As grizzlon said in a sibling comment, you'll find the chapter dependencies on page 10, in case you need to look up/learn something specific on demand.
How was the class? The book is very comprehensive. I'd imagine it would be hard to cover it in a year, let alone a quarter or semester. What environments and languages did the class program in?
The class is one semester long, and is divided between data analysis, frequent pattern mining, clustering and classification. Most of the book is either covered or briefly discussed. It is indeed a 'deep' class: UFMG has a strong data mining/machine learning/information retrieval/natural computing/other related areas program, so each class can afford to be pretty specific.
The class is taught at the same time to undergrad and graduate students (the difference being that each group has a different class project; grads have to write a basic research paper).
There are lots of pen on paper theoretical quizzes and tests. Technologically, AFAIK there are no restrictions on which technologies to use, but popular choices are those which the TAs are most experienced in, usually Weka, C++ and Python. Like other classes taught by Prof. Meira, students are pushed as far as possible in terms of evaluation difficulty, then graded on a curve. UFMG alumni considering these classes should be careful if they decide to take it along with other difficult classes.
Here is the course page (in pt-br, but Google Translate should be OK): http://homepages.dcc.ufmg.br/~meira/DokuWiki/wiki/ensino_md
Off-topic: OP seems to share my first and one of my last names lol. Another seemingly brazilian commenter in the topic also seems to share my first name. This may or may not indicate a correlation between the name Rafael and computer science in Brazil lol.
As for names, when I saw yours, I thought of this R Almeida. http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Ricardo-Almeida-11
Ziviani currently is a co-founder in recommendation startups Zunnit (just upstairs in the building I am right now) and Neemu.
PS: Ha! Maybe this guy is the reason I can't get my screen name everywhere I want!
I have ~3.5million pieces of structured data to go through, I will find this paper interesting.