Informatics 1: Data & Analysis


Note: This page refers to a past version of the course. You can also consult the current course web page.

This is a level 8 taught course in the School of Informatics, suitable for first-year undergraduate students. The course provides an introduction to representing and interpreting data from areas across Informatics; treating in particular structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data models. For further details see the course catalogue entry.

Lectures: 11am Tuesdays and 2pm Fridays during Semester 2 in Appleton Tower Lecture Theatre 5. You are strongly advised to attend all lectures.

The course blog carries information about the content of the lectures, tutorial work, references and further discussion of background material.

Links: Appleton Tower; Lecture Theatre 5; Map

Contact: The course lecturer is Ian Stark and the course teaching assistant is Areti Manataki.

The most effective way to contact either the lecturer or teaching assistant is by personal email, from your University email address. However, many questions are better posed on the course blog.

Ian Stark holds drop-in office hours for Informatics 1 students at 11.30–12.30 on Thursday mornings in IF 5.04 (Informatics Forum, glass lift to top floor, turn left).

Link: Further contacts

Tutorials: Weekly tutorials begin in week 3. If you are ill or otherwise unable to attend one week then email your tutor, and if possible attend another tutorial group in the same week.

Links Tutorial groups

Assignment: The course assignment is to complete three sample exam questions, taken from the final course exams in previous years.

You should attempt all three questions, writing out your answers in full and submitting them in the coursework box outside the ITO office on Appleton Tower level 4. Please write your name, matriculation number, and tutorial group clearly on the first page of your solutions.

This coursework was distributed on Friday 25 February, at the end of week 7, which gives you two weeks to complete it. However, it is not intended to take all that time, and in previous years was issued as a one-week exercise. The earlier distribution is to help you schedule possibly overlapping assignment loads from your different courses.

This work will be graded by your tutors, but does not directly contribute to your final grade. You will get your marked work back at the final tutorial, with an opportunity for feedback and discussion.

Coursework: There are exercise sheets for each tutorial. You should complete these during the preceding week, and bring your solutions to the tutorial; where your work is online, bring a printout.

You can ask for help with these exercises at the drop-in labs, and are free to discuss this work with other students. Let your tutor know if you needed a lot of help with any particular exercise.

As well as weekly exercises, there is an assessed assignment due at the end of week 9. This takes the form of a mock exam paper, distributed at the end of week 7 (not week 6 as previously announced).

The aim of all this coursework is to help you learn about the subject. Although some will be marked, none of it directly affects your final grade for Inf1-DA: that is determined entirely by your performance in the examination. Because this coursework is not for credit, you can freely share advice and discuss your work with other students.

Link: More on coursework, assessment and feedback

Informatics 1: Data & Analysis is part of the first-year programme for all undergraduate degrees in the School of Informatics. During semester 2, students should also be taking Informatics 1: Object Oriented Programming. Please see the following links for more information.

Slides: These will be placed online as the course progresses. Last year's slides are a good resource if you want to read ahead in the course.

Link: Previous lecture slides 2009–2010

Videos: We are video-recording all lectures and making them available online. You can also view the lectures from last year, when the course was delivered by Alex Simpson.

Please note that these recordings supplement lectures by allowing you to review the material presented and later revise for the course examination. They are not intended as a substitute for attending and participating in the lectures themselves.

Note: Due to an electrical fault in the lecture theatre, a few lectures have no view of the slides to accompany the video.

Link: Video this year; Video from 2009–2010


[DMS] R. Ramakrishnan and J. Gehrke. Database Management Systems. Third Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2003.

[XWT] A. Møller and M. Schwartzbach. An Introduction to XML and Web Technologies. Addison Wesley, 2006.

[CL] T. McEnery and A. Wilson. Corpus Linguistics. Second edition, Edinburgh University Press, 2001.

Chapter 2: What is a corpus and what is in it?

Examination: Your grade for Inf1-DA is based on a two-hour written examination at the end of the year. The paper follows a similar format each year, and past papers are available online.

The exam is scheduled for Saturday 7 May 2011, 1430–1630 in St. Leonard’s Land Gym 3. Please check the the search link below to confirm all of your exam times.

Links: Search for exam times; Marks and grades; Past papers.

Previous Years: The web pages for previous incarnations of the course include slides, reading material, and tutorial exercises.

Links: 2009–2010; 2008–2009; 2007–2008; 2006–2007.

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