Three Concepts: Information, Course at the Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Helsinki, Fall 2007.

Three Concepts: Information

This course belongs to the "Three concepts" series, and provides an introduction to information theory for computer science students. In fact much of the course can be viewed as consequences of Shannon's central result known as the Noiseless Source Coding Theorem. The theoretical results will be illustrated by various descriptions of practical data compression systems from Huffman coding to Rissanen's arithmetic coding. In order to demonstrate the wide applicability of information-theoretic concepts in intelligent systems, we discuss information-theoretic principles to (statistical) modeling, i.e., the Minimum Description Length (MDL) principle.

Instructor: University lecturer Teemu Roos, A346: teemu.roos at
Course assistant: M.Sc. Jukka Perkiö: jukka.perkio at

Language: All course material will be in English. Lectures are given in English, unless all participants are Finnish-speaking.
Lectures: Period I: 5.9.–10.10. Wed 13–16 in B222. Period II: 31.10.–5.12. Wed 15–16 in B222.
Posters and projects: In addition to regular lectures, the course involves project work and poster presentations (see the schedule below).

Course description
Term paper
Results (Intranet)

Course Schedule:

Wed 5.9. Introduction to the course. Participation obligatory
Lecture 1: ''What is Information Theory?''
Wed 12.9. Lecture 2: ''Mathematical Preliminaries''
Wed 19.9. Lecture 3: ''Source Coding: Theory''
Wed 26.9. Introduction to Projects I and II, forming of groups.
Participation obligatory.
Lecture 4: ''Source Coding: Practice''
Wed 3.10. Lecture 5: ''MDL Principle''
Wed 10.10. Lecture 6: ''MDL Principle (contd.)''
Fri 12.10. Project I deadline.
Wed 17.10. No session.
Wed 24.10. No session.
Wed 31.10.Project II Questions & Answers
Tue 6.11. Project II, 1st deadline.
Wed 7.11. Review of project results, 15:30.
Tue 13.11. Project II, 2nd deadline.
Wed 14.11. Review of project results.
Wed 21.11. Poster session 14–17. Participation obligatory.
Tue 27.11. Project II, final deadline.
Wed 28.11. Final review of project results: Presentations.
Participation obligatory.
Wed 5.12. Deadline of the poster reports and Project II reports.
Mon 17.12. Term paper deadline at 12 AM (noon).


 3 Concepts: Information
Last updated: December 20, 2007