CS8803 Big Data Systems and Analytics

Frequently Asked Questions

Attention: The information contained in this page is subject to changes.

Q: If I have not taken other graduate courses in distributed systems and computer networks but I have some experience with databases, data management and Web application development, would I be qualified to take this course?

A: Yes. If you have worked as web master or have some good working experience with Internet services, Web applications and databases, you are qualified to take this course.

Q: What are the specific topics that will be elaborated more in depth in this course?

A: I will discuss systems issues, data analytics fundamentals, and big data specific research and development challenges in present and future big data science and enginneering applications and services. Some examples are:

What this course is NOT?

A: There are many issues involved in Big Data Systems and Analytics. This course emphasizes on software systems and fundamental Data Analytics Models and Algorithms. However, the following items are not the goal of this course:

Q: Do you use any specific textbook for this coming term?

A: I haven't found a good text book for this coming term. So I will select a set of papers to be posted under course resources and references on TSquare, in addition to course notes.

Grading Guidelines: The grading scheme will consists of the following aspects:

Q: Where to get the course related materials?

A: TSquare is the ultimate repository for most of the materials used in the course.

Q: How do I turn in the assignment?

A: Using TSquare Assignments tab.

Q: What's the late homework hand-in policy?

A: No late assignments are accepted. For late project, 50% discoun is applied per day and in this way the project expires in 2 days after the designated date.

Q: What should I do if I have to miss some classes?

A: Don't panic. Class attendance is not mandatory for getting a good grade but according to GIT regulation, class attendance has to be recorded. You should have good participation in the classes that you do attend.

Q: What should I do if I cannot make it for the project presentation?

A: Unless you have doctor's appointment, every student has to be present at the project presentation in class and at the demo time you have signed up on TSquare.

Q: I have no idea what kind of projects I can do.

A: No problem. Check out the list of sample proposals. I will bring some example projects in the first class and discuss different possibilities. There is no fixed patterms for the course projects, but there are some "standard" ideas. You are welcome to discuss with me to work out a suitable project topic.

Q: Is the project proposal very important?

A: Indeed it is. Timely and concrete proposals are the best predictors of the project success. Very few good projects were completed in time without a well-defined project proposal.

Q: How much work do I have to do for the project for it to be considered "good"?

A: For the project, I consider cleverness more important than hard work. Of course I recognize hard work, but a clever project doesn't have to be hard work. A simple project that illustrates a smart idea is likely to get a good grade.

Q: What's the grading curve?

A: I don't grade on the curve. Each student is considered individually. Therefore, you are encouraged to cooperate and collaborate since there is no intra-class competition. However assignments are expected to be independent homework. Direct copying of others will be given grade zero. I estimate a grade of A for people who reach 75% out of 100%.

Q: How is class participation graded?

A: You should help me knowing you and be impressed by you. Some preparation for each class (e.g., good questions or good answers) will go a long way. If you are shy and don't feel comfortable speaking up in a group frequently, find time to talk to me individually. In either case, it is the quality of participation that's important, not quantity.

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