CITS4009 Introduction to Data Science

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit answers an urgent call to harness the unprecedented amount of data now generated from every facet of our daily life by introducing data science as the discipline dealing with collecting, representing, manipulating and visualising data in contemporary society. Students taking the unit learn to write computer programs to extract, transform and integrate data from multiple heterogeneous sources, including traditional relational databases and web-based resources. Different data representation formats such as XML, JSON and HDF5, as well as storage options including SQL and NOSQL type of databases, are introduced and compared. Another core objective is the development of programming skills to enable interactive web-based access and visualisation of the data. Students are given the opportunity to put the learned knowledge in data acquisition, data processing, data representation and exploratory visualisation into practice through projects that are highly relevant to real-world data analytics. The unit provides the fundamental knowledge, introduces the essential processes and builds the specific critical programming skills required during the journey of growing a student into a capable data scientist.
Students are able to (1) write programs to systematically collect, process and integrate data from traditional databases and web-based resources; (2) understand and make choices over an array of data representation and storage options; and (3) demonstrate programming abilities to build web-based interface for exploratory data visualisation.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) mid-semester test; (2) projects; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Wei Liu
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Data Science
Master of Information Technology
Master of Professional Engineering (Mining Engineering specialisation)
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; labs: 2 hours per week; workshops: 1 hour per week

To be advised by the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.