COMP 150BD - Fall 2014 - Syllabus

Description and Objective:
What is big data? Is it a problem or an opportunity? If it's an opportunity, how can we take advantage of it? We will look at the phenomenon of big data from multiple perspectives: historical, theoretical, statistical, philosophical, ontological, ethical, etc. Possible solutions to the problem of big data involve compression, mining, database design, visualization, interface design, security, etc. Students whose research creates or uses big data will be encouraged to do projects and/or give presentations about their experiences. Others should find readings for material for their projects/presentations.

Prerequisites: COMP 160 (Algorithms)

Text: None

Anselm Blumer

ablumer (at) cs dottufts dot edu
Halligan Hall, Room 211
Office Hours: by appointment.

Home page

Students are encouraged to communicate frequently with the instructor regarding any issues with the course. Students are encouraged to use email and office hours frequently. Any announcements regarding the course will be made via the course webpage or in class so be sure to check frequently and be sure to get material for any class you miss.

Homework will be assigned regularly in the course. Written assignments will be due on Thursdays at the beginning of class on the due date specified. This work can be handwritten with the assumption that these assignments are legible. (A student may be asked to type their assignments to improve legibility.)

Late Homework:
Unless otherwise stated on the assignment, homework will be due at the start of class on Thursdays. 10% will be deducted from homework handed in during class or at the end. 20% will be deducted from homework handed in at the CS office on Friday. Ask a staff person to sign and date the homework and put it in my mailbox. Similarly, 40% will be deducted from homework handed in on Monday, 60% on Tuesday, and 80% on Wednesday. No homework will be accepted after one week.

There will be no exams

Your thoughts and concerns on this course are important. You are encouraged to give feedback to the instructor and teaching fellow throughout the term. As always students will be asked to fill out a course evaluation at the end of the term.

Academic Misconduct:
Students should read the Tufts brochure on academic integrity located at:

A few highlights are presented to emphasize importance:

Absolute adherence to the code of conduct is demanded of the instructor, teaching fellow, and students. This means that no matter the circumstance any misconduct will be reported to Tufts University.

While computers enable easy copying and collaboration both with other students and materials from the Internet, it is possible to use these same computers to detect plagiarism and collaboration.

If any student does not understand these terms or any outlined in The Academic Code of Conduct it is his/her responsibility to talk to the instructor or teaching fellow.