Course Syllabus — CS 686: Special Topics: Big Data
MWF 11:45 am – 12:50 pm, 4 Credits
Instructor: Matthew Malensek
Hours: T 10-11am, WF 1-2pm
Phone: (415) 422-4756
Experience programming in Java.
There is no textbook for this course. Instead, we will read and discuss research papers.
If you feel you’d like to get more background on distributed systems, Distributed Systems: Principles and Paradigms by Andrew S. Tanenbaum and Maarten van Steen (2nd Edition) is a good choice.
Advancements in commodity computing hardware have broadened our ability to store and analyze data at an unprecedented scale. Such datasets allow us to better understand real-world phenomena, discover patterns and trends, or even gain a competitive advantage in business. This course examines the algorithmic and systems challenges associated with the storage, retrieval, and analysis of large-scale datasets. Topics include modern distributed storage frameworks (key-value, in-memory, wide-column), scalable computing paradigms (MapReduce, Spark, stream processing), and analysis techniques (sentiment analysis, predictive modeling).
Our goals for this course are to:
- Study recent research directions and modern techniques for managing, processing, and analyzing big data
- Gain hands-on experience with building and leveraging big data tools to extract insights from voluminous datasets
To achieve these goals, the course is focused on large-scale programming assignments, as well as discussions/reports on recent research papers from the field.
The course will be graded on a A-F basis. The grade distribution is:
- Programming Projects: 60%
- Scientific Papers: 40%
- In-class discussion: 20%
- Written reports: 20%
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|
Grades will not be cut off higher, but I may cut lower.
- Assignments are due at 11:59 pm on the due date.
- Code must be submitted via GitHub.
- For projects, there is a late penalty of 10% per day for up to a maximum of 2 days.
- If you cannot attend an in-class discussion, you may arrange to submit a report instead if you provide notice 24 hours in advance.
- No late discussion assignments or written reports will be accepted. However, I will drop the lowest two scores from each.
- August 28 – Last day to add classes
- September 4 – No class, Labor Day
- September 8 – Census Date (last day to drop classes with a refund)
- October 16 – No class, Fall Break
- November 3 – Last day to drop classes or withdraw
- November 24 – No class, Thanksgiving Break
- December 6 – Last day of class
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.
- The penalties for violation of the policy may include a failing grade on the assignment, a failing grade in the course, and/or a referral to the Academic Integrity Committee.
Students with Disabilities
If you are a student with a disability or disabling condition, or if you think you may have a disability, please contact USF Student Disability Services (SDS) at 415 422-2613 within the first week of class, or immediately upon onset of disability, to speak with a disability specialist.
If you are determined eligible for reasonable accommodations, please meet with your disability specialist so they can arrange to have your accommodation letter sent to me, and we will discuss your needs for this course. For more information, please visit: http://www.usfca.edu/sds or call (415) 422-2613.
All students are expected to behave in accordance with the Student Conduct Code and other University policies (see http://www.usfca.edu/fogcutter/). Open discussion and disagreement is encouraged when done respectfully and in the spirit of academic discourse. There are also a variety of behaviors that, while not against a specific University policy, may create disruption in this course. 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.
Learning, Writing, and Speaking Centers
The Learning, Writing, and Speaking Centers at USF provide individualized support to assist you in better understanding course material and to aid you on your path to success. Services are free and include one-on-one tutoring, group tutoring, and one-on-one Academic Skills Coaching appointments to discuss effective study strategies. The Learning Center supports over 80 courses each semester. The Writing Center helps students develop their writing skills in rhetoric, organization, style, and structure, through one-on-one interactive conferences. The Speaking Center helps students prepare for public speaking – including speeches, oral presentations, team presentations, and visual aid demonstrations. International students may also contact us to learn more about communicating with professors and general academic study skills. The Learning, Writing, and Speaking Centers are located on the Lower Level of Gleeson Library. Please contact them at 415-422-6713 for further assistance or visit https://myusf.usfca.edu/student-life/lwc to make an appointment.
Counseling and Psychological Services
Our 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. Having a crisis at 3 AM? We are still here for you. Telephone consultation through CAPS After Hours is available between the hours of 5:00 PM to 8:30 AM; call the above number and press 2.
Confidentiality, Mandatory Reporting, and Sexual Assault
As an instructor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment on our campus. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my role as a faculty member. I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on USFs campus with the University. Here are other resources:
- To report any sexual misconduct, students may visit the Title IX Coordinator Leighia Fleming (UC 5th floor) or see many other options by visiting our website: https://myusf.usfca.edu/title-ix
- Students may speak to someone confidentially, or report a sexual assault confidentially by contacting Counseling and Psychological Services at 415-422-6352 or speaking to a clergy member in University Ministry at 415-422-4463.
- To find out more about reporting a sexual assault and resources at USF, visit USFs Callisto website at: https://usfca.callistocampus.org/.
- For an off-campus resource, contact San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR) (415) 647-7273 (www.sfwar.org).
Student Accounts – Last day to withdraw with tuition reversal
Students who wish to have the tuition charges reversed on their student account should withdraw from the course(s) by the end of the business day on the last day to withdraw with tuition credit (census date) for the applicable course(s) in which the student is enrolled. Please note that the last day to withdraw with tuition credit may vary by course. The last day to withdraw with tuition credit (census date) listed in the Academic Calendar is applicable only to courses which meet for the standard 15-week semester. To find what the last day to withdraw with tuition credit is for a specific course, please visit the Online Class Schedule at www.usfca.edu/schedules.