Amol Deshpande, Email: amol at cs dot umd dot edu,
Office hours: Tuesday 10-11am, Thursday 2-3pm, or by appointment;
Office: AVW 3221

Teaching Assistants

Theodoros Rekatsinas, Office Hours: Monday 11-12pm, TA Office
Abdul Quamar, Office Hours: Thursday 9-10am, TA Office

Class Forum

We will use Piazza for class discussion/clarifications etc.

Github Repository for the Class

We will use github for disseminating assignments/labs, datasets, and lecture notes.


There is no required textbook for the course, however the following two books will be useful for you to consult. Both the books are available for free online at Safari Books Online if you are on the UMD network.

Course Grading

The course will be heavily assignment-based, with bi-weekly assignments focused on learning how to use different tools. See Schedule for more details. You should be familiar with Java, be comfortable with using Unix/Linux, and also be comfortable with downloading and installing /packages from the Web (we will only use widely-used packages that have extensive documentation). Although we will use other languages like Python in some cases, sufficient guidance will be provided and prior familiarity with those languages is not expected.

We will primarily use Python for this class. Sufficient guidance will be provided to help you learn Python along the way, and it is not expected that you are familiar with Python. Java may still be needed for some assignments.

Some examples of tools that we will learn to use include: (1) Amazon EC2 Cloud Computing, (2) Data Wrangler (a data cleaning tool), (3) PostgreSQL (a relational database), (4) Hadoop/Map-Reduce, (5) MongoDB/HBase/Cassandra.

There will also be in-class exams and a final. Details to be announced later.