This module provides guidance and training in methods used for the empirical evaluation of computer applications focusing on experiment design and the statistical analysis of experimental results. Students will learn about how to properly design and conduct experiments to evaluate computer systems. They will also learn how to analyze the data generated by experiments using a statistical programming language and how to communicate their results in an evidence-based report. The aims of this module are as follows. • Provide the student with knowledge and skills necessary to assess and conduct empirical research for computer science. • Give students practical and mathematical knowledge in the statistical techniques commonly used for empirical research.
A. Show a systematic understanding of relevant methodologies for conducting empirical studies in computer science B. Have a well-developed understanding of the value and appropriateness of different statistical techniques for the analysis of empirical data and interpret research findings based on a variety of statistical techniques C. Use software tools to conduct and report a variety of statistical tests D. Have a critical understanding of issues related to research conducted with human participants (sampling, recruitment, ethics etc.)
This module will be delivered using formal lectures and lab sessions supplemented with private study. Students will be expected to attend two hours of formal lectures in a typical week plus two hours of supervised lab session. Key concepts are introduced and illustrated through lectures. These are then enforced through problem-solving activities in lab sessions. The necessary practical skills are developed through laboratory exercises and assessment tasks. In a typical week, students will be expected to devote six hours of unsupervised time to private study. The time allowed per week for private study will typically include three hours for revision of course material and background reading, with three hours for completion of practical work.