Title slide
Slides : Recording

Thank you to everyone who came in through the snow and ice for 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.

Links: Slides for Lecture 1; Recording of 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 Professor at Columbia University, Director of the Data Science Institute, and previously Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research.

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
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 or circulate PDF. 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?
Yes! Now available; see links listed above and with the thumbnail of the title slide for the lecture.
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.
Can I join this course?
If it’s suitable for your study programme, then very likely yes. Send me an email telling me a little about yourself and any relevant experience. If you are a visiting student, then include a transcript from your home institution.
Lecture 1: Introduction