24 Best (and Free) Books To Understand Machine Learning

machine learning books

What we want is a machine that can learn from experience

Alan Turing

There is no doubt that Machine Learning has become one of the most popular topics nowadays. According to a study, Machine Learning Engineer was voted one of the best jobs in the U.S. in 2019.

Looking at this trend, we have compiled a list of some of the best (and free) machine learning books that will prove helpful for everyone aspiring to build a career in the field.



Machine Learning Books

Best introductory book to Machine Learning theory. Even paid books are seldom better. A good introduction to the Maths, and also has practice material in R. Cannot praise this book enough.

2. Neural Networks and Deep Learning

This free online book is one the best and quickest introductions to Deep Learning out there. Reading it takes only a few days and gives you all the basics about Deep Learning.

3. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning

It is one of the most famous theoretical Machine Learning books so you don’t need to write much of an intro.

4. Deep Learning Book

The bible of Deep Learning, this book is an introduction to Deep Learning algorithms and methods which is useful for a beginner and practitioner both.

5. Understanding Machine Learning: From Theory to Algorithms

Really good treatise on Machine Learning theory.

6. Seven Steps to Success: Machine Learning in Practice

Non Technical product managers and non-machine Learning software engineers entering the field should not miss this tutorial. Very well written (Slightly old and doesn’t cover Deep Learning, but works for all practical purposes).

7. Rules of Machine Learning: Best practices for Machine Learning Engineering

Wonder how Google thinks about its Machine Learning products? This is a really good tutorial Machine Learning product management.

8. A Brief Introduction to Machine Learning for Engineers

Monologue covering almost all techniques of Machine Learning. Easier to understand Maths (for people afraid of difficult Mathematical notations).

9. Brief Introduction to Machine Learning without Deep Learning

Monologue covering almost all techniques of Machine Learning. Easier to understand Maths (for people afraid of difficult Mathematical notations).

10. Introductory Machine Learning notes

Machine Learning guide for absolute beginners.

11. Foundations of Machine Learning

machine learning books

A detailed treatise on Machine Learning mathematical concepts.

12. An Introduction to Variable and Feature Selection

Feature Engineering and variable selection are probably the most important human input in traditional machine learning algorithms. (Not that important in Deep Learning methods, but not everything is solved with Deep Learning). This tutorial provides an introduction to different feature engineering methods.

13. AutoML Book – Frank Hutter, Lars Kotthoff, Joaquin Vanschoren

Traditional Machine Learning in recent days has really reduced to running AutoML models (h2o, auto sklearn or tpot, our favorite at ParallelDots) once you are done with feature engineering. (In fact, there are a few methods to do automated non-domain specific automatic feature engineering too). This book covers methods used in AutoML.

14. Deep Learning with Pytorch

A free book that helps you learn Deep Learning using PyTorch. PyTorch is our favorite Deep Learning library at ParallelDots and we recommend it for everyone doing applied research/development in Deep Learning.

15. Dive Into Deep Learning

Another detailed book on Deep Learning which uses Amazon’s MXNet library to teach Deep Learning.

16. Kerasbook Github notebooks

Francois Chollet is the lead of the Keras Library. His book “Deep Learning in Python” written to teach Deep Learning in Keras is rated very well. The book is not available for free, but all its code is available on Github in the form of notebooks (forming a book with Deep Learning examples) and is a good resource. I read it when I was learning Keras a few years back, a very good resource.

17. Model-based Machine Learning

machine learning books

An excellent resource in Bayesian Machine Learning. Uses Microsoft’s Infer.Net library to teach, so you might have to install IronPython to read/implement the book’s examples.

18. Bayesian Models for Machine Learning

Another book detailing various Bayesian Methods in Machine Learning.

19. Eisenstein NLP notes

Natural Language Processing is the most popular use of Machine Learning. These notes from a GATech course provide a really good overview of how Machine Learning is used to interpret human language.

20. Reinforcement Learning – Sutton and Barto

The bible of Reinforcement Learning. This is a must-read for anyone getting into the field of Reinforcement learning.

21. Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning

Teaches using Bayesian Optimization and Gaussian Processes for Machine Learning. With variational inference based libraries like Edward/GpyTorch/BOTorch etc., this method is making a comeback.

22. Machine Learning Interviews Machine Learning Systems Design Chip Huyen

Going for an interview for a Machine Learning job? These questions might be of help to figure out strategy while answering Machine Learning systems problems.

23. Algorithmic Aspects of Machine Learning

This book deals with the parts of Machine Learning which deal with computational algorithms and numerical methods to solve like factorization models, dictionary learning and Gaussian Models.

24. Causality for Machine Learning

With causality making inroads into Data Science fields, Machine Learning is not free from the discussion too. While no detailed material is available around this, here is a short tutorial trying to explain key concepts of Causality for Machine Learning.

Found the blog useful? Read our other blog to learn all about the best books to help you excel as a data scientist.


Follow Me

One Reply to “24 Best (and Free) Books To Understand Machine Learning”

Leave a Reply