Course Syllabus – Big Data
CS 677 ⋅ Fall 2022 ⋅ 4 Credits
Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday ⋅ 9:55am – 11:40am ⋅ LM 352 or Zoom
Instructor: Matthew Malensek
- In Person: T, Th 1:30pm – 2:30pm ⋅ F 1:00pm – 2:00pm in HR 407B
- Remote: M, W 10:00am – 11:00am via Zoom
Programming experience, preferably in Go, Java, or Python.
There is no textbook for this course. Instead, we will read and discuss research papers.
Nevertheless, here are some good resources:
- Data-Intensive Systems: Designing Data-Intensive Applications. Martin Kleppmann.
- Lambda Architecture: Big Data: Principles and best practices of scalable realtime data systems. Nathan Marz and James Warren.
- Distributed Systems: Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms. Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Maarten van Steen.
- Learn Go With Tests. Chris James.
This course examines the algorithmic and systems challenges associated with big data. Topics include storage frameworks (key-value, in-memory, wide-column), scalable computing paradigms (MapReduce, Spark, stream processing), and analysis techniques (sentiment analysis, predictive modeling).
After completing the course, students will be able to:
- Explain the theory behind the I/O, memory, computational, and algorithmic trade-offs associated with big data
- Leverage big data frameworks and distributed systems to carry out analysis and gain insight
- Design and implement big data frameworks and algorithms
- Preprocess and prepare data for machine learning and visualization
- Summarize and critique research papers from the field
These outcomes will be assessed via programming assignments, scientific paper reviews, and quizzes.
The course will be graded on a A-F basis. The grade distribution is:
- Projects: 45%
- Research Papers: 25%
- Discussions: 10%
- Presentation: 15%
- Quizzes: 20%
- Individual: 15%
- Team: 5%
- Participation & Labs: 10%
Grades will be assigned as follows:
|100 – 93.0||A|
|92.9 – 90.0||A-|
|89.9 – 87.0||B+|
|86.9 – 83.0||B|
|82.9 – 80.0||B-|
|79.9 – 77.0||C+|
|76.9 – 73.0||C|
|72.9 – 70.0||C-|
|69.9 – 67.0||D+|
|66.9 – 63.0||D|
|62.9 – 60.0||D-|
|59.9 – 0||F|
This scale is subject to change; scoring in the ranges above guarantees you will receive at least the grade listed.
Projects: The best way to learn is by putting theory into practice. This course features large projects that count for the majority of your grade. Remember to start early, ask questions, and go to office hours if necessary.
Research Papers: we will read several research papers throughout the semester. There are two parts to these assignments:
- Reading the paper and participating on the class discussion board (asking questions and posting ‘tweets’ – short, pithy summaries of the work).
- Presenting a research paper to the class. This is a group assignment (~3 students per group) that involves reading the paper, performing a thorough analysis of its strengths and weaknesses, and then explaining the concepts to the class.
Quizzes: Your knowledge of the concepts covered in class will be evaluated via quizzes administered roughly once every 3 weeks. These quizzes are intended to make sure you’re not only learning the programming concepts from class, but also the theory and reasoning behind why operating systems are designed the way they are. Each quiz will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. While they are short, quizzes constitute a large percentage of your course grade, so be sure to prepare by reviewing course material.
These quizzes consist of two phases: individual and team, with a separate score for each. During the team phase of the quiz, you can discuss the questions with your teammates and come to a consensus on the answers. The individual and team portions of the quiz are turned in separately.
Make-up quizzes are not given unless arranged at least one week in advance, but your lowest quiz score for the semester will be dropped.
Final Exam: This course does not have a final exam. Instead, there will be a cumulative final quiz that covers slightly more material than usual. Since the lowest quiz score is dropped, you may not need to take the final quiz if you did well on the other quizzes throughout the semester. See the Course Schedule for more information.
Participation & Labs: Beyond the research paper group discussions, we will also have small lab assignments or discussions in class to help reinforce content from the lecture.
- Do not cheat. Review the Honor Code, and if in doubt about whether or not something is cheating, ask the professor.
- The course staff will run cheat detection software that includes past assignments.
- “Collaboration” that involves sharing code/solutions is considered cheating.
- If you cheat, you will get a 0 on the assignment or an F in the class.
- Submit code via GitHub. Commit your changes frequently as you work on the assignments.
- Due dates are posted on the course schedule page. Assignments are due at 11:59pm on the due date.
- Makeup quizzes will not be administered unless arranged at least one week in advance.
- Late lab/discussion/participation assignments are not accepted.
- Late projects are deducted 10% per day for a maximum of three days. Afterward, no credit will be given.
You are here to learn. Be professional and courteous toward your peers, and help create a learning environment that supports diverse thinking, experiences, perspectives, and identities. If you need to use an electronic device during a lecture, do so in a way that doesn’t distract others. And most importantly, be excellent to each other.
- August 23: Classes/late registration begin
- August 29: Last day to add a class
- September 5: Labor day holiday, no classes
- September 9: Census date
- October 17–18: No class, Fall Break
- November 4: Last day to drop courses or withdraw
- November 24–25: Thanksgiving recess
- December 7: Last day of classes
Students with Disabilities
The University of San Francisco is committed to providing equal access to students with disabilities. If you are a student with a disability, or if you think you may have a disability, please contact Student Disability Services (SDS) at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415 422-2613, to speak with a disability specialist. (All communication with SDS is private and confidential.) If you are eligible for accommodations, please request that your accommodation letter be sent to me as soon as possible; students are encouraged to contact SDS at the beginning of the semester, as accommodations are not retroactive. Once I have been notified by SDS of your accommodations we can discuss your accommodations and ensure your access to this class or clinical setting. For more information please visit the SDS website: https://www.usfca.edu/student-disability-services.
All students are expected to behave in accordance with the Student Conduct Code and other University policies (see http://www.usfca.edu/fogcutter/). Students whose behavior is disruptive or who fail to comply with the instructor may be dismissed from the class for the remainder of the class period and may need to meet with the instructor or Dean prior to returning to the next class period. If necessary, referrals may also be made to the Student Conduct process for violations of the Student Conduct Code.
As a Jesuit institution committed to cura personalis – the care and education of the whole person – USF has an obligation to embody and foster the values of honesty and integrity. USF upholds the standards of honesty and integrity from all members of the academic community. All students are expected to know and adhere to the University’s Honor Code. You can find the full text of the code online at http://myusf.usfca.edu/academic-integrity/. The policy covers:
- Plagiarism – intentionally or unintentionally representing the words or ideas of another person as your own; failure to properly cite references; manufacturing references.
- Working with another person when independent work is required.
- Submission of the same paper in more than one course without the specific permission of each instructor.
- Submitting a paper written by another person or obtained from the Internet.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS’ diverse staff offers brief individual, couple, and group counseling to student members of our community. CAPS services are confidential and free of charge. Call (415) 422-6352 for an initial consultation appointment. Telephone consultation through CAPS After Hours is available Monday - Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m., 24 hours during weekends and holidays; call the above number and press 2. Further information can be found at https://myusf.usfca.edu/student-health-safety/caps.
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- To report any sexual misconduct, students may visit the Title IX coordinator (UC 5th floor) or see many other options by visiting usfca.edu/student_life/safer.
- Students may speak to someone confidentially or report a sexual assault confidentially by contacting Counseling and Psychological Services at (415) 422-6352.
- To find out more about reporting a sexual assault at USF, visit USFs Callisto website at: usfca.callistocampus.org.
- For an off-campus resource, contact San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) (415) 647-7273 (sfwar.org).