CSCI 5895 Special Topics Data-Intensive Cloud Computing

Course Information

Location103 Meshel Hall
Time6:35 - 7:50, Tuesday and Thursday
Section45577 and 45576
PrerequisiteAt least 3 s.h. of upper-division departmental courses, and permission of chair.

Instructor Information

NameAlina Lazar
Office Location322 Meshel Hall
Office HoursT R: 12:30 - 2:00 and 4:30 – 5:00, W: 10:30 - 11:30 or by appointment

Course Description and Objectives

Data-intensive computing deals with information management, business intelligence and predictive analysis for big data. This course covers methods for storing, managing and analyzing voluminous datasets. These methods can help transform huge amounts of data into knowledge and intelligence for human understanding and decision making.

Topics will include:storage requirements of big data, organization of big data repositories, characteristics of WriteOnce-Read-Many (WORM) data, semantic organization of data, data-intensive programming models such as MapReduce , fault-tolerance and performance, services-based cloud computing middleware, intelligence discovery methods, scalable analytics and visualization.

The course will focus especially on methods for harnessing the capabilities of the cloud computing infrastructures such as Google App Engine (GAE), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), and Windows Azure.

Textbooks and Course Materials

There is no designated textbook for this course. Materials will be provided as handouts or in the form of light technical papers. Materials will be posted on Blackboard.

Calendar and schedule

Week Starting Topic Comments
1 08/29 Introduction and the Cloud
2 09/05 Issues in Programming – Scale and Concurrency 09/05 – Labor Day
3 09/12 Cloud Storage, Key-value stores
4 09/19 Amazon Web Services
5 09/26 Amazon S3 and SimpleDB
6 10/03 MapReduce
7 10/10 Review and Midterm 10/13 – Midterm
8 10/17 Algorithms in MapReduce
9 10/24 Introduction to Hadoop
10 10/31 Graph Algorithms
11 11/07 Beyond MapReduce 11/11 Veteran’s day
12 11/14 Hive and LINQ
13 11/21 Data Streams 11/24 & 11/25 Thanksgiving
14 11/28 Hierarchical Data
15 12/05 Review
Finals 12/12   Thursday 6:00 – 8:00 PM


Reading assignments will be posted every week on Blackboard together with the lecture notes.

Assignments and Project

Four assignments and a project are required. The assignments provide practice with Cloud Computing Topics. You will submit your assignments through the YSU Blackboard website. The project is a larger effort requiring integration of knowledge from different parts of the course.

All assignments except the project are individual efforts. On individual assignments, you can consult with your classmates on conceptual issues, but you should not share your answers with your classmates. It is important that you acquire individual problem solving skills so that you will be able to contribute productively in group settings.


Midterm - 10/13/2011, Thursday

No Final Exam required



Grading will be based on the weighted average scores as follows:

Homework and Assignments (4):300
Midterm Examination (1):200
Final Presentation:200

Letter grades will be based on the weighted average score according to the following:

PointsLetter Grade
900 - 1000A
800 - 899B
700 - 799C
600 - 699D
Less than 599F


Attendance and participation in class is very important. In addition to the normal lecture material, information will be given regarding assignments, due dates, explanation, and clarification of assignments, and material that is not covered in the assigned text. If you miss a class for any reason, it is your responsibility to become familiar with the material covered. It is also your responsibility to check the course website on a regular basis.

Missed Exams

There is no make-up for midterm exam. Missing an exam will greatly affect your grade since they carry a lot of weight. In case of illness or abnormal circumstances, please consult with the instructor in advance if possible to make alternate arrangements. You must formally inform the instructor in writing and present proper supporting documents within a week from the midterm. All students are required to write and pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Missed Assignments

An assignment is late if it is not submitted at the beginning of class on the due date. Assignments that are submitted late will receive a 10% deduction in points available for each day an assignment is late. Assignments submitted after the start of a class period on the due date are considered 1 day late. Weekend days also count as late days. After 10 days, a late assignment can no longer be submitted unless you have a very good excuse, e.g., Doctor's Excuse.

Example #1: An assignment is due on Tuesday. You don't submit it until Thursday. The assignment is 2 days late – you will be assessed a penalty of 20% of the points available.

Example #2: An assignment is due at the beginning of class, but you submit it sometime later that same day – the assignment is late and you will be assessed a penalty of 10% of the points available.

You must allocate enough time to complete the assignment on time.

Academic Honesty

You are required to do your own work on all homework. There are no group assignments, and since these assignments count toward your grade, the work must be yours. If you need help with an assignment, your primary source of help should be the instructor. You are, however, permitted to discuss an assignment with others, but are not allowed to share source code, ideas, or design charts in any way, shape or form. Identical assignments will get zero grades and will result in failure of the course.

Changes in Syllabus

Instructor reserves the right to change syllabus, dates, test dates and procedures, class procedures, etc., as necessary.

Disability Services

In accordance with University procedure, if you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. You must be registered with the CSP Disability Services, which is located at Wick House, and provide a letter of accommodations to verify your eligibility. You can reach CSP Disability Services at 330-941-1372