University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Undergraduate Data Science Courses


COMPSCI 311: Introduction to Algorithms

This course will introduce you to algorithms in a variety of areas of interest, such as sorting, searching, string-processing, and graph algorithms. You will learn to study the performance of various algorithms within a formal, mathematical framework. You will also learn how to design very efficient algorithms for many kinds of problems. There will be one or more programming assignments as well to help you relate the empirical performance of an algorithm to theoretical predictions. Mathematical experience (as provided by CMPSCI 250) is required. You should also be able to program in Java, C, or some other closely related language.


COMPSCI 320: Introduction to Software Engineering

In this course, students learn and gain practical experience with software engineering principles and techniques. The practical experience centers on a semester-long team project in which a software development project is carried through all the stages of the software life cycle. Topics in this course include requirements analysis, specification, design, abstraction, programming style, testing, maintenance, communication, teamwork, and software project management. Particular emphasis is placed on communication and negotiation skills and on designing and developing maintainable software. Use of computer required. Several written assignments, in-class presentations, exams, and a term project. This course satisfies the IE Requirement.


COMPSCI 326: Web Programming (IE)

The World Wide Web was proposed originally as a collection of static documents inter-connected by hyperlinks. Today, the web has grown into a rich platform, built on a variety of protocols, standards, and programming languages, that aims to replace many of the services traditionally provided by a desktop operating system. Topics will include: producing dynamic content using a server-based language, content serving databases and XML documents, session state management, multi-tier web-based architectures, web security, and core technologies including HTTP, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and SQL will be emphasized. This course will also study concepts and technologies including AJAX, social networking, mashups, JavaScript libraries (e.g., jQuery), and web security. This course is hands-on and project-based; students will construct a substantial dynamic web application based on the concepts, technologies, and techniques presented during lecture.


COMPSCI 348: Intro to Knowledge Discovery

Knowledge discovery is the process of discovering useful regularities in large and complex data sets. The field encompasses techniques from artificial intelligence (representation and search), statistics (inference), and databases (data storage and access). When integrated in to useful systems, these techniques can help human analysts make sense of vast stores of digital information. This course presents the fundamental principles of the field, familiarizes students with the technical details of representative algorithms, and connects these concepts to applications in industry, science, and government, including fraud detection, marketing, scientific discovery, and web mining.


COMPSCI 370: Introduction to Computer Vision

This introductory computer vision class will address fundamental questions about getting computers to "see" like humans. We investigate questions such as -What is the role of vision in intelligence? -How are images represented in a computer? -How can we write algorithms to recognize an object? -How can humans and computers "learn to see better" from experience? We will write a number of basic computer programs to do things like recognize handwritten characters, track objects in video, and understand the structure of images.


COMPSCI 390MB: Mobile Health Sensing and Monitoring

In recent years, the ability to continuously monitor activities, health, and lifestyles of individuals using sensor technologies has reached unprecedented levels. The typical smartphone comes equipped with a plethora of sensors for monitoring activity, speech patterns, social interactions, and location. In addition, mobile accessories such as wearable wristbands and chestbands now enable routine and continuous monitoring of a host of physiological signals (e.g., heart rate, respiratory rate, skin Conductance, and others.). In conjunction, these sensors can enable higher-order inferences about more complex human activities/behavioral states (e.g., activity patterns, stress, sleep, etc.). Such ubiquitous sensing in daily life, referred to as mobile health sensing and monitoring, promises to revolutionize our understanding of human activities and health conditions. This course is an introduction to personal health sensing and monitoring through mobile phones and on-body sensors and addresses several aspects including mobile devices and applications for health, sensor data quality and reliability challenges, inference of key health assessments from sensor data including such as activity patterns, sleep patterns, or stress, sensor data visualization and feedback, and practical considerations such as battery lifetime. 


COMPSCI 445: Information Systems

This course is an introduction to the efficient management of large-scale data. The course includes principles for representing information as structured data, query languages for analyzing and manipulating structured data, and core systems principles that enable efficient computation on large data sets. Classical relational database topics will be covered (data modeling, SQL, query optimization, concurrency control), as well as semi-structured data (XML, JSON), and distributed data processing paradigms (e.g. map-reduce). Additional application topics may include web application development, data integration, processing data streams, database security and privacy.


COMPSCI 446: Search Engines

This course provides an overview of the important issues in information retrieval, and how those issues affect the design and implementation of search engines. The course emphasizes the technology used in Web search engines, and the information retrieval theories and concepts that underlie all search applications. Mathematical experience (as provided by CMPSCI 240) is required. You should also be able to program in Java (or some other closely related language).


COMPSCI 496: Independent Study


COMPSCI 499 P/T: Honors Research

The difference between 499P and 499T is that the outcome of 499P is a research project. You present your research findings through a presentation and submit a project report. The outcome of 499T is a research thesis. No later than a week before the last day of classes, you will submit your thesis or project report to the Honors Program Director for approval.