MSc in Advanced Computing MS51
This is part of the MSc in Advanced Computing.
(Machine Learning, Data Mining and High Performance Computing)
- The programme director is Steve Gregory
- The course representative is Milad Abdullah.
- If you have questions about applying for this MSc (start dates, fees, visas etc.) please contact Engineering Postgrad Admissions.
- If you have been accepted and have administrative issues (e.g. registering on units, getting transcripts or status letters, changing your name in SAFE, questions about fees...) you can contact the Graduate School Office in room 2.19 MVB, specifically:
Units on offer in 2012-13The MSc is built out of 3 themes: High Performance Computing, Intelligent Systems, and Data Mining. Students will take any 2 of the 3 themes.
|First semester||Second semester|
|HPC||Algorithmic and Economic Aspects of the Internet|
|Server Software |
|Intelligent Systems||Autonomous Systems |
Image Processing & Computer Vision
Mobile and Ubiquitous Computing
|Computational Neuroscience (MSc students please use this link
not this one)
|Data Mining||Introduction to Machine Learning (Mandatory)|
Computational Genomics [EMATpage and SAFE progress page]
Uncertainty Modelling [SAFE progress page]
|Pattern Analysis and Statistical Learning
[SAFE progress page]
Artificial Intelligence with Logic Programming
All units in the table above are worth 10 credits. Each student takes units from 2 of the 3 themes (rows in the table).
1st semester: 60 credits
In the first semester all students take 2 units from each of their two rows above (for a total of 40 credits). In addition:
- F(oundation) stream students take COMSM1211 Programming in C (20 credits). F stream students on the Data Mining theme must take Introduction to Machine Learning (the only mandatory unit).
- E(xperienced) stream students take 2 units (20 credits) not already taken, from any of the three rows above.
2nd semester: 60 credits
In the second semester all students take 2 units from each of their two rows (40 credits) and COMSM2202 Research Skills (20 credits) for a total of 60 credits.
Summer: 60 credits
All students take COMSM3100 MSc Advanced Project (60 credits) over the summer.
Semester 1 Unit Codes and Links
|Unit Code||CP||Unit Title||MS51|
|COMS30301||10||Introduction to Machine Learning||o|
|COMS35101||10||High Performance Computing||o|
|COMSM0305||10||Learning in Autonomous Systems||o|
|COMSM1211||20||Programming in C||o|
|EMATM0004||10||Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics Algorithms||o|
|EMATM1120||10||Uncertainty Modelling for Intelligent Systems||o|
Key: o - Option Choice
Semester 2 Unit Codes and Links
|Unit Code||CP||Unit Title||MS51|
|COMS30106||10||Artificial Intelligence with Logic Programming||o|
|EMATM0012||10||Statistical Pattern Recognition||o|
Key: o - Option Choice, c - Core Choice
|Unit Code||CP||Unit Title||MS51|
|COMSM3100||60||MSc Advanced Project||c|
Key: c - Core Choice
StreamsStudents are assigned to either the Experienced or Foundation stream following a programming test during the introductory week.
Optional unitsYou will need to register yourself on your optional units. You can initially register for and take as many optional units from your themes as you like. This is so you can try them out. You must finalise your semester 1 options by unregistering from the extra units by the end of week 2 (specifically, by 09:00 Monday of week 3). Full time students will have exactly 60 credits in semester 1 after deregistering from the extra units. You can check your registration here by replacing the xxxxxx with your login name and you can change your registrations by clicking on the "unit choice" link. Any changes will be listed as "pending" until the faculty approves them. That is ok. You don't need to do anything else. Please note that the mybristol page may take a few days to be updated with any unit changes, so use the link above instead. If you need any help changing your unit registrations please contact the graduate school office in room 2.19 MVB.
You do not need to register for semester 2 options until about January 15, but please make sure you do so by then. Otherwise you may miss emails from the unit organisers. As with semester 1, you will have 2 weeks to try out any optional units and you must unregister from the extra ones by 09:00 on the Monday of week 15. Full time students will have exactly 60 credits in semester 2 after deregistering from the extra units.
- FAQ for Advanced MSc Students
- The mybristol portal
- All timetables can be found here and with a different interface here
- Your personal information can be found here (replace xx9999 with your login name in the link).
- You should know the following critical parts of the department handbook. (I'm
not giving links as you should browse the handbook and because they
change every year and I don't want the links to get out of date.)
- Mitigating circumstances (if e.g. you become ill and it affects your work)
- Penalties for late submission of coursework
- The UK marking scale
- See the Advanced Computing page
- All students on this course, with photos
- Advanced Computing MSc Introductory talk
- Introductory talks (Matlab, Latex, programming tools, etc.)
- Intelligent Systems Research at Bristol
- Intelligent Systems seminars
- Intelligent Systems Group Meetings
- Student counselling service
- The deparment's learning resources page
Also note that the official timetable for lectures and lab sessions is not always followed. Lectures are occasionally moved to different times and places if, for example, the lecturer is not available at the scheduled time. Lab sessions may simply be times when you are given priority access to the computer labs. Alternatively, there may be a lab demonstrator who is there to help with the material you are working on. Some units have a demonstrator some weeks but not others.
In short you should check the lecture plan and list of assignments on each unit's home page to make sure you know what is going on. You should also check your email at least once a day as sometimes changes are made at short notice.
Part-time studentsUnfortunately the university timetabling office makes no attempt to optimise the schedule for part-time students, because the timetable is heavily constrained and already difficult to produce. So, although it would be convenient to have all the relevant lectures grouped into 2 or 3 days each week, no attempt is made to do that. As a result you may need to compromise on which units you select in order to have a schedule which suits you. Timetables are usually finalised in late September.
Fortunately we can be fairly flexible about how you divide the MSc across years, which may help you produce a suitable timetable.
- All students should do Research Skills the first spring in order to start the project afterwards (which gives you up to 16 months to work on it, assuming you do the degree over two years).
- If you do the Data Mining stream, you should do Intro to ML and Artificial Intelligence with Logic Programming in the first year as they're foundational.
The teaching year is basically 20 weeks of teaching plus a few weeks of exams. Between the June exams and October you will have only your project to work on, which you do in your own time. See the University Almanac for details.
Please note that the MSc is a lot of work and it's not possible to complete it while working 4 days a week on something else.
Personal TutorAs programme director I am also your personal tutor. You can see me about any problems you're having, both academic and non-academic. For example, if an illness has delayed your work on an assignment get in touch as it may be possible to make special arrangements such as an extension to the deadline. Please note it is easier to arrange extensions and other things before the deadline than after. In general, it's better to sort out problems sooner than later. Unfortunately, students often wait longer than they should before doing anything about a problem. Please DO NOT DELAY getting in touch.
Another way that the department takes things like illness into consideration is the "special circumstances committee", sometimes called the "extenuating circumstances committee". This committee meets in June to look at special circumstances which have resulted in your work not being an accurate measure of your ability. Sometimes when there are borderline decisions on, for example, whether resits will be allowed, or what degree class to award, a record of a special circumstance can tip the balance. Special circumstances are recorded in SAFE in your filestore. It's best to record them during or just after the event, especialy in the case of illness since a note from your doctor will normally be needed. However, the deadline for recording special circumstances is in June.
Unfortunately, every year I find out about problems long after the event. Sometimes a student has stopped studying entirely without telling me, which is unfortunate because there are often ways to avoid it. For example, we can sometimes suspend your studies, so that you can complete them later, perhaps the next year. You can also get a degree with either 120 or 60 credits. If you do withdraw from the program then you may be able to get a partial refund of your student fees. In any case it is worth talking with me to see what your options are before you make any big decisions (or, better yet, before problems get serious). It is quite possible that I will have some suggestions you have not thought of.
So, to repeat, I know people are often reluctant to discuss problems, but please talk to me sooner rather than later. I hate to see people making the same mistake every year.
How you will spend your timeTen-credit units typically have 2 hours of lectures per week for 10 weeks. With 60 credits per semester that's 12 hours of lectures per week. There are few if any mandatory lab sessions. Most lab sessions are just times when that unit has priority in the lab. Most of your time will be spent reading and doing coursework.
Jobs and PhD studyMany companies will advertise for employees with a PhD in a relevant area. There are not many specialist MSc programmes like this one and some employers are not aware they exist at all. As a result it may be worth contacting them to ask if a job would be suitable for someone without a PhD.
Some good places to look for jobs and PhD places are:
- The CS department's placements and jobs board in the forum
- The Connectionists Mailing List
- Machine Learning News
- The Reinforcement Learning Mailing List
- The CS department destinations page.
- You may want to look at the profiles of Ming Li and Anastasia Krithara who both graduated from MS51.
- The PhD Application Handbook This is specifically for people who are trying to find a PhD.
- How to get a PhD. This is written for students who already have a PhD, but it gives a lot of insight into what a PhD involves and may help you decide whether you want to do one, and may help chose a suitable supervisor.
Preparing for the MSc
- Here is some information.
- The information on how to prepare for each unit is no longer updated in the document above. Instead, you can find it here. (If necessary click << at the top of the page to move back to last year.)
- Draft information on MSc contents for applicants (not finished yet)
- Transcripts of live chat sessions between applicants, staff and current students.
- If you have questions about applying for the MSc, start dates, fees, visas etc. please contact Engineering Postgrad Admissions. For other questions please see the contact information at the top of this page.