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All questions of potential general interest should be posted through Piazza (follow the link from the navigation bar). You can even ask questions anonymously on Piazza!

As a courtesy, before asking for help, please check Piazza as well as the pages under “Help” to see if your question has already been addressed previously.

Office Hours

  • Jun Yang: Tuesdays 2:45-4:45pm (LSRC D327), Thursdays 2:45-3:45pm (outside classroom), or by appointment
  • TA hours (LSRC D243):
    • Mondays: 6-8pm Xixiang; 8-10pm Daniel
    • Tuesdays: 6-8pm Yameng; 8-10pm Sarah & Yuxiang
    • Wednesdays: 8-10pm Fangge
    • Thursdays: 6-8pm Wilson; 8-10pm Liuyi




  • Creating and Running VM: You should use the standard virtual machine (VM) setup for the course—you’ll get access to all the tools and datasets with minimal effort. The course staff supports the following two options.
    • Use VirtualBox/Vagrant: This option is recommended for Mac users (and adventurous Windows users). Here, the VM will run on your own computer (“host”). It provides the convenience of sharing files between your computer and the VM transparently, as well as a GUI in case you want it.
    • Use Google Cloud: This option is available to everybody. Here, the VM runs remotely on Google Cloud. You should consider this option if you find the VirtualBox option to be too slow on your computer. You might also want to consider this option if you want to access your VM from any computer. However, you won’t be able to work offline without an Internet connection, and it will be a bit more difficult to access GUI-based programs on your VM.
  • Readying VM for the Course
  • Linux Basics

Relational data:

Semi-structured data:

“Big” data:

Web/mobile application development: