Video Lecture: Twitter Recommendations by @alpa

Alpa Jain has great experience teaching from her time as a graduate student at Columbia University, and it shows in the clarity of her descriptions of SVD and other recommendation algorithms in today’s lecture:

When I asked at the end of class how many students have used one of the recommended Twitter links, nearly everyone raised their hands, so Alpa is clearly doing her job.

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Lecture Notes: Fighting Spam At Twitter

On Thursday, Delip Rao electrified the class with a lecture on how Twitter combats the pervasive threat of tweet spam:

(Lecture notes are not available.)

UC Berkeley students are lucky to have gotten to hear @deliprao in person.  Thank you so much!

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Video Lecture: Big Learning with Graphs by Joey Gonzalez

For those of you who follow the latest developments in the Big Data technology stack, you’ll know that GraphLab is the hottest technology for processing huge graphs in fast time.  We got to hear the algorithms behind GraphLab 2 even before the OSDI crowd!  Check it out:

Perhaps the best news is there is new a version called GraphChi (for chihuahua) that you can run on your personal computer; so you don’t even need access to EC2 to run it going forward.  Slides here.

Thanks so much, Joey!

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Video Lecture: Twitter Social Network by @aneeshs

Learn about weak ties, triadic closures, and personal pagerank, and how they all relate to the Twitter social graph from Aneesh Sharma:

I especially enjoyed his fascinating and clear explanation of the Watts-Strogatz model, its link to Kleinberg’s model, and how they explain how Milgram’s six degrees of separation phenomenon can occur.  Thank you, Aneesh!  Slides here.

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Video Lecture: Splunk’s Software Architecture and GUI for Analyzing Twitter Data

Today we learned about an alternative software architecture for processing large data, getting the technical details from Splunk’s VP of Engineering, Stephen Sorkin. Splunk also has a really amazing GUI for analyzing Twitter and other data sources in real time; be sure to watch the last 15 minutes of the video to see the demo:

The great news is that you can download and try out the demo yourself for free! Thanks for a very technical, well-paced lecture, Stephen! And congratulations to Archana Ganapathi, who as a new mother, couldn’t make it this time!

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Video Lecture: Real-Time Twitter Search by @larsonite

Brian Larson gives a brilliant technical talk about how real-time search works at Twitter; He really knows what he’s talking about given that he’s the tech lead for search and relevance at Twitter!

Follow him @larsonite to learn more. Thanks, Brian!

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Video Lecture: Kostas T. on How To Detect Twitter Trends

Have you ever wondered how Twitter computes its Trending Topics?  Kostas T. is one of the wizards behind that, and today he shared some of the secrets with our class:

See his lecture notes.  Kostas, Rion and I are also plotting the next homework assignment together.  Thanks Kostas, for teaching me and the class that the simpler algorithms work surprisingly well!

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Slides Posted: Coding to the Twitter API

Today Rion Snow saved us huge amounts of time by giving us a primo introduction to the Twitter API.  We learned about both the RESTful API and the streaming API for both Java and Python.

Slide on Sampling the Streaming API: Twitter4J

After this intro, it looks like this API is pretty straightforward to use, after you get everything installed correctly and the authorization set up.

Rion told me he’s been doing a lot of training people over the last year which is why he was able to give such a helpful, clear lecture.  See all the slides.

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Video Lecture: Jon Coveney (@jco) on Apache Pig

Jon Coveney gives an in-depth tutorial on Apache Pig, including how it interacts with Hadoop:

His slides are a fantastic resource for learning much much more about Pig: (pdf)

Thanks for a really illuminating lecture, Jon!

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Video Lecture Posted: Intro to Hadoop

Bill Graham, who is active in the Hadoop community and a Pig contributor, gave a very clear and detailed intro to Hadoop and outlined how it is used at Twitter:

His slides can be found here.

Bill is a terrific instructor; thanks so much for the lecture!


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