CS 0155 – Data Witchcraft (Spring 2015)

Lectures: M & W, 11:00 am to 12:15 pm, 6110 SENSQ

Instructor: Alex Labrinidis (Email: labrinid8@cs.pitt.edu)

Office Hours: Mondays – 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm; Wednesdays 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Prerequisites: None.


Course Objectives:

Computer literacy in general and data management in particular are becoming required skills for all career paths, especially in business and in the sciences.  This course will give you the fundamental skills for a solid start on a data-driven path in your specific discipline.

Course Description:

This course is designed as a second course in computer science for non-CS majors and CS minors. CS Majors who want to follow a data management concentration can also take the course. The course will serve as an introduction to basic data management / data science technologies, typically through the use of different discipline-specific examples. It will be taught in a computer lab where the students can actively participate in parts of the lecture. The course will adopt the point of view of a user of data (i.e., who is just combining and analyzing it using tools) and not a provider of data (i.e., who would be implementing a database driven Web site), as is typically the case for related courses for CS majors.


  1. Introduction: Data-intensive science and the promise of Big Data
  2. Introduction to Information Retrieval
  3. Introduction to Data Mining
  4. Introduction to Big Data Analytics
  5. Introduction to Perl programming
  6. XML / RSS
  7. Querying XML (XPath / XQuery)
  8. Popular data exchange formats (CSV, XML, RDF, KML, JSON)
  9. Introduction to the Semantic Web
  10. Querying RDF (SPARQL)
  11. Using SQL (MySQL)
  12. Using Google Fusion Tables
  13. Ontologies

For more information please visit the official course website: http://db.cs.pitt.edu/group/teaching/data-witchcraft