IEMS5730 Big Data Systems and Information Processing / Spring 2024


Course Description

This course aims to provide students an understanding in the operating principles and hands-on experience with mainstream Big Data Computing systems. Open-source platforms for Big Data processing and analytics would be discussed. Topics to be covered include:

  • Programming models and design patterns for mainstream Big Data computational frameworks ;
  • System Architecture and Resource Management for Data-center-scale Computing ;
  • System Architecture and Programming Interface of Distributed Big Data stores ;
  • High-level Big Data Query languages and their processing systems ;
  • Operational and Programming tools for different stages of the Big Data processing pipeline including data collection/ ingestion, serialization and migration, workflow coordination.

Prerequisite: This course contains substantial hands-on components which require solid background in programming and hands-on operating systems experience. If you have never used a command-line interface to install/configure/manage an operating system, e.g. a linux-based one, you will need to pick-up the skills yourself and IT CAN BE VERY TIME-CONSUMING for you to complete the homeworks. (Students without the aforementioned required background may take several 10’s of hours to finish EACH homework assignment).

Please check Blackboard for important announcements, assignment submissions, grades, etc.

Course Assessment

The grade is based on the following components (tentative):

  • Homework & Programming Assignments (5 sets): 60%
  • Project with Presentation: 10%
  • Final Exam: 30%

Student/Faculty Expectations on Teaching and Learning

Academic Honesty

You are expected to do your own work and acknowledge the use of anyone else’s words or ideas. You MUST put down in your submitted work the names of people with whom you have had discussions.

Refer to for details

When scholastic dishonesty is suspected, the matter will be turned over to the University authority for action.

You MUST include the following signed statement in all of your submitted homework, project assignments and examinations. Submission without a signed statement will not be graded.

I declare that the assignment here submitted is original except for source material explicitly acknowledged, and that the same or related material has not been previously submitted for another course. I also acknowledge that I am aware of University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and of the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations, as contained in the website

Academic Honesty Slides from Associate Dean of Faculty of Engineering

Large Language Models (LLMs) Policy

You are NOT allowed to use any LLMs (e.g., ChatGPT, Claude etc.) in this course UNLESS instructor permissions of using LLMs has been explicitly given to specific parts or question(s) of an assignment. Anyone who uses LLMs for completing the homework without explicit permission will be treated as cheating.

(Tentative) Final Exam Arrangement

  • Time: 08/05/2024 (Wed) 19:00-22:00
  • Venue: TBC

Previous Offerings

Lecture Time and Venue

  • Wed 7:00PM - 10:00PM (YIA LT4)


Email: wclau [at]

Office hours: TBD (SHB 818)

Teaching Assistants

Da Sun Handason Tam

Email: tds019 [at]

Office hours: TBD

Siyue Xie

Email: xiesiyue [at]

Office hours: TBD

Kaixuan Luo

Email: luokaixuan [at]

Office hours: TBD