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CS 395 Spring 2020 - Research Methods in Data and Web Science
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ODU CS 395 Spring 2020 -- Research Methods in Data and Web Science

Instructor: Michael L. Nelson

Office Hours: Wednesdays 2-4 and by appointment

Time: Wednesdays 4:20pm - 7pm

Place: Dragas, r. 1102

Pre-/Co-requisites: CS 330, CS 300T


Class Email list

Class Goals

This class is intended for academic juniors (or higher) considering a career in research in data and web science. Since research is not a solitary activity, class work will occur in groups. To prepare students for a research career, we will cover a range of topics including:

  • Data management and software engineering tools: Git/GitHub, Docker, Travis CI, cloud computing, virtual machines, etc.

  • Languages and Environments: Python, R, Unix CLI, LaTeX, Overleaf, REST APIs, etc.

  • Participating in the scholarly communication process: reading and summarizing papers, preparing and giving presentations, documenting your own research findings, the spectrum of scholarly communication, etc.

  • Preparing proposals: students will read, review, and finally prepare their own actual research proposals to be submitted to places like the National Science Foundation (NSF), Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and others as idenfitied (and pending the student's eligibility).

  • Reproducibility and Replicability: students will work in teams to identify published data and web science studies that they will reproduce and/or replicate.

Class Schedule

Note: this class schedule is subject to change. Watch the class repo and monitor the class email list for updates.

  • 2020-01-15: Administrivia, scholarly communication, web science, research and grad school
  • 2020-01-22: MLN research retrospective, Python, R, Git/GitHub
  • 2020-01-29: HTTP mechanics, web archiving, reproducibility
    • assignment 3: VSGC status presentation & submission (Jan 31)
  • 2020-02-05: Guest lecture (MLN traveling): AWS, Docker, LaTeX/Overleaf, CLI
  • 2020-02-12: Student presentations
    • assignment 4: paper 1
  • 2020-02-19: GRA guest lecture(s)
  • 2020-02-26: Student presentations
    • assignment 5: paper 2
  • 2020-03-04: Faculty guest lecture, What is grad school?, NSF GRFP
    • assignment 6: choose your paper, submit a research/reproducibility plan
  • 2020-03-11: Spring Break -- no class
  • 2020-03-18: Student presentations
    • assignment 7: research paper status update
  • 2020-03-25: GRA guest lecture(s), TBD
  • 2020-04-01: Faculty guest lecture(s), Student presentations
    • assignment 8: NSF GRFP status update
  • 2020-04-08: TBD
  • 2020-04-15: Student presentations
    • assignment 9: research paper status update
  • 2020-04-22: TBD
    • assignment 10: ready to submit: NSF GRFP
  • 2020-04-29: Exams -- no class
    • assignment 11: ready to submit: research paper

Class Deliverables

At the end of the class, each student will have:

Class Grading

A combination of 11 assignments (written and/or oral) and class participation. Note the class will not have conventional mid-term and final exams, tests, quizzes, etc.

Instead, the grades will be determined by class participation and the quality of the aforementioned research deliverables.

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