60348 - Informatics

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the students have a general knowledge of the ICT, of its concepts and its terminology. The students also know the main concepts of computer programming and of the structure of relational data bases. In particular, the students are able to: - write computer programs using the R language, with special reference to simple statistical computations - write simple queries to access relational databases

Course contents

Hardware, software, description of different computer types. Architecture of a personal computer; central processing unit, input and output devices, mass memories, main memories, memory sizes, performances of a computer.

Types of software. Operating system and application programs. Principles of operating systems from the user point of view. Programming environments. Local and wide area networks. Networking. E-mail, internet and web access. Data security.

Basics of programming: definition and design of an algorithm, data types. Data types in R.

Structured programming, sequence, iteration, choice; procedures and functions. Structured programming in R.

Generation and usage of random values in R.

Design of programs. Implementation and test of programs with the R language.

Laboratory activity: programming with the R language.


W. John Braun and Duncan J. Murdoch, A First Course in Statistical Programming with R, Cambridge University Press,   ISBN-13: 978-0521694247 (2007)

L. Snyder, Fluency With Information Technology (6th Edition), Pearsons, ISBN-13: 978-0133577396, (2014)

ECDL Computer Essentials

ECDL Online Essentials

Teaching methods

The teacher introduces the base concepts, emphasizes a programming method and provides a large amount of examples, with frequent references to statistic problems. Laboratory activity is designed to stimulate the implementation of the programming method.

Assessment methods

The assessment is done in two parts, plus an optional oral part. 

1. A multiple choice test covers theory and lectures; pts. 14, minimum to pass pts. 7 

2.  A programming test is done in the laboratory, it requires the writing of an algorithm for the solution of a computing problem (pts. 8) and the translation in R language, using an appropriate programming environment (pts. 8), total pts. 16, minimum to pass pts. 8 

3. An optional oral part covers all the topics of the course, the evaluation ranges from -3pts to +3pts.  

The oral part is mandatory if the sum of the points obtained in parts 1 and 2 is less than 18 or if the student did not pass one of the two parts.

Teaching tools

The laboratory activity is assisted by tutors who help the students in the development of the tasks assigned by the teacher.
The laboratories are equipped with programming environments for the R language.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Claudio Sartori