Informatics 1 - Data and Analysis, 2008-9

Note: This page refers to a past version of the course. You can also consult the current Inf1-DA course web pages.


Lecturer : Alex Simpson Alex.Simpson @
Teaching Assistant: Srini Janarthanam s0450680 @

Course Description

The goal of this module is to provide an introduction to collecting, representing and interpreting data across the range of Informatics. Students will learn the different perspectives from which data is used, the different terminology used when referring to them and a number of representation and manipulation methods.  A small number of running, illustrative examples wil be presented, from the perspectives of hypothesis testing and query formation and answering.

After completing the course successfully, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the terminology and paradigms used in different areas of informatics for collecting, representing and interpreting data, by being able to apply them to sample problems.
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the different types of data (structured/unstructured, observational/experimental, quantitative/qualitative), by being able to identify the correct type of data for a given application.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency of the entity/relationship model by being able to specify appropriate representations and queries for simple examples.
  4. Show awareness of the importance of logic for the representation of data by being able to design simple logical representation of a given data set.
  5. Present data in a variety of forms (textual, graphical, quantitative), across a range of data types.
  6. Show awareness of the distinction between object data and meta-data, by being able to apply it to a number of applications across informatics (e.g., databases, corpora).
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic algorithms for interpreting and processing data, by being able to demonstrate how these algorithms work for simple data sets.

Course materials

These will be made available as the course progresses.

Slides / Lecture notes

Please display these notes using Acrobat Reader. Other readers might not work. Printed copies have been handed out in lectures. Spare copies can be picked up from the shelves outside room 5.03 Appleton Tower.

Corrections to slides

The following is a list of corrections to the printed slides distributed in lectures. The on-line slides have been corrected.

Additional reading

For Part I, the main supplementary text is:

Chapter 2 and much of Chapter 3 are available on-line at Google Books.

For Part II, the supplementary texts are [DMS] and:

XPath tutorial:

For Part III, the supplementary text is:

Lecture log

Coursework assignment

The hand-in deadline was noon Friday 13th March at the Informatics Teaching Office

Tutorial exercises

Exam-related material

Old material

For last year's course material see the 2007-8 Data and Analysis webpage.

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