Welcome to CS184
Bridging Policy and Tech Through Design

Important Links

Slides from Information Session (PDF)
One-Page Project Descriptions (ZIP file)
Links to Datasets
Course Syllabus (PDF)
Application for Class (Google Forms)
Class Canvas Page
SQL Info

Thanks to Coronavirus ...

A Project Course

This course is intended for teams of 3-4 students, with at least one from the social sciences and at least one interested in computing.

Forming Teams

We have received 28 applications and everyone has been placed on a team. Most people got their first choice, but we did have to give some a second choice in order to balance out the teams. There are a number of constraints, including the fact that we need to have people with different majors on each team, and we can't have a team so widely dispersed around the globe that it is impossible for them to find a time for an on-line meeting when all are awake.

You will receive an email introducing you to the rest of your team and at least one mentor by the end of Wednesday April 1 (no foolin'). Because the quarter has been cut short, it is important that each team start to discuss the details of their project plans before the first class meeting on April 7. If there are any questions, please contact the instructor (ullman at gmaildotcom) or any of the course staff.

Course Processes

Teams are encouraged to solicit the involvement of a faculty member who is knowledgeable in the domain relevant to the project, but the course staff will attempt to help with that process and will also make certain there is a mentor for the data-science aspects of the project.

There will be a midterm progress report from each team at the 5th class meeting, and a final oral report at the final meeting. Teams will also be required to file a written report on the conclusions drawn from their project.

Data Resources

We are in contact with a number of partners who are willing to share data. Links will be added to this list as soon as we are able.

SQL Resources

SQL is the standard language for querying databases. It is much more powerful than spreadsheets, as well as being able to handle really huge files. Jennifer Widom, the Dean of Engineering, created a MOOC that covers the elements of SQL programming. Alas, it is in transition between Stanford's own MOOC platform and EdX. I hope it will be available in time for people who need it to take advantage, but for the moment, she suggests people try one of these tutorials:

If you need to run a SQL database system, Microsoft Access is a possibility. There is also a free SQL engine called MySQL. Another option is Postgres. Any of these will be suitable even for gigabytes of data, running on your laptop. If anyone has a need to process really large amounts of data, we can probably :arrange for free Google cloud service.


Email the instructor, Jeff Ullman (ullman at gmail dot com).