Thursday, 27 February 2014

Yelp Dataset Challenge Round 3 and New Data- July 31, 2014


The third round of the Yelp Dataset Challenge is now open, giving students access to our massive Phoenix Academic Dataset, with reviews and businesses from the greater Phoenix metro area. This round runs through July 31, 2014 (23:59:59 UTC). Use our data and submit your project for a chance to win a $5,000 award! Just show us how you use Yelp data in insightful, unique, and compelling ways. A team of our data mining engineers and data scientists will read each paper and select the winner(s) (we are also hiring for both roles!).

We are also excited to announce that we have updated and extended the original Phoenix Academic Dataset! The original dataset, released in March 2013, has been well-received by the academic community, and has already been cited in papers and included in presentations around the world. For more information on past winners and their papers and to download the dataset, please check out the Yelp Dataset Challenge site.

The new dataset builds upon this foundation by not only refreshing it with new content created over the past year, but also including new data like business attributes, the social graph and tips.
The new Phoenix Academic Dataset (download) incorporates the following updates and new data types:

Businesses - 15,585 (+4,048 new businesses!)
Business Attributes - 111,561 (new!)
Check-in Sets - 11,434 (+3,152 new check-in sets!)
Tips - 113,993 (new!)
Users - 70,817 (+26,944 new users!)
User Connections - 151,516 (new!)
Reviews - 335,022 (+105,115 new reviews!)

This new data is available for immediate download at and replaces the previous Phoenix Academic Dataset. We are eagerly anticipating seeing the projects and research that will be built using this data. We are especially excited to see the research related to the new content: from micropost analysis on tips to inferring business attributes from reviews to mining the rich social graph for insights. We look forward to what you come up with!

For winning research, there are additional awards available for publishing your work and presenting at industry or academic conferences.

For full details and to access the data, go to our website:

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nspire Innovation Network: Promoting NBTC14

Attention students! Does the prospect of taking charge of your career and destiny sound appealing to you? Have you ever thought of possible products and services but didn’t know what to do with these million dollar ideas? Has the prospect of becoming an entrepreneur or being part of a start-up ever crossed your mind?  

Nspire presents to you, the National Business and Technology Conference, a two-day conference promoting student entrepreneurship in the business and technology space.

Currently, the Computer Science department has agreed to subsidize the first 10 CS students that apply for the subsidy in the amount of $50. This $50 will help to offset the cost of registration to NBTC14 as well as possible hotel costs.

To learn more about Nspire click:  
To learn more about NBTC14 click:
To apply for the subsidy click: and click the “Waterloo”                                              button which will outline the instructions to apply for the                                                             subsidy
To register for NBTC14: Follow the NBTC14 link and click the yellow “Buy Tickets”                                                   button on the top right corner

This is certainly an amazing opportunity to learn from successful businesses, network with industry professionals, and to learn more about entrepreneurship. Subsidies will be going fast so act now! Hoping to get as much Waterloo presence at the conference as possible! #NBTC14

Vernon Tam (Campus Ambassador)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Take the first step towards earning an MBA from Queen's

Information Session: Tuesday March 11, 2014

Queen's Graduate Diploma in Business:
The first step in your journey towards a Queen's MBA

Have you ever considered complementing your engineering education with an understanding of business fundamentals?  If so, you will be pleased to hear about Queen's Graduate Diploma in Business; an innovative new 4-month summer program, designed to provide recent graduates with the business knowledge that recruiters are looking for in this competitive job market.
The completion of this program also represents a significant step towards earning your Queen's MBA, as each of the credits can be applied towards a variety of Queen's School of Business Masters programs in the future.
On March 11th, join us for an information session at the University of Waterloo, hosted by Program Manager Dan McBride.  During the short presentation, you will learn how the knowledge and skills acquired in this program will prepare you for a broad range of careers and open doors that may not have been previously available to you.
Register now and learn about:
The Program Curriculum: Learn about the 8 courses included in the 4-month curriculum
The Power of Teams: Our team-based program not only mirrors the workplace, but also provides numerous opportunities to practice your team and leadership skills
Applying your credits towards future studies: Learn how the credits earned during this program can be applied towards a Queen's MBA
The Application Process: Learn how you can join our next class
Information Session

Mar. 11, 2014
4:00 PM EDT
University of Waterloo

Multipurpose Room -
SLC Main Floor
60 minutes
Can't make it? Register for our next online information session and receive the recording via email.

Register now >

Stay Connected


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Professional M.Sc. Program in Big Data

The School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the brand new Professional M.Sc. program for admission to the Fall 2014 semester (starting in September 2014).

Application deadline:

The application deadline is April 1st, 2014. We will keep admissions open until we fill available slots for the Fall 2014 cohort. We aim to notify students of acceptance by May 1st, 2014.

To apply:

First read about the application process:

Note that you do not need to find a supervisor or contact any faculty from the department. A supervisor will be assigned to you when you are admitted into the program.

Then go to the online application system:

You will have to create a new account by supplying a password and security question.

Enter the following details to apply for the Professional M.Sc. in Big Data:

Department: Computing Science
Program: Computing Science MSc Big Data
Start date / Term: Fall 2014

Program objectives and outcomes:

The program curriculum will cover the following areas:
  • Analysis of scalability of algorithms to big data.
  • Data warehouses and online analytical processing.
  • Efficient storage of big data including data streams.
  • Scalable querying and reporting on massive data sets.
  • Scalable and distributed hardware and software architectures.
  • Software as a service. Cloud Computing.
  • Big data programming models: map-reduce, etc.
  • Dealing with unstructured data such as images, text or biological sequences.
  • Scalable machine learning methods such as online learning.
  • Data mining: methods for learning descriptive and predictive models from data.
  • Distributed algorithms over very large graphs and matrices.
  • Social media analysis.
  • Visualization methods and interactive data exploration.
Students will complete 30 units of graduate work. These units are divided into three main sections: 15 credits of graduate course work; 12 credits of specialized lab work; 3 credits for co-op.

Graduation Timeline:

  • Fall 2014: 3 graduate courses
  • Spring 2015: 1 graduate course + 1 lab course specialized in Big Data
  • Summer 2015: Paid co-op semester in industry in Big Data
  • Fall 2015: 1 graduate course + 1 lab course specialized in Big Data

The students will take three 3 credit graduate courses in their first semester (Fall); one 3 credit graduate course and one 6 credit lab course in their second semester (Spring); one 3 credit co-op in their third semester (Summer); one 3 credit graduate course and one 6 credit lab course in their fourth semester (Fall). This will enable most students to finish 30 credits in four semesters.


Tuition has not been finalized by SFU but the anticipated tuition fees for this Professional M.Sc. program is about $6500 per semester for domestic (Canadian) students and about $7800 per semester for international students for four semesters. We expect all students to graduate in four semesters, but in the case of exceptional circumstances there will be a continuing fee that is half the normal tuition per semester after the first four semesters.

The program includes a paid co-op (internship) semester which will pay for a substantial portion of the tuition fees.


For more information about the Big Data M.Sc. program please see the web page at:

You can also contact us by email:

For information about the online application please refer to the FAQs before sending an email:

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Problem Solving and Test-Taking Strategies for Math Midterms

Wednesday, February 12 - 4:30-6pm in MC 4042

This workshop will be facilitated by a Success Coach and a Math PhD student.  The workshop will use examples from Math courses to illustrate problem solving strategies and we’ll share test-taking skills that have worked for other Math students.  

Monday, 10 February 2014

BlackBerry Q&A session (General Interview)

Prior to the Blitz on Feb 11 and 12, BlackBerry Campus Ambassador, Sajjad Mosharraf, will represent the company to meet with students and answer any question you may have about the interview and application process at BlackBerry.

 *** Attending this event won't have any impact on your hiring decision; however, you will have a chance to talk with our former co-ops and find out about their interview and co-op experience at BlackBerry. Bring your resume and stand out in the crowd!

Date: February 10th, 2014
Location: RCH 306
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Microsoft Lunch & Learn

Marc Gagné
Senior Developer Evangelist Cloud

Wednesday, Feb 12th
Fishbowl - DC 1301

You may have heard about Windows Azure (you know Microsoft's cloud offering) but wrote it off because you don't do .NET or even use Windows. Well in this lunch and learn you'll see how wrong you are. Windows Azure has support for Node.js, php, python, Linux VMs and more. You'll be shown quick and practical demos on using git to deploy your sites, how to setup a Linux VMs with SSH key authentication and more. You'll also learn about BizSpark, a program from Microsoft for all tech startups that includes free software, $150 a month for 3 years in hosting and even a one-time $5,000 a month for a year offer for select startups.

Oh and there will be pizza too!

Volunteer opportunity! MARCH OPEN HOUSE

Spread your love for Waterloo Computer Science to future students! Sign up to be a volunteer!

Event details:
Saturday, March 1
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Volunteers will receive a free lunch and t-shirt!

A volunteer orientation session will take place on Wednesday, February 26 from 5:00 - 6:00 pm in DC 1304.

For more information, please contact Sumair Ali.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

BlackBerry Campus Ambassador

Sajjad Mosharraf, our campus ambassador is available to answer any question you may have about the resume, application process and co-op/ summer internship position ‎ at BlackBerry.

You may contact him via email at (( smosharr-at-uwaterloo-dot-ca)) or just simply BBM him at ((2FFFAC2C)).

CS Upper Year Course Information Session

  • Information on all fourth-year and optional third-year courses.
  • Differences among courses explained
  • Advice on preparation for upper-year specialization (e.g. what courses to choose to prepare for graphics, AI)
Monday, February 10
DC 1302
Refreshments will be provided

Monday, 3 February 2014

Technology Internship

The Security Governance Group (SGG), an international affairs consulting firm, is offering a four-month internship for technology experts with an interest in global politics. The firm’s clients in this dynamic industry include the United Nations, the US government, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.

The SGG is hoping to hire a Technology Intern to support its e-conferencing efforts, which include high profile virtual events and seminars. While the position is unpaid, our internship program will introduce you to the world of international affairs, state building and post-conflict reconstruction. Interns are expected to devote 10 hours to the position each week.

Desired Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or current student in the field of information technology or computer science.
  • Web design skills required.
  • Knowledge of e-conferencing or e-learning systems is a strong asset.
  • Graphic design skills are an asset.
  • Knowledge of political science or international relations is an asset but is not required.
  • Strong ability to plan, organize, prioritize work, and multi-task to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to apply attention to detail and consistently produce timely and error-free work.

We invite candidates to send a short cover letter explaining their background and a CV to:

Deadline for Applications is February 17