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 taught course in the School of Informatics suitable for first-year undergraduate students (SCQF level 8). 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 cover sheet and catalogue entry.

Lectures · Online · Tutorials · Exercises · Coursework · Feedback · Staff · Slides · Videos · Reading · Examination · Previous Years

Lectures: 11.10–12.00 Tuesdays and 14.10–15.00 Fridays during Semester 2. Tuesday lectures are in the Lecture Theatre 5 of Appleton Tower and Friday lectures are in Lecture Theatre B of the David Hume Tower. You are strongly advised to attend all lectures.

Links: Appleton Tower (Map), Lecture Theatre 5; David Hume Tower (Map), Lecture Theatre B

Online: This web page will accumulate links to slides and videos from all the lectures. Other resources include:

  • Course blog: Lecture log with more material, references, and announcements.
  • Nota Bene: Collaborative annotation for questions and comments on the lecture slides and tutorial exercises. (Subscribe to NB Inf1-DA)
  • Discussion forum: Post questions and answers on anything related to Informatics 1 courses. Course lecturers, teaching assistants and tutors will also read and answer questions.

Warning: Please read this page if you have problems viewing or commenting on the discussion forum.

Tutorials: You will have weekly meetings in a small group with your course tutor. These start in Week 3 and happen each week until the end of semester, except for Innovative Learning Week. 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.

Link: Tutorial group times, places and membership.

If you wish to move to a different tutorial group, please ask the ITO through their online contact form.

Exercises: Each tutorial has an associated sheet of exercises. You should complete these during the week, and bring your solutions to the tutorial for discussion.

Each sheet also includes examples of questions from past exam papers, and notes on worked solutions for these.

You can discuss your work on these exercises with other students, and ask questions on the discussion forum. If you are having difficulties then drop in to InfBASE for help.

Coursework: As well as the weekly tutorial exercises there is a more substantial written assignment based on previous exam questions, which will be marked by your course tutor.

  • Inf1-DA assignment: Exam from April 2013 (PDF, NB)
  • Feedback and solutions to April 2013 exam (PDF,NB)
Assignment timing
Start Semester 2 Week 7 Thursday 6 March Sheet available from course web page
Submit Semester 2 Week 9 Thursday 20 March Submission by 4pm to box outside ITO
Return Semester 2 Week 11 31 March – 2 April Work returned in tutorials

Feedback Every week your course tutor will give verbal feedback on your work as part of the group meeting; you will also have the opportunity to discuss any difficulties with others in the tutorial.

Your tutor will mark your assignment in the final weeks of the course, and return it to you with written comments. The course lecturer will also publish notes for you to review your own work, with sample solutions and guidance based on the submissions of all students. Following this, you will have a tutorial meeting dedicated to discussion and feedback on the assignment.

The final lecture of the semester will review what you have done in the course, giving feedback and advice on how to best prepare for the examination.

This assessment and feedback is all formative: it does not count towards your final grade, but is there to help increase your understanding and improve your work.

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 link for more information.

Staff: The course lecturer is Ian Stark. Photo of Dr Stark
Office:Informatics Forum 5.04
Office Hour: 1030–1130 every Wednesday
Please drop in any time during this office hour, or send email if you want to arrange a meeting at another time.
The course Teaching Assistant is Areti Manataki. Photo of Dr Manataki
Office Hour: 1630–1730 every Tuesday
at InfBASE in AT 5.02
You can also drop in to InfBASE any time from 4pm to 6pm Monday–Thursday to see the tutors there for help with any Informatics course.

Slides: Slides from each lecture will be placed online as the course progresses, in plain PDF and on Nota Bene (NB) for collaborative annotation.

Links: Create an NB account and subscribe to Inf1-DA; NB Desktop

  • Introduction
    • 1. Course Overview (PDF, NB)
  • Part I: Structured Data
    • 2. Entities and Relationships (PDF, NB)
    • 3. The Relational Model (PDF, NB)
    • 4. From ER Diagrams to Relational Models (PDF, NB)
    • 5. Relational Algebra (PDF, NB)
    • 6. Tuple Relational Calculus (PDF, NB)
    • 7. SQL (PDF, NB)
    • 8. SQL Queries (PDF, NB)
  • Part II: Semistructured Data
    • 9. Trees and XML (PDF, NB)
    • 10. Structuring XML (PDF, NB)
    • 11. Navigating XML using XPath (PDF, NB)
    • 12. Corpora (PDF, NB)
    • 13. Annotation of Corpora (PDF, NB)
    • 14. Example Corpora Applications (PDF, NB)
  • Part III: Unstructured Data
    • 15. Information Retrieval (PDF, NB)
    • 16. Vector Spaces for Information Retrieval (PDF, NB)
    • 17. Data Scales and Summary Statistics (PDF, NB)
    • 18. Hypothesis Testing and Correlation (PDF, NB)
    • 19. χ2 Testing on Categorical Data (PDF, NB)
  • Closing
    • 20. Course Review (PDF, NB)

Videos: Recordings of lectures are available online.

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

Link: Video this year; Video from 2012–2013

Reading: There is no required course textbook, although some material is handed out in lectures. The following are useful references for the three components of the course.

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

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

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: Assessment 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.

Links: Marks and grades; Exam times; Past papers.

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

Links: 2012–2013; 2011–2012; 2010–2011; 2009–2010.

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