Lecture 1: Introduction

Title slideThank you to everyone who came along to this morning’s lecture. You can find the slides for the lecture by clicking on the thumbnail image of the title slide to the right, or in the links below. In the rest of this post I’ve listed the homework for Friday’s lecture and some answers to questions students asked during and after the lecture.

The course divides into three main sections:

  1. Structured Data (databases, SQL)
  2. Semistructured Data (trees, XML)
  3. Unstructured Data (text corpora like the BNC)

On Friday we start the first of these sections, with an introduction to Entity-Relationship Modelling. Before then, make sure you have completed the homework listed below.

Link: Slides for Lecture 1


1. Read This
Jeannette Wing Computational Thinking
Jeannette M. Wing
Communications of the ACM 49(3):33–35
DOI: 10.1145/1118178.1118215
Link: Full text online
Dr Wing is Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research, and Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon.

That article is quite short. If you would like to find out more then read this longer piece or watch Dr Wing give a talk:

2. Do This

If you wish to join either of these under an alias or pseudonym, then get in touch with me and I’ll arrange that.

Student Q+A

Lecture handouts in pigeonhole

Where can I get a copy of the lecture handout?
There are spare copies in in pigeonholes outside the ITO
Do I need to buy the books on the reading list?
No. Where you need to read parts of these books, I’ll provide a photocopied handout. I shall also point out other books in the library you might find useful, which you can borrow from there or read online.
Will there be videos of the lectures?
That’s certainly the plan, starting with Lecture 2 on Friday.
When do tutorials start?
Week 3. I’ll provide more information about this in the next couple of lectures, including details about attendance and changing groups.