CS 284r: (Social) Data Mining

Instructor: Yaron Singer
Time: M./W. 10-11:30 am
Room: Pierce 100F
Email:yaron at seas dot harvard dot edu


This course is primarily a seminar course. We will spend most of the term reading and discussing research papers. We will read the papers before class and submit comments to prepare for discussion. In most lectures we will typically have one or two students presenting one or two papers. There will not be an exam, but instead we will work on research projects. We will also have a few problems sets that will involve mathematical proofs and maybe some coding exercises.


Reading papers: We will read papers and other listed material before each class. One of the requirements is that you submit your comments on the papers by midnight before class. Here are some points to consider in your comments: What is the one sentence that describes the contribution of the paper? Is the model convincing? What are the assumptions of the model and how are they utilized? What is the most important technical idea in the paper? Sketch it. What are the interesting open questions left by this work?


In addition, see how to read a research paper by Prof. Michael Mitzenmacher.


Problem sets: We will have a few problem sets. Solutions should be prepared in latex and the PDF should be emailed to the TF. For problems that require programming, you may use any scripting or programming language you like.


  • Problem set 1
  • Problem set 2

  • Problem set deadlines:
  • Oct 20: Problem set 1 out
  • Oct 27: Problem set 1 due
  • Nov 17: Problem set 2 out
  • Nov 24: Problem set 2 due

  • Project: An important component of this course is your final project. Projects will be done in pairs. Find someone to team up with and start brainstorming now. The projects will require submitting three milestones. Milestones should be prepared in latex and the PDF should be emailed to the TF.


    Project deadlines:

  • Oct 6: Milestone 1 out
  • Oct 20: Milestone 1 due
  • Oct 27: Milestone 2 out
  • Nov 10: Milestone 2 due
  • Nov 17: Milestone 3 out
  • Dec 01: Milestone 3 due
  • Dec 08: Project due


  • SEAS