# I101: Introduction to Informatics

# Spring 2007

**Instructor:** Luis M. Rocha

**Associate Instructors: ** Christian Beck, Bharat Dravid, and Mira Han.

**Class Location and Time:**Tuesday and Thursday, 01:00PM - 02:15PM

School of Informatics, Indiana University

1900 East Tenth Street, Bloomington IN 47408

# Course Description

The course deals with foundational *Informatics* concepts such as Information, Knowledge, Modeling, and Uncertainty. We introduce all the conceptual building blocks necessary to understand the basics of Information Theory. We introduce those building blocks hand in hand with the practical dimension of Informatics, which focuses on solving real problems with information technology. We present informatics tools in various human domains, and discuss their implications for the practice of science, engineering, art, and society in general.

**Aims: **Students will be introduced to fundamental topics in Informatics while developing a basic understanding of Information Theory. They will build up their proficiency in Information Technology as detailed in the course syllabus, emphasizing its use in the modeling of nature and technology.

# Syllabus

*Lecture Outline*

**Introduction to Informatics (6 lectures)**- The Nature of Information
- From Information to Informatics
- What is Technology and Information Technology?
- Cyborgs and the History of Computers
**Modeling and Problem Solving (2 lectures)**- Modeling the World
- The Hertz Modeling Relation
- Example Problems: L-systems, boyds, bio-inspired computing, consumer behavior, etc.
- First Installment of Individual Project
**Data and Knowledge Representation (3 lectures)**- Digital Number representation
- Text Encoding
- Multimedia
- Real World examples
- Second Installment of Individual Project
**Deductive Model Building (2 Lectures)**- Propositional Logic: Formalizing Natural Language
- Sets
**Inductive Model Building (4 Lectures)**- First Installment of group project
- Measuring the World
- Summarizing data
- Centrality and Dispersion
- Fitting Data with regression
- Real World Problems: Cryptography, text frequency analysis, "Freakonomics"
- Third Installment of Individual Project
**Information and Uncertainty (3 lectures)**- Probability
- Second Installment of Group Project
- Information and Uncertainty: Hartley, Shannon
**Computing Models: Algorithms (4 lectures)**- Fourth Installment of Individual Project
- Heuristics and algorithms
- Flow chart representation
- Examples: Sorting, Hanoi Problem, Artificial Intelligence, Human-computer interaction, robots, and cyborgs
- Limits of Computation and Complexity of algorithms
- Testing Models against reality: the individual project unfolded
**Storing Data (2 lectures)**- Databases
- Relational Databases and SQL
- Third Installment of Group Project

# Course Evaluation

**Participation**: 5%.- Based upon attendance and participation (in class and online).
**Continuous Evaluation**: 30%- Comprised of two semester-long projects, an individual and a group one. Projects are designed to be tackled with different tools and concepts as they are presented in class.
**Laboratories**: 20%- Designed to present and familiarize students with various informatics tools. Several tasks are assigned to be completed by the following lab.
**Mid-term Exam**: 15%- Cumulative.
**Final Exam**: 30%- Cumulative.

*Exam Schedule*

**Midterm Exam**- Thursday, March 1st (Regular Class Time)
**Final Exam**- Thursday, May 3rd, 7:15-9:15 p.m.

*Continuous Evaluation Schedule*

**Individual Project: Black Box***First Installment*: Released on Thursday, February 1;**Due**Friday, February 9*Second Installment*: Released on Tuesday, February 15;**Due**Friday, March 2*Third Installment*: Released on Thursday, March 8;**Due**Friday, March 30*Fourth Installment*: Released on Thursday, April 10;**Due**Friday, April 20**Group Project: Text Frequency***First Installment*: Assigned on Tuesday, March 6;**Due**Friday, March 9*Second Installment*: Assigned on Thursday, March 29;**Due**Friday, April 6*Third Installment*: Assigned on Thursday, April 12;**Due**Friday, April 27

# Office Hours

**Luis Rocha**- Tuesdays: 10:30am – 12:30pm, Eigenmann Hall, Room #905
*Associate Instructors*, Informatics Building, Room #306**Christian Beck**- Thursdays 10:00-11:00am, and Fridays 11:00am-12:00pm
**Bharat Dravid**- Mondays 1:30-3:30pm
**Mira Han**- Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:00pm

# Course Materials

**Lecture notes**- 1. The Nature of Information
- 2. Technology
- 3. Modeling the World (in pdf format)
- infoport
**Course package**- Von Baeyer, H.C. [2004].
*Information: The New Language of Science*. Harvard University Press, Chapters 1, 4, 10 - Clark, A. [2003].
*Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, technologies and the Future of Human Intelligence*. Oxford University Press. Chapters 2 and 6 - Englander, I [2003].
*The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Hardware*. Wiley, Chapters 2 and 3 - Klir, J.G., U. St. Clair, and B.Yuan [1997].
*Fuzzy Set Theory: foundations and Applications*. Prentice Hall. Chapters 2 and 3 - Norman, G.R. and D.L. Streinrt [2000].
*Biostatistics: The Bare Essentials*. Chapters 1-5 and 13. **Additional Materials**- Jorge Luis Borges, "The Library of Babel"
- Igor Aleksander, "Understanding Information Bit by Bit", available in the Resources tab in onCourse.
- Ellen Ullman, "Dining with Robots", available in the Resources tab in onCourse.