CITS2402 Introduction to Data Science

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Online timetabled 100% Online Unit. NO campus face-to-face attendance is required to complete this unit. All study requirements are online only. Unit includes some synchronous components, with a requirement for students to participate online at specific times.
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Data Science; Agricultural Science and Technology; Marine Science; Agricultural Technology; Computing and Data Science major sequences
  • Level 2 elective
Content
Data is ubiquitous in modern society. It is used to monitor the economy, inform business decisions, understand how the environment is changing, and communicate public health messages. Data science is a booming field that harnesses raw data and turns it into actionable knowledge. Data Scientists develop and employ tools to collect, understand and communicate data and its meaning. They are able to identify trends, understand demographics and inform interventions. They are able to work across disciplines, from science to business, health, media and politics. But data can also be misused, and a professional Data Scientist will understand the ethical demands of responsible use of data. This hands-on unit provides practical experience, using the programming language Python, for solving real-world data science problems, from acquiring data from public sources, to understanding the data through analysis and modelling, to visualising and presenting the results.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) understand and implement the stages in the data science lifecycle, from data acquisition and cleaning through to analysis, modelling and visualisation; (2) independently research, solve and communicate results for real-world data science problems from across a range of disciplines; (3) demonstrate a command of computational structures and operations, and discuss the relevant efficiency and storage implications of alternative solutions; (4) utilise appropriate encoding and visualisation methods for different types of data, including categorical, numerical and time-series data; (5) understand the power of data used well or used poorly, and critically assess the way data is used and presented in business, science, the media and the wider community; and (6) recognise and discuss the ethical responsibilities of a data scientist.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) mid-semester test; (2) project; and (3) final 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)
Associate Professor Cara MacNish
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python or CITS2401 Computer Analysis and Visualisation
Contact hours
lectures: 2 x 1 hour per week; laboratory: 1 x 2 hours per week.
  • 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.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.