Bryn Mawr College
CS 380: Recent Advances in Computer Science
Topic: Science of Information

Fall 2012
BMC Class Number: 1214
Course Materials

Texts  Important Dates  Assignments  Lectures  Grading Links

General Information

Instructor: Deepak Kumar, 246B Park Hall, 526-7485
E-Mail: dkumar at cs brynmawr dot edu
Tweet: @bmcdeepak

Lecture Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:15a to 3:45a
Room: Park Science Building, Room 336


Course Description:

Claude Shannon's foundations of information theory have paved the way for data storage, compression, encoding, and transmission for the Internet, CDs, DVDs, MP3 players, JPEGs, WiFi, iPODs, mobile phones, and a whole host of applications underlying today's information technologies. The past six decades have brought information theory to the crossroads of several traditional disciplines: mathematics, statistics, computer science, physics, neurobiology, and electrical engineering. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Information Theory and leads them to a broader understanding of the concept of “information” that transcends boundaries between disciplines, especially between physical and life sciences, communication, and knowledge extraction from massive datasets. Students in several disciplines will be able to draw upon the latest discoveries from multiple disciplines, replicate and discuss recent research, and learn to apply the techniques and tools of information-based inquiry in their lives.

The course will run in a seminar format where students will engage by participating in and leading discussions and presenting results from readings and computational experiments. The course requires a Junior or Senior standing. Students from ALL disciplines are encouraged to enroll.

Texts & Software

Information: A Very Short Introduction: By Luciano Floridi, Oxford University Press, 2010.


The following topics are planned to be covered in the course...



Important Dates

September 4: First Meeting
December 13: Last Meeting


  1. Assignment#1 (Due on Tuesday, September 25): Click here for details.
  2. Assignment#2 (Due on Thursday, October 25): Click here for details. Files you will need: blosum80.txt, coding.txt, cytochrome_c-10.txt, cytochrome_c.txt,,



All graded work will receive a grade, 4.0, 3.7, 3.3, 3.0, 2.7, 2.3, 2.0, 1.7, 1.3, 1.0, or 0.0. At the end of the semester, final grades will be calculated as a weighted average of all grades according to the following weights:

Labs & Written Work: 100%
Total: 100%


CSoI: The Center for Science of Information

Codebreaker: Film on Alan M. Turing


Created by dkumar at cs dot brynmawr dot edu on August 22, 2012.