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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics - Distance Learning

Postgraduate Course: Introductory Applied Machine Learning (INFD11005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary*This course replaces the course 'Introductory Applied Machine Learning' (INFR11152) from 2019/20.

*This course is for distance learning students within the School of Informatics and students on the Data Science, Technology & Innovation programme*.

Organisations seek to make better decisions by examining their data with an aim to discovering and/or drawing conclusions about the information contained within. This course is about the principled application of machine learning techniques to extracting information from data. The main area that will be discussed is supervised learning, which is concerned with learning to predict an output, given inputs. A second area of study is unsupervised learning, where we wish to discover the structure in a set of patterns, i.e. there is no output "teacher signal". The primary aim is to provide the student with a set of practical tools that can be applied to solve real - world problems in machine learning, coupled with an appropriate, principled approach to formulating a solution.

This distance-based course is aligned with the on-campus Introductory Applied Machine Learning course (INFR11205), which uses a flipped classroom delivery approach. Distance students will cover the same or similar materials, have the same coursework, engage in the same or similar classroom activities, and take the same exam as the on-campus students.
Course description This course is delivered using "flipped-classroom" methods. Intellectual content will be delivered via a combination of online short video segments (overall, per topic, approximately the same length as a traditional lecture). Some of the topics have online quizzes associated with them, intended for you to review your understanding. During most of the lecture slots we will have other activities to review the topic material, also available by online recording.

We expect to cover the following general areas:

1. Review of maths and probability
2. Feature engineering (e.g., basis transforms, selection , Principal Components Analysis)
3. Classification vs. Regression
4. Supervised methods (e.g., Naive Bayes, Decision Trees and Random Forests, Linear & Logistic Regression, Support Vector Machines, Nearest Neighbours, Neural Networks)
5. Unsupervised clustering methods (e.g., k-Means, Gaussian Mixture Models, Hierarchical Clustering)

We will use a modern machine learning programming environment and industry-standard libraries.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Machine Learning (INFR10086) OR Applied Machine Learning (INFR11211)
Other requirements Students should check these maths and programming requirements carefully, as the course assumes and builds on these foundations. Experience has shown that students without this background can struggle with the course.

Maths requirements:

1. Linear algebra: Vectors: scalar (dot) product, transpose, unit vectors, vector length, orthogonality. Matrices: addition, matrix multiplication, matrix inversion. Eigenvectors, determinants quadratic forms.

2. Special functions: properties and combination rules for logarithm and exponential.

3. Calculus: Rules for differentiation of standard functions. Functions of several variables. Partial differentiation. Multivariate maxima and minima.

4. Geometry: Basics of lines, planes and hyperplanes. Coordinate geometry of circle, sphere, ellipse, ellipsoid and n-dimensional generalizations.

5. Probability theory: Discrete and continuous univariate random variables. Expectation, variance. Univariate Gaussian distribution. Joint and conditional distributions.

Programming requirements:

Students should be familiar with programming in a modern object-oriented language, ideally Python which is the course language.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Course Start Date 15/01/2024
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Exam: 70%
Coursework: 30%
Feedback There is a rich and well-resourced level of engagement between distance education students and world-leading Informatics teaching and research staff:

- Extensive use of the School and University level virtual learning environments (VLE) such as Learn and social platform.
- Course forums will allow students to ask questions to both teaching staff and to other students.
- Online peer-feedback as well as tutor-feedback is designed into all the tutorials, labs and coursework (formative and summative).

The Piazza platform is the place to ask questions about the course materials: topics slides and videos, the labs, tutorials and the assignments. Sign up for it at the link in the announcement. We encourage students to answer questions if you can - it is a great learning experience to explain something to another student. The forum is monitored and responded to by the lecturer and the TA. If you have issues that should be kept confidential, then of course please do email the course lecturer, but otherwise use the forum - it is more efficient and it benefits everyone.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain the scope, goals and limits of machine learning, and the main sub-areas of the field.
  2. Describe the various techniques covered in the syllabus and where they fit within the structure of the discipline.
  3. Critically compare, contrast and evaluate the different ML techniques in terms of their applicability to different Machine Learning problems.
  4. Given a data set and problem, use appropriate software to apply these techniques to the data set to solve the problem.
  5. Given appropriate data, use a systematic approach to conducting. experimental investigations and assessing scientific hypotheses.
Reading List
Books that may be useful, but are not required:

- Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning by C. Bishop (Springer, 2006)
- Elements of Statistical Learning by T. Hastie, R. Tibshirani and J. Friedman (Springer 2009)
- Bayesian Reasoning and Machine Learning by D. Barber (CUP, 2012)
- Machine Learning by T. Mitchell (McGraw Hill, 1997)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Problem solving, Analytical thinking, Handling complexity and ambiguity, Independent learning and development.
KeywordsInformatics,Machine Learning,Online Learning,Machine Learning,Data Science,Informatics
Course organiserDr Nigel Goddard
Course secretaryMs Lindsay Seal
Tel: (0131 6)50 2701
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