August 25, 2015


General info

  • Class: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:05 - 4:20pm, Old Chem 025

  • Office hours:
    • Dr. C-R:
      • Mondays 3:30 - 4:30 pm
      • Wednesdays 1:30 - 2:30 pm
    • Eidan: TBA
    • Nayib: TBA
  • Course website:

Important dates

  • Midterm presentations: Thursday, Oct 8, in class

  • Final project presentations: Thursday, Dec 3, in class

  • Take home final exam due: Tuesday, Dec 8, 10pm


  • Grading breakdown:
    • Participation & peer evaluations - 10%
    • Application exercises - 10%
    • Homework - 20%
    • Midterm project - 15%
    • Final project - 20%
    • Final exam - 25%
  • Class attendance is a firm expectation; frequent absences or tardiness will be considered a legitimate cause for grade reduction.

  • Exact ranges for letter grades will be curved and cutoffs will be determined after the final exam.

  • The more evidence there is that the class has mastered the material, the more generous the curve will be.

Class meetings

  • Interactive

  • Learn-by-doing

  • Bring your laptop to class every day


  • Short survey and pretest to gauge your previous exposure to topics relevant to the course.

  • Teams of 3-5 students for in-class activities and projects.


  • Larger computational tasks twice throughout the semester

  • Present findings to class

  • Collaborative / fully reproducible work

Final exam

  • Single take home final exam that you are expected to complete individually.

  • Complete a number of computational tasks that cover the breadth of the material presented in the class.

Email & Piazza

  • I will regularly send announcements by email, please make sure to check your email daily.

  • Any non-personal content-related questions should be posted on Piazza.

  • Before posting a new question please make sure to check if your question has already been answered, and answer others' questions.

Academic integrity

Duke Community Standard:

  • I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors;

  • I will conduct myself honorably in all my endeavors; and

  • I will act if the Standard is compromised.

Reusing / sharing code

  • A huge volume of code is available on the web to solve any number of problems.

  • Unless I explicitly tell you not to use these resource the course’s policy is that you may make use of these resources (e.g. StackOverflow) but you must explicitly cite where the code was obtained from in your comments.

  • Any recycled coded that is discovered and is not explicitly cited will be treated as plagiarism.

  • The one exception to this rule is that you may not directly share code with another team in this class, you are welcome to discuss the problems together and ask for advice, but you may not send or make use of code from another team.

Excused absences

  • Students who miss graded work due to a scheduled varsity trip, religious holiday or short-term illness should fill out an online NOVAP, RHoliday or short-term illness form respectively.

  • If you cannot complete an assignment on the due date due to a short-term illness, you have until noon the following day to complete it at no penalty, then the regular late work policy kicks in.

  • If you are faced with a personal or family emergency or a long-range or chronic health condition that interferes with your ability to attend or complete classes, you should contact your academic dean’s office. See more information on policies surrounding these conditions at Your academic dean can also provide more information.

Late work policy

  • late, but same day: -10%

  • late, next day: -20%

  • 2 days or later: no credit


  • Please refrain from texting or using your computer for anything other than coursework during class

  • You must be in class on a day when you're scheduled to present, there are no make ups for presentations

  • Regrade requests must be made within 3 days of when the assignment is returned, and must be submitted in writing

  • Only work that is clearly assigned as team work can be completed collaboratively

  • Use of disallowed materials during the take home exam will not be tolerated

Application exercise

Can Twitter predict election results?

See course website for details.

Submit your response (one per team) on Sakai.

Before next time…