World’s premier AI training program welcomes 300 students from around the world

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White and yellow text on black background: "Deep Learning + Reinforcement Learning Summer School. Where the World Comes to Learn AI. July 26-31 (virtual)."

The 2021 Deep Learning + Reinforcement Learning (DLRL) Summer School, held virtually from July 26-31, 2021, brings together talented students in artificial intelligence (AI) to cover the foundational research, new developments, and real-world applications of deep learning and reinforcement learning. The school is hosted by CIFAR in partnership with Canada’s three national AI institutes: Amii in Edmonton, Mila in Montreal, and the Vector Institute in Toronto.

Every year the DLRL Summer School attracts hundreds of applicants from more than 56 countries. CIFAR and its partner AI institutes are committed to supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion in AI research and innovation. Students participating in this year’s DLRL Summer School come from Canada, Iran, India, China, U.S., Germany, Brazil, Italy, Bangladesh, France, and Nigeria. More than half of the students registered (56 per cent) come from an underrepresented group in AI (women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities, members of 2SLGBTQ+). Of the applicants attending, 176 are affiliated with a Canadian institution.

“We are delighted to welcome some of the world’s most promising trainee researchers to the DLRL Summer School,” says Elissa Strome, Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, CIFAR. “This international program brings together exciting and diverse perspectives that will be critical to the future of AI.” This program brings together participants from all over the world to provide high-calibre, in-depth training in machine learning. Previous participants have gone on to work in senior roles in industry, academia, and some are now Canada CIFAR AI Chairs.

“DLRL students have a rare opportunity to learn from world-renowned researchers in machine learning, expand their peer networks, and build connections that will serve them well throughout their careers,” says Canada CIFAR AI Chair Nidhi Hegde. Hegde is one of the program committee members of the 2021 DLRL Summer School, and an associate professor at the University of Alberta and a fellow at Amii.

The DLRL Summer School will explore timely topics such as robotics, doing good with machine learning, what AI can learn from three year olds, and explainability in AI. Students will train with world-class AI researchers, including a number of Canada CIFAR AI Chairs and CIFAR Fellows. Some of the speakers include:

Yoshua Bengio (Mila, Université de Montréal, IVADO)

Angela Schoellig (Vector Institute, University of Toronto)

Joelle Pineau (Mila, McGill University, Facebook)

Martha White (Amii, University of Alberta)

Kyunghyun Cho (New York University)

Roger Grosse (Vector Institute, University of Toronto)

Jian Tang (Mila, HEC Montréal & Université de Montréal)

Lester Mackey (Microsoft Research)

Visit for more information.

Join the conversation on social media with the hashtags #DLRL and #AI4Good.


CIFAR is a global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.

By building long-term, interdisciplinary, global communities of collaboration, we provide the world’s top researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, creating a culture of risk-taking, accelerating discovery, and yielding breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines.

Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government, and society.

In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy.

Our community of researchers includes more than 400 researchers from 161 institutions in 18 countries. Our fellows, chairs, scholars, and advisors are among the most highly cited researchers in the world. Twenty Nobel Prizes have been awarded to CIFAR-affiliated researchers.

We are supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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