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Lectures on Mondays and Thursdays 1:30-2:40 PM in E111.

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Course Description for CS315

In the last decade we have experienced an explosive growth of information through the web. Locating information seems to be very easy, while determining the quality of information can be tricky. This course is for students who want to know why search engines can answer your queries fast and (most of time) accurately, why other times seem to be missing the point and provide untrustworthy information, and how one can design a web site that acquires high visibility on the web. We will cover traditional information retrieval methods and web search algorithms such as crawlers and spiders, with a focus on probabilistic and graph-theoretic methods that can detect web spam. We will also cover some basic understanding of text mining and data clustering. Time permiting, we will examine other relevant issues of the information explosion era, such as the shape and structure of the web, epistemology of information and properties of large random networks.

Insructor: Prof. Takis Metaxas. Lectures on Mondays and Thursdays 1:30PM in E111. Office Hours: See Prof. Metaxas' web site

Class Group:There is a class group named CS315-01-SP13. This group has several purposes. I will use it to make class announcements, such as corrections to assignments and clarifications of material discussed in class. We encourage you to post questions or comments that are of interest to students in the course.


Regular readings will be assigned from a variety of required texts and papers, as outlined in the course schedule. Each lecture is linked to printable class notes (pdf). If you would like to use them to keep notes feel free to print them before class or just download them on your device.


Course Requirements

The course will require significant reading and critical analysis of textbook chapters and research papers. Your performance will be evaluated by your presence and contrbutions to class discussions, bi-weekly quizes and programming assignments, an in-class midterm, and a final exam.

You must compose your own solution to each assignment and each exam. You may discuss strategies for approaching the assignments (not the exams) with your classmates and may receive general debugging advice from them, but you are required to write up your own solutions and debug all of your code. Of course, you should never look at another student's assignment solutions or code.


Item Date Grade
Class Participation Continuous 5%
Assignments (Quizes & HW) Thursdays 45%
Final Exam (*) Self-scheduled 30%
Midterm Thu Mar 28 20%

(*) There is an option of replacing the final exam with an appropriate research paper or project. If you are interested in this option, you should submit a proposal and obtain approval no later than Sunday, March 31, 2013.

Special Needs: If you have any disabilities, including learning disabilities, you are encouraged to meet with your instructor to discuss accommodations that may be helpful to you.