Algorithmic Methods of Data Mining (Sc.M. in Data Science)

Academic year 2020–2021

"The success of companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix, not to mention Wall Street firms and industries from manufacturing and retail to healthcare, is increasingly driven by better tools for extracting meaning from very large quantities of data. 'Data Scientist' is now the hottest job title in Silicon Valley."      – Tim O'Reilly


The course will develop the basic algorithmic techniques for data analysis and mining, with emphasis on massive data sets such as large network data. It will cover the main theoretical and practical aspects behind data mining.

The goal of the course is twofold. First, it will present the main theory behind the analysis of data. Second, it will be hands-on and at the end students will become familiar with various state-of-the-art tools and techniques for analyzing data.

We will cover some very basic topics necessary for handling large data, such as hashing, sorting, graphs, data structures, and databases. We will then move to more advanced data mining topics: text mining, clustering, classification, mining of frequent itemsets, graph mining, visualization.

The theoretical part will be complemented by a laboratory where students will learn how to use tools for analyzing and mining large data. We will base it on Amazon's AWS. After finishing the course, the students will have a large part of the knowledge required to pursue (independently) for an Amazon AWS Certification.



Homework 2 is out; it is due on November 8.

We have created a slack account, which you can (and should) use for questions, discussions, and so on. If you have not registered, email Cristina.

Be careful for Monday's time-schedule change. New time: 15.00-17.00.

We start classes on October 5.

Homework 1 is out; it is due on October 25.

You need to register to the class mailing list to be able to do homeworks, be part of groups, receive announcements, etc.; if you don't have the link, email Aris.



Aris Anagnostopoulos, Sapienza University of Rome.

Ioannis Chatzigiannakis, Sapienza University of Rome.

Teaching Assistants (TA)

The best way to ask any questions is through slack. If you are registered in the course mailing list and have not received an invitation from Cristina, email Cristina.

Cristina Menghini, Sapienza University of Rome.

Luca Maiano, Sapienza University of Rome.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Sapienza University of Rome. (LinkedIn)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Sapienza University of Rome.

Ali Reza Seifi Mojaddar, Sapienza University of Rome.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Sapienza University of Rome.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Sapienza University of Rome.


When and where:

Monday 15.00–17.00, Via di Castro Laurenziano 7a, Room 9 (3rd floor)

Wednesday 16.00–18.00, Via di Castro Laurenziano 7a, Room 9 (3rd floor)

Friday 14.00–18.00, Via Tiburtina 205, Room 15

As per university's policy, students will need to register to follow each lecture physically:


Following online

We will use zoom for the lectures. To obtain the credentials you need to register your email information.


Office hours

You can use the office hours for any question regarding the class material, past or current homeworks, general questions on data mining, the meaning of life, pretty much anything. Send an email to the instructors for arrangement.


Textbook and references

We will use a variety of textbooks. Whenever we can, we will try to find books that are available online. As the course progresses, we will indicate what you should read. The main books that we will use are the:

In addition, we will cover material from various other sources, which we will post online as the course proceeds.


Python resources

The main programming language that we will use in the course is Python 3.

To learn the language you can find a lot of material online. You can start from Python's documentation site:

If you would like to buy some books, you can check the

We will use several libraries in the class. For Windows users the Anaconda distribution has packaged all of them together and you can download it for free. For MAC/Linux users, all packages can be installed using the pip3 tool.

We will also use Python (Jupyter) notebooks. You can find instructions for the installation at the Jupyter web site.

If you have problems with Python installation you can obtain an ubuntu virtual machine with Python preinstalled. Contact the instructor for more information.



Chapters for which no book is mentioned refer to the "Mining of Massive Datasets" (see below). For the other textbooks, we refer to with the author initials: A, ZM, ZAL, MRS.

Date Topic Reading
October 5 Introduction to data science Introduction to data science at Sapienza
October 7 Introduction to data mining Introduction to data mining
October 9 Introduction to Laboratory Tools
Introduction to AWS Educate
Introduction to AWS S3
Open Datasets
CSV and JSON in Python Pandas
Laboratory Notes
How to open an AWS Educate account
How to Use Jupyter Notebook in 2020: A Beginner’s Tutorial
Create and run your first Python project using pyCharm
Free Educational Licenses
Introduction to GitHub
European Open Data Portal
Kaggle eCommerce behavior dataset
October 12 Basic data types
October 14 Basic algorithms concepts Book chapter on function growth from the book "Introduction to Algorithms" by Cormern, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein.
Lecture notes on Big O notation from an old MIT course.
October 16 Introduction to Visualization Laboratory 2: Data Visualization
Pandas Documentation on Visualization
Pandas Documentation on Grouping
Python Plotting With Matplotlib (Guide)
Grouping Data with Pandas (Guide)
Cookbook Chapter 4
Cookbook Lesson 1
seaborn: statistical data visualization
October 23 AWS Elastic Cloud Compute Linux Command Line

Laboratory 3: AWS EC2 & Linux Command Line
Tutorial: Getting started with Amazon EC2 Linux instances
How to connect to your S3 buckets from your EC2 instances
AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)
Introduction to Bash Shell Scripting
The Shell Scripting Tutorial
Learn Regular Expressions Online
Test Regular Expressions Online
GNU sed, a stream editor
Introduction to GNU sed




Collaboration policy (read carefully!): You can discuss with other students of the course about the projects. However, you must understand well your solutions and the final writeup must be yours and written in isolation. In addition, even though you may discuss about how you could implement an algorithm, what type of libraries to use, and so on, the final code must be yours. You may also consult the internet for information, as long as it does not reveal the solution. If a question asks you to design and implement an algorithm for a problem, it's fine if you find information about how to resolve a problem with character encoding, for example, but it is not fine if you search for the code or the algorithm for the problem you are being asked. For the projects, you can talk with other students of the course about questions on the programming language, libraries, some API issue, and so on, but both the solutions and the programming must be yours. If we find out that you have violated the policy and you have copied in any way you will automatically fail. If you have any doubts about whether something is allowed or not, ask the instructor.