CSC 290 Collaborative Software Development and Collective Knowledge Engineering

Course Description

Running on low-cost, powerful computers, immense storage, and ubiquitous networks, a new generation of software has radically changed how information is distributed and accessed and is opening new possibilities in how (fast) knowledge is created and used. This revolution has been compared to the advent of printing, and the pertinent expertise and skill are considered as basic and essential as reading and writing.

This experimental course teaches principles and practices of collaborative software development and its use in converting data into knowledge and knowledge into tools. The topics include fundamentals of programming (more for organizing information than for managing computers), lessons from past information systems, and current practice and tools for teamwork and (virtual) collaboration. The main assignments are a series of group projects including the final project of developing a possibly on-line recommendation system. The projects will be evaluated based on the design, implementation, and deployment, including an end-of-semester competition based on a user survey.

Draft Syllabus

  • Fundation of programming
    • what's a program
    • abstraction and implementation (lambda calculus)
    • object orientation
    • dynamic languages
    • case studies
      • continuation and actor model

  • Software engineering
    • basis of the discipline
      • Brooks, Parnas, and other selected reading
    • version control, testing, bug tracking
    • virtual collaboration (chats, wiki, remote file sharing)
    • user interface design and documentation
    • case studies
      • Gcc and open source
      • industry software development (IBM or Microsoft)

  • Collective intelligence
    • data representation and processing
    • data modeling and data mining
    • case studies
  • Scalable information systems
    • decentralized and self-organizing systems
    • sustainable development
    • related literature
      • strategy games
      • evolutionary principles
    • case studies
      • Web 2.0

Work in progress (restricted access)

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Topic revision: r1 - 2008-09-08 - ChenDing
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