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Carnegie Mellon University
Big Data and Large Scale Computing
95-869 - Spring Mini-4 2017


Course Policies


  • All devices such as laptops, cell phones, noisy PDAs, etc. should be turned off for the duration of the lectures and the recitations, because they may distract other fellow students.
  • Please come to all lectures on time and leave on time, again so that there are no distractions to the classmates.


Students are expected to have the following background:
  • Basic knowledge of data analysis and machine learning concepts; having taken:
  • Basic programming skills at a level sufficient to write a reasonably non-trivial computer program in a language of preference (preferably Python)


  • Assignments are due at the * beginning of lecture * on the due date.
  • The due date of assignments are posted at the assignments page.
  • Assignments will be posted on Blackboard.
  • Students should submit the programming part of assignments electronically via Blackboard (no print outs).

  • Important Note: As we reuse problem set questions, covered by papers and webpages, we expect the students not to copy, refer to, or look at the solutions in preparing their answers. Since this is a graduate-level class, we expect students to want to learn and not google for answers. The purpose of problem sets in this class is to help you think about the material, not just give us the right answers. Therefore, please restrict attention to the books mentioned on the front page when solving problems on the problem set. If you do happen to use other material, it must be acknowledged clearly with a citation on the submitted solution.

    Academic integrity

    All students are expected to comply with CMU's policy on academic integrity. Please read the policy and make sure you have a complete understanding of it.


    You are encouraged to discuss homework problems with your fellow students. However, the work you submit must be your own. You must acknowledge in your submission any help received on your assignments. That is, you must include a comment in your homework submission that clearly states the name of the student, book, or online reference from which you received assistance.

    Submissions that fail to properly acknowledge any help from other students or non-class sources will receive NO credit. Copied work will receive NO credit. Any and all violations will be reported to the Heinz College administration and may appear in the student's transcript.

    Questions and requests

    • All questions should go on to the Piazza system. Instructor and TA(s) will do their best to answer your questions timely.
    • Regrading requests should be done in writing, via e-mail to the TAs and the instructor, at the latest 48 hours after graded exams or assignments are distributed.

    Late policy 

    • Slip days: To accommodate for coinciding deadlines you may have from other courses, or personal unforeseen events such as sickness, each student is granted an extension of * 3 calendar days *.
      You can use the extension on any assignment(s) remaining during the semester. For instance, you can hand in one assignment 3 days late, or each of three assignments 1 day late.
      • Late days are rounded up to the nearest integer. For example, a submission that is 4 hours late will count as 1 day late.
      • When you hand in a late assignment, you must identify at the top of the assignment, (i) how late this assignment is, and (ii) how much of the total slip time you have left.
      • After your slip days are used up, any assignment handed in late will be marked off 25% per day.
    • Additional, no-penalty extensions will be granted only in extreme situations (medical emergency, immediate family emergency). Contact the instructor, with written documentation, like doctor's note.


    Piazza should be used for general course and assignment related questions. For other types of questions (e.g., to report illness, request various permissions) please contact the instructor directly via email.

    Please make sure to include '95869' in the subject line of your email.

    AUDITING and Pass-Fail

    • If you are a student, and you don't want to take the class for credit, you must register to audit the class. To satisfy the auditing requirement, you must:
      • Do *three* homeworks, and get at least 75% of the points in each

    • Taking the class for Pass-Fail is not allowed. You can either enroll for credit or audit without credit.

    Last modified by Leman Akoglu, Oct 2016