This course is over now. Please take a look at the project results.

It is now almost two decades since the Web has been invented. Initially motivated by the need to link documents across computer systems to support large collaborations in high energy physics, the Web evolved rapidly. It has reshaped the notion of information systems, and changed our social interactions and cultural development. Decentralization and openness were fundamental design principles in the Web Architecture and enabled the creation of large, community-driven information spaces such as Wikipedia. In recent years, these principles were adopted for publishing structured data on the Web, resulting in efforts such as Linked Data,, or the Open Graph protocol.

This course will introduce you to technologies for building data-centric information systems on the World Wide Web, show the practical applications of such systems, and discuss their design and their social and policy context by examining cross-cutting issues such as citizen science, data journalism and open government. Course work involves lectures and readings as well as weekly homework assignments, and a semester-long project in which the students demonstrate their expertise in building data-centric Web information systems.

Course Schedule

Week Date Day Lecture Homework Project
1 8/23 TH Course Introduction
8/26 SU hw1 released
2 8/28 TU The History and Architecture of the Internet
8/30 TH
9/2 SU hw1 due & hw2 released
3 9/4 TU The History and Architecture of the Web
9/6 TH
9/9 SU hw2 due & hw3 released
4 9/11 TU Web Architecture: Structured Formats (XML) - Part 1
9/13 TH Web Architecture: Structured Formats (XML Schema, XPath, RELAX NG) - Part 2
5 9/18 TU Web Architecture: Structured Formats (XML Manipulation/XSLT) - Part 3
9/20 TH Web Architecture: Structured Formats (JSON/YAML) - Part 4 hw3 due & hw4 released
6 9/25 TU Recap
9/27 TH Internet Surveillance hw4 due (@10am!) & hw5 released
7 10/2 TU RESTful Webservice APIs
10/4 TH hw5 due
8 10/9 TU (no class) Fall Break
10/11 TH Global Data Networks Intro hw6 released
10/14 SU project proposal due
9 10/16 TU Linked Data Technologies
10/18 TH hw7 released
10 10/23 TU Publishing Structured Web Data
10/25 TH hw6 due & hw8 released
11 10/30 TU Making Use of Structured Web Data
11/1 TH hw7 due
12 11/6 TU Student Projects project status presentation
11/8 TH hw9 released
11/11 SU hw8 due
13 11/13 TU Cross Cutting Issue: Memento - Time Travel for the Web (Herbert van de Sompel)
11/15 TH Cross Cutting Issue: Human Computation and Citizen Science hw9 due & hw10 released
14 11/20 TU Cross Cutting Issue: Citizen Science in Ornithology: eBird (Steve Kelling)
11/22 TH (no class) Thanksgiving Recess
15 11/27 TU Open Data at the New York Times (Evan Sandhaus)
11/29 TH Last class / Recap hw10 due (10am!)
12/05 Final Project Presentations (Make-up slot), Location: 301 College Avenue, Large Conference Room
12/13 Final Project Presentations, Location: Thurston Hall 203 203 final report due