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Class Topics (Winter 2023)

As a reading resource, please find a list of class topics and relevant materials below. Under each topic, we include a list of related readings, including lecture notes, blog posts, papers, and other resources.

We broadly organize class topics under three areas: (1) Fundamentals, (2) Survey of Existing FMs and their Applications, and (3) Societal Considerations & Impact. The list below of relevant readings and materials is not exhaustive; we’ll be updating this page as we go through the quarter, and encourage you to dig deeper into the topics that interest you. These topics are also not in order of when they’ll be covered in class.

Special thanks to the original content creators, including course notes from a past version of CS 324.

Table of Contents


What are foundation models (FMs) and why are they interesting?

How does data impact FMs and what are the downstream effects?

Model Architectures and Training Objectives for FMs

Emergent Behaviors and Capabilities

Adapting FMs to New Tasks and Data Domains

Training Methods and Infrastructure

Survey of Existing FMs and their Applications

Text and (Masked) Language Modeling FMs

Image-Text and Multimodal FMs

Societal Considerations & Impact

Security and Privacy

Environmental Impact