Course description forSTKD6800 Neuro-insights: Data Science Approaches in Neuroscience I

Introduction

Because most young researchers in life and health sciences do not have a solid quantitative background, they face difficulties when analyzing data independently. This difficulty represents a major drawback in research. Students waste time learning analytical methods by themselves that could be more quickly learned with proper instruction and support. Additionally, the lack of convention or standards in some fields is a source of confusion that slows the learning process. As consequence, the quality of insights and research productivity suffer. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to data science and big data applied to neuroscience research.

Its content is designed to train the participants in state-of-the-art techniques in data analysis and machine learning. This will enable the students to interact independently with the data and draw insights from them. The modules are organized so the participants have the opportunity to learn how to handle the most common data types (e.g., EEG, calcium imaging). Special attention is given to field-tested data management protocols, as they are critical for a fast transition from data acquisition to knowledge generation.

This is a hands-on course where the students will learn from implementing the analysis themselves with close supervision. The course will focus on case studies using data from real experiments; advanced students may choose to use their own data. The students will develop understanding through constant presentation of their work and dialectical reflection over their choices, results, and interpretations.

Recommended preliminary courses

This course is recommended for PhD and Master Students that are involved in neuroscience research projects. It is an advantage if the student has knowledge in algebra, linear algebra, statistics, calculus, neurophysiology, and any programming language, especially Python.

Required preliminary courses

It is required that the student has a bachelor degree.

A letter of recommendation from the advisor outlining the student's project and testifying that the student is currently doing neuroscientific research at the Master’s or PhD’s level (template will be provided).

Learning outcomes

After completing this course the student should have the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge

On successful completion of this course, the student has knowledge of:

  • Theoretical and practical aspects of data management and data processing for different data types (electrophysiology, imaging, and behavior), so they can independently engage with the state-of-the art literature.
  • How statistics, dimensionality reduction, signal processing, calculus, and supervised and unsupervised learning may be applied to data analysis in neuroscience research.
  • Commonly encountered problems in data science and the most trusted strategies to solve them.
  • Basic data visualization techniques and how to employ them in exploratory data analysis and scientific communication.

Skills

On successful completion of this course, the student has the ability to:

  • Apply data analysis techniques to formulate a hypothesis, collect data, preprocess it, analyze it, and reach conclusions about the data.
  • Identify and define a problem using data analytics.
  • Critically assess the results.
  • Identify new opportunities for organizational change including process improvements, cost reduction, or efficiency improvements.

General competence

On successful completion of this course, the student can apply:

  • Data analysis principles to simple neuroscientific data.
  • Methods and tools for data analysis and visualization.
  • Heuristics and strategies commonly used in the research field to solve data analysis problems.

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching methodology is oriented by Bloom's taxonomy of educational goals, namely, recollection, understanding, application, analysis, evaluation, and creativity. To promote recollection, understanding, and application, the course will consist of seminars taught by the teaching staff of OsloMet and other guests (experts in neuroscience or data science fields), coding workshops and problem solving oriented projects. Students will actively participate by implementing the full data processing pipeline from extracting the raw data to building visualizations. The pipeline and good habits will be consolidated through repetition in different modules, contexts, and data types, which is known to promote generalization of the knowledge. Organized in pairs, the students will constantly have the opportunity to recollect, explain the content to each other, and justify their work, as well as to provide feedback to their partners. With the intent to prepare the students to go beyond the methods taught in the course, once per module, the participants will read relevant papers in neuroscience, and discuss how to implement their analysis.

Course Requirements

The students need to complete four online quizzes. One at the beginning of the course, then three quizzes during the course. Each one of them following each of the three weeks of classes.

Assessment

An individual oral presentation, which counts for 100% of the final mark

The oral presentation cannot be appealed.

Permitted Exam Materials and Equipment

Only personal notes written in non-digital media will be allowed during the oral exam.

Grading scale

The final assessment will be graded on a grading scale from A to E (A is the highest grade and E the lowest) and F for fail.

Examiners

Two examiners will be used, one of which can be external. External examiner is used regularly.

Subject overlap

The course has 5 ECTS of overlapping content towards "Neuro-insights: Data Science Approaches in Neuroscience II (STKD6810)

Course information

Course name in Norwegian
Neuro-insights: Data Science Approaches in Neuroscience I
Weight
5 ECTS
Year of study
2020
Subject History