CS109a: Introduction to Data Science

Fall 2019

Pavlos Protopapas, Kevin A. Rader, and Chris Tanner

Lab Leaders: Chris Tanner and Eleni Kaxiras

Welcome to CS109a/STAT121a/AC209a, also offered by the DCE as CSCI E-109a, Introduction to Data Science. This course is the first half of a one‐year course to data science. We will focus on the analysis of data to perform predictions using statistical and machine learning methods. Topics include data scraping, data management, data visualization, regression and classification methods, and deep neural networks. You will get ample practice through weekly homework assignments. The class material integrates the five key facets of an investigation using data:

1. data collection ‐ data wrangling, cleaning, and sampling to get a suitable data set
2. data management ‐ accessing data quickly and reliably
3. exploratory data analysis – generating hypotheses and building intuition
4. prediction or statistical learning
5. communication – summarizing results through visualization, stories, and interpretable summaries

Only one of CS 109a, AC 209a, or Stat 121a can be taken for credit. Students who have previously taken CS 109, AC 209, or Stat 121 cannot take CS 109a, AC 209a, or Stat 121a for credit.

Helpline: cs109a2019@gmail.com

Announcement: HW0 is now available.
Lectures: Mon and Wed 1:30‐2:45 pm in Harvard Northwest Building, NW B-103
Labs: Thur 4:30-5:45 pm in Pierce 301
Head TFs: Chris Gumb - DCE Head TF: Sol Girouard
Office Hours: IACS student lobby in Maxwell-Dworkin's ground. Just follow the signs.
Online Office Hours zoom link: https://harvard-dce.zoom.us/j/7607382317
Course material can be viewed in the public GitHub repository.
Friday 10/25 10:30-11:45 am 1 Story St. Room 306
Monday 10/28 4:30-5:45 pm Science Center 110
Cover the material presented in class. Both standard sections are identical.
Wednesday 11/13 4:30-5:45 pm Maxwell Dworkin G115
Cover a different topic each week and are required for 209a students.
Instructor Office Hours
Pavlos & Kevin: Monday 3-5 pm, IACS Lobby Chris: Wednesday 3-4 pm, Maxwell-Dworkin B125

TF Office Hours (On-Campus)
Monday: 6-9 pm
Tuesday: 4-8:30 pm
Wednesday: 4-7:30 pm
Friday: 1:30-3 pm
TF Hours are held in the IACS lobby.
Note: Monday & Tuesday the first 1/2 hour of OH will be in the Maxwell-Dworkin main lobby before moving into the IACS lobby.
Online Office Hours
Tuesday: 3-6 pm
Wednesday: 6:30-8 pm
Friday: 12-1:30 pm
Saturday: 10:30-12 pm
Online office hours are held via zoom:

Please be aware, that we will not publicly release the homework assignments this year. If you want to follow the course online without registering, you can use the assignments from 2013 and 2014, available at the links below. Additionally, the material from 2015 is also available.

Previous Material