Welcome to CS184
Bridging Policy and Tech Through Design

Zoom Classes Tuesdays 4:30PM -- Starts 3/30/21

Please join us at the appointed time each week if at all possible. If you are in another time zone or have a conflict, the class content will be recorded and available on Canvas, but discussions will not be recorded. The Zoom link for the class is available from our CS184 Canvas Page. If for some reason you are not able to access Canvas, you can get the link by emailing ullman at gmail dot com.

2021 Infosession

There was a Zoom infosession for prospective students on March 3, 2021 at 10AM PST. The session was recorded for those who could not join at that time. At the session, we presented some of the possible projects and explained the mechanics of the course. Here is Video of the Infosession.

Added 3/9/21: There are two more suggested projects added since the infosession: "Health Equity" and "MExoxo -- Womens's Rights." One-Pagers on these projects are included with the other One Page Project Descriptions.

Project Proposals Due March 19, 2021

Please submit your application to join a team by March 19. Here is The Application for the Class.

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. You are welcome to organize and propose a team of your own, either working on one of the projects suggested at the infosession or a project of your own design. More typically, students apply individually, using an application form for 2021 that will be published after the infosession. The application lets you prioritize the projects you would most like to work on, and we shall endeavor to accomodate everyone's wishes as best we can.

Useful Links

Slides from Information Session (PDF)
Video of Infosession
One Page Project Descriptions (ZIP file)
Course Syllabus (PDF)
Application for Class (Google Forms)
Class Canvas Page
SQL Info

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.

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. Here are a few tutorials that you can use to learn the basics quickly.

You are welcome to use the Gradiance SQL tutorial system, but alas the lessons use Adobe Flash, which is not considered safe and most people do not allow it on their machines. However, you can use the quizzes and SQL labs to test your understanding. The advantage is that when you make a mistake, Gradiance tries to show you what is going wrong. To get an account, Start Here and use the bottom line to get yourself a free tutorials account. Once you have the account, you can use it Here.

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).