Faculty of Information Technology

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Information Technology



  • Second semester 2016 (Day)

Monash Online

  • Teaching Period 4 2016 (Online)


Monash Online offerings are only available to students enrolled in the Graduate Diploma in Data ScienceGraduate Diploma in Data Science (http://online.monash.edu/course/graduate-diploma-data-science/?Access_Code=MON-GDDS-SEO2&utm_source=seo2&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=MON-GDDS-SEO2) via Monash Online.


This unit introduces machine learning and the major kinds of statistical learning models and algorithms used in data analysis. Learning and the different kinds of learning will be covered and their usage will be discussed. The unit presents foundational concepts in machine learning and statistical learning theory, e.g. bias-variance, model selection, and how model complexity interplays with model's performance on unobserved data. A series of different models and algorithms will be presented and interpreted based on the foundational concepts: linear models for regression and classification (e.g. linear basis function models, logistic regression, Bayesian classifiers, generalised linear models), discriminative and generative models, k-means and latent variable models (e.g. Gaussian mixture model), expectation-maximisation, neural networks and deep learning, and principles in scaling typical supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms to big data using distributed computing.


On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. describe what statistical machine learning and its theoretical concepts are;
  2. assess a typical machine learning model and algorithm;
  3. develop, and apply major models and algorithms for statistical learning;
  4. scale typical statistical learning algorithms to learn from big data.


In-semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Two hours/week lectures
  • Two hours/week laboratories

(b.) Contact hours for Monash Online students:

  • Two hours/week online group sessions
  • Online students generally do not attend lecture, tutorial and laboratory sessions, however should plan to spend equivalent time working through resources and participating in discussions.

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours per week of personal study (22 hours per week for Monash Online students) for completing lab/tutorial activities, assignments, private study and revision, and for online students, participating in discussions.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: