Steam-powered Turing Machine University of Washington Department of Computer Science & Engineering
CSE 454 - Advanced Internet Systems - Winter 2015
Tues, Thurs 12:00 - 1:30pm in JHN 022
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Instructor: Dan Weld (weld at cs )
Office hours: CSE 588 - TBD and by email
TA: Jonathan Bragg (jbragg at cs)
Office hours: CSE 382 - 1:30-2:30pm Thurs (after class) and by email
TA: Chris Lin (chrislin at cs)
Office hours: CSE 382 - 1:30-2:30pm Tu (after class) and by email


Just as the Internet evolves quickly, year-to-year, each instance of CSE 454 is a bit different. This year we will cover crowdsourcing and social computing in addition to Internet search. One constant: the bulk of the coursework will be in the form of (three-person) group projects. We provide some ideas for adoption or inspiration, but each team chooses its own project. Class time will be a combination of lectures, group discussion, student-led presentations, guest speakers and team meetings. Some of the topics we'll cover include:

Textbooks & Resources

There is no required textbook, but I'll ask you to read some of these
informative papers. You also may wish to check out links to code and tools.

Follow this link if you need some inspiration for project ideas. See also guidelines for initial Specifications, end-of-term in-class Presentations, and Final Written Reports

Class Piazza page.

Schedule of Lectures

Date Topics & Lecture Notes Readings
January 8 Introduction, History, Future & Class Project None
January 10 Class member project pitches None
January 13 Default Project (Event Extraction), NLP pipeline & machine learning None
January 15 Naive Bayes for Text Classification A Few Useful Things to Know about Machine Learning by Pedro Domingos
January 20 Crowdsourcing
January 22 Group meetings with Dan
January 29 Web Crawlers & IR & Indexing Mercator Crawler & Manning et al.'s online book Information Retrieval
February 3 Query Processing (with AltaVista Case Study)
February 5 Group meetings with Dan
February 10 Web structure & link analysis & Computational advertising Easley & Kleinberg's book Networks, Crowds & Markets Ch 13 & 14
February 12 Wisdom of the Crowd & Information Cascades & Online Communities & Network Effects Networks, Crowds & Markets Ch 16 & 17
February 17 Group meetings with Dan
February 19 Cryptography & the Internet: Real-World Usage by Josh Benaloh (Microsoft Research)
February 24 Recommendation Systems
February 26 Bitcoin (Yoshi Kohno & Emily McReynolds) Bitcoin Primer
March 5 Group meetings with Dan


Course Administration and Policies

Your grade will be 80% project, 10% in-class presentation, and 10% class participation (no midterm or final). The project component of your grade will be 45% scope and execution of what you implement, 15% how well it performed, 10% evaluation, 10% final presentation, and 20% final written report. Note that you can do well even if you choose something too ambitious and it flops, but the best strategy will likely mimic a successful startup: aiming for a minimal viable project with stretch goals.


This term we will be using Piazza for class discussion. The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, the TAs, and myself. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, I encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. If you have any problems or feedback for the developers, email Find our class page at:

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