.

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Project information

WatSPEED is looking to engage a subject matter expert to develop content for a network security course with a strong cloud networking focus that will be part of a three-course certificate. This course is planned to be offered asynchronously through WatSPEED’s Learning Management System (LMS) and should include hands-on exercises and assessments that can include virtual labs or other testing tools.

 

Overview

This course should provide an introduction to network security issues and mitigation, with a particular focus on cloud network computing. It should cover some common security threats and how such threats are prevented. This course’s audience will not be expected to have networking prerequisite knowledge. Learners will need to become familiar with common networking concepts such as TCP/UDP, BGP, and DNS.  

Students completing this course should be able to identify network threats (and specifically those in an unsecured cloud environment) and be able to propose solutions to mitigate these threats. Students will also understand the fundamentals of secure networking protocols and how cloud environments can be architected to ensure security.

The course ideally runs no longer than 10 weeks while limiting learner hours to five hours per week inclusive of instruction and assessments.


Intended audience and prerequisites

  • The intended audience is new to either network security and/or cloud network security.

  • Prerequisites will be based on final course objectives.

 

Possible course topics

  • Overview of networking security concepts and principles.
  • Basics of network architecture and protocols particularly within cloud architecture.
  • Differentiation of network security in cloud environments and serverless architectures.
  • SDNs-software defined networks.
  • Firewall technologies and their role in cloud security.
  • Network monitoring and logging, event logging.  
  • Understanding relevant compliance standards and navigating cloud compliance challenges.
  • Overview or application of industry tools such as wireshark.

 

Service and remuneration

Activity Remuneration

Asynchronous Course Development

Work with WatSPEED and other internal and external collaborators to define learning outcomes for an asynchronous course. The subject matter expert should be able to provide guidance and input on course outline and length (learner hours), module development, learner objectives and outcomes, technology/tools for experiential learning opportunities, and assessment exercises to ensure learners have met criteria for acquiring WatSPEED certification.

Engage in discussions with industry representatives, relevant certification bodies, professional associations, or other entities to align program with market needs.

As this is for a professional audience, there may not be any tests or exams.

Will be based on scope of engagement once identified.

 

Start and end date of the project

  • December 2023 to June 2024.

 

Application process

Email expression of interest to Ruma Sondhi, Account and New Program Manager at ruma.sondhi@uwaterloo.ca by November 24th, 2023. Applications will be considered as they are received.

Please indicate the following information in your email:

  • Your expertise and experience in the area of network security (focus on cloud architectures).
  • Your availability to work on producing content in the subject matter (number of hours per week for the project duration above).
  • Experience in teaching or developing content for professional learners.

Note: If you have candidates from your internal or external network that you would like to nominate for this scope of work or with whom you would like to partner in the development, please highlight this in your expression of interest.

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