Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: GIOVANNI GIUFFRIDA

Expected Learning Outcomes

The first part of the course is intended to provide the student with an introduction to the main topics of computer science with emphasis on social issues.

In the second part we discuss techniques for storing and retrieving information from relational databases-a topic of great importance to the sociologist who must work closely with databases of various kinds.

Finally, some mention is given of advanced systems for retrieving information automatically (data/text mining) and Big Data.

Course Structure

Lectures and classroom discussions. Group work.

Required Prerequisites

No background knowledge required.

Attendance of Lessons

Classroom attendance is strongly recommended; classroom notes and discussions are not necessarily in the lecture material.

Detailed Course Content

Part 1: Basic concepts of information technology.

Historical background; Information theory; Analog and digital signals; Conversion; Computer architecture; Memories; Software; Operating system; Computer networks; Protocols; Internet security

Part 2: From Data  to Information

Information and computing systems; Data and information; Relational organization of data; Querying; Evolved query systems

Part 3: Introduction to Computational Social Science.

Concepts of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence; Concepts and hints of "user profiling" algorithms; Social Networks and Social Network Analysis; Case study: Online newspapers

Textbook Information

Slides provided

Recommended: Informatica e Cultura dell’Informazione, Luca Mari, Giacomo Bonanno e Donatella Sciuto

Recommended: Il computer come macroscopio, Davide Bennato, Franco Angeli editore

Machine Learning: The Art and Science of Algorithms That Make Sense of Data, Peter Flach, Cambridge University Press Big data.

Una rivoluzione che trasformerà il nostro modo di vivere e già minaccia la nostra libertà. Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Kenneth N. Cukier e R. Merlini

Introduction to Computational Social Science, Principle and Applications. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla (In inglese)

ICT & DBMS, Camillo Bella e Gaetano La Rosa, Libreria CULC

La patente del computer, Federico Tibone, Zanichelli

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Written exam with multiple choice questions.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Binary information is used in computers as it is easy to deal with technologically. T / F?

With 4 bits it is possible to represent a maximum of 16 different information. T / F?

Data and information are the same thing. T / F?