CS 838: Big Data Systems
Fall '16: Course Home Page

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Assignments and projects are to be done in groups of 2 students. There will be three assignments and one course project. Assignment 1 is mandatory for each group; after that students have the option of either doing assignments 2/3 or the course project. Students who wish to do both assignments and project will be given extra credits. The assignments are well-defined and focus on providing hands-on experience with various big data systems, where as the projects tend to be more open-ended and are suited for those who wish to pursue research in this field.

Cloud Resources

You would be required to use resources in the cloud for all experiments. In the past, we have used CloudLab. For the current offering, the plan is to use Azure. Azure offers a $200 free-trial credit for all those who sign up for an account. Students are encouraged to use these credits for obtaining resources required for assignments/projects. We will provide scripts that will help with setting up the clusters.


Each group is expected to turn in a PDF writeup answering the questions posed in the assignment. The tentative list of assignments is as follows:


A list of course projects to consider will be released early into the semester. Each project in the list will contain a short description of the problem, the questions that you will most likely answer and a sketch of initial steps to take. Do not panic if you are not able to comprehend the description and goals upon first reading. The related work will be covered in class as the semester progresses. The purpose of releasing the list early is to give sufficient time for background reading.

The schedule for the project deliverables is as follows:

Project Milestone

Due Date


Wednesday 10/05

Related Work Report

Friday 10/14

Initial Results

Friday 11/04

Final Report

Friday 12/12