Data 451: Data Science Capstone I

Alexander Dekhtyar and Dennis Sun, Cal Poly, Winter 2018

Course Info

  • Class Meetings: Mon, Wed, Fri in 14-257, 2:10-4 PM
  • Course Website:


Prof. Alex Dekhtyar
  • Office: 14-210
  • Office Hours: Mon, Wed 4:10-5 PM
Prof. Dennis Sun
  • Office: 25-105
  • In-Person Office Hours: Tues 3:30-4:30 PM

Course Prerequisites and Goals

Class Structure

First, although some of you are enrolled in Dr. Dekhtyar's section and others in Dr. Sun's, there is no difference between the two sections. You will all meet in a single section co-taught by both of us, and you will all be graded according to the same standards.

Most of class will be unstructured time for you to work with your team on your projects. During this time, teams will meet with their client.

A secondary goal of this class is to sharpen your writing skills. There will be regular writing assignments, and approximately 1 hour per week will be reserved for discussing writing.

Finally, we may have occasional lectures on technical topics that we did not cover in DATA 401, such as PCA and clustering.

The schedule for every lecture can be found on the Lectures page.

Most coding will take place on JupyterHub. This means that you should not have to install any software to take this class.

Communication Policy

Because there are two sections, Dr. Sun does not have the ability to e-mail students in Dr. Dekhtyar's section, nor does Dr. Dekhtyar have the ability to e-mail students in Dr. Sun's. To make communication easier, we will post all announcements on the Piazza forum. We will assume that all of you have an account on Piazza, or you may miss important communications from us.


Your overall grade will be calculated according to the following weighting scheme.

Weekly Progress Reports 20%
End-Quarter Presentation 20%
End-Quarter Report (5-10 pages) 20%
Peer Assessment 20%
Assignments 20%

Required Books

Joseph M. Williams and Joseph Bizup. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. (Any edition is fine.) Pearson, 2016.