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AS5001 - Advanced Data Analysis

Academic year

2021 to 2022 (Semester 1)

Key module information

SCOTCAT credits

15

The Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer (SCOTCAT) system allows credits gained in Scotland to be transferred between institutions. The number of credits associated with a module gives an indication of the amount of learning effort required by the learner. European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits are half the value of SCOTCAT credits.

SCQF level

SCQF level 11

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Availability restrictions

This module is intended for students in the final year of an MPhys or MSci programme involving the School, students on MSc Astrophysics, and students on EngD Photonics.

Module coordinator

Prof K D Horne

This information is given as indicative. Staff involved in a module may change at short notice depending on availability and circumstances.

Module description

This module develops an understanding of basic concepts and offers practical experience with the techniques of quantitative data analysis. Beginning with fundamental concepts of probability theory and random variables, practical techniques are developed for using quantitative observational data to answer questions and test hypotheses about models of the physical world. The methods are illustrated by applications to the analysis of time series, imaging, spectroscopy, and tomography datasets. Students develop their computer programming skills, acquire a data analysis toolkit, and gain practical experience by analyzing real datasets.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisites

Familiarity with scientific programming language essential, for example through AS3013 or PH3080. entry to an mphys programme in the School or msc astrophysics.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews

Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA

Written examinations = 0%
Practical examinations = 0%
Coursework = 100%

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) have compiled/developed an indicative list of learning and teaching methods:
  • Written: Is included in this category any assessment done under exam conditions (exams during diets, class tests) that do not involve the use of practical skills.
  • Practical: Are included in this category oral assessment and presentation as well as practical skills assessed in situ (in a classroom or laboratory for instance). Performances in the performing arts context are also classed as practical assessment.
Further details can be found on the QAA website.

Re-assessment

No Re-assessment available - laboratory based

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact

3 x 1hr lectures x 5 weeks, 2 x 1hr office hours x 5 weeks, 1hr workshop x 5 weeks

Scheduled learning hours

30

The number of compulsory student:staff contact hours over the period of the module.

Guided independent study hours

120

The number of hours that students are expected to invest in independent study over the period of the module.

Additional information from school

AS5001 - Advanced Data Analysis

Overview

Astronomers and other physical scientists fit models to quantitative observational or experimental data in order to answer questions about the physical world. Data are always affected by measurement errors, leaving uncertainty in the answers to questions posed. Probability theory provides a precise language for discussing and expressing those uncertainties. Statistical data analysis provides practical tools for posing questions and teasing answers from the data. Analysis of real datasets is the best way to build expertise in quantitative data analysis.

Aims & Objectives

To develop an understanding of basic concepts and offer practical experience with the techniques of quantitative data analysis.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be comfortable with the concepts of probability theory and statistics, familiar with techniques for quantitative data analysis, and confident in their ability to tackle data analysis problems in physics & astronomy or wherever they may arise in their future work.

Synopsis

Beginning with fundamental concepts of probability theory and random variables, practical techniques are developed for using quantitative observational data to answer questions and test hypotheses about models of the physical world. The methods are illustrated by applications to the analysis of time series, imaging, spectroscopy, and tomography datasets. Students develop their computer programming skills, acquire a data analysis toolkit, and gain practical experience by analyzing real datasets. The module is assessed continuously on the basis of exercises and projects.

Additional information on continuous assessment etc

Please note that the definitive comments on continuous assessment will be communicated within the module. This section is intended to give an indication of the likely breakdown and timing of the continuous assessment.

This module has two homework sets and two projects involving a mix of analytic work and computer analysis of datasets provided.

Homework 1 issued at start of Week 1, due start of Week 4.
Homework 2 issued at start of Week 4 due end of Week 6.
Project 1 issued in Week 6, due at end of Week 9.
Project 2 issued in Week 6, due at end of Week 11.

This is a 15 credit module, so is expected to take 150 hours of study for the average student at this level. The module's work is finished by revision week, so students can expect to commit about 14 hours a week to the module in weeks 1 to 11, including the hours scheduled in lectures and for independent work on the assignments. Students are invited to use whatever programming tools or languages they deem to be most efficient for them in working on the assignments.

MPhys students are reminded that if they choose multiple 'no-exam' modules then they will inevitably have a higher workload per week during weeks 1 to 11 than if they chose modules where some of the 150 hours was spent in the revision and exam weeks.

Recommended Books

Please view University online record:

http://resourcelists.st-andrews.ac.uk/modules/as5001.html

General Information

Please also read the general information in the School's honours handbook that is available via https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/physics-astronomy/students/ug/timetables-handbooks/.