What makes this the hottest class at MIT?

MIT professors Tommi Jaakkola and Regina Barzilay teach the popular Introduction to Machine Learning course. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff

MIT loves numbers, so let me drop a few to illustrate the popularity of a course called 6.036.

It is overseen by four instructors and 15 teaching assistants.

Lectures are held in 26-100, the school’s largest auditorium, with 566 seats.

But this semester, about 700 students signed up for the course — also known as Introduction to Machine Learning — according to Tommi Jaakkola, the computer science professor who created it. So at the first lecture, more than 100 students watched on a video screen in an overflow room.

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