Dell Zhang's Final Project Ideas

BSc Project Guidance [internal]

MSc Project Guidance

MSc CS/Info Project Notes [lectures]
MSc AIS/IWT/IT Project Notes

Research Interests

My main research interests are Machine Learning, Data Mining and Information Retrieval.
I am also keen on Bayesian Statistics and Complex Networks (such as Social and Economic Networks).

Example Topics

Social Information Retrieval
Students are invited to do a project in the broad arena of social search.
Appropriate topics include, but are not limited to:

Please refer to the following excerpt from the CFP of IEEE Internet Computing - Special Issue on Social Search.
The last few years have witnessed the rapid rise of "social media" websites such as flickr,, youtube, myspace and facebook. These sites contain user-generated content of various forms, ranging from plain text to rich multimedia. They commonly provide capabilities for users to place tags, recommendations, and comments onto user-generated content, and to form tightly-knit user communities based shared interests. In addition, visitors to such sites may not arrive with a particular goal in mind, but may simply want to "get an update" or "be entertained" during their spare time; these visitors typically seek not just the content itself, but also an understanding of the individual who posted it.
These types of websites introduce a range of new challenges and opportunities in search. The rich "meta data" provided by users (such as tags, recommendations and comments) help identify the high-quality content from the vast amount of noise, but they can potentially be more susceptible to user manipulation. Additionally, properties of the author of the content may be employed in ranking the content, along with properties of the searcher's relationship to the author.
Initial References:
Social Search [Wikipedia], Social Media [Wikipedia] and Social Network [Wikipedia]
Survey on Social Tagging Techniques [ACM SIGKDD Explorations, 12(1), Jul 2010]
IEEE Internet Computing (vol. 11 no. 6) - Special Issue on Social Search
IEEE Data Engineering Bulletin (vol. 31, no. 2) - Special Issue on Recommendation and Search in Social Systems
ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (vol. 1, no. 1) - Special Issue on AI in Social Computing and Cultural Modeling
ACM CIKM 2008 Workshop on Search in Social Media (SSM 2008)
ACM CIKM 2009 Workshop on Social Web Search and Mining (SWSM2009)
ACM CIKM 2010 Workshop on Search and Mining User-generated Contents (SMUC 2010)
AAAI Spring Symposium on Social Information Processing - 2008
AAAI International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM)
ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Social Network Mining and Analysis (SNA-KDD)
NIPS 2010 Workshop -- Machine Learning for Social Computing (MLSC 2010)

Project Ideas for Reference

Stanford CS341: Data & Ideas.
Stanford CS229: Project Suggestions and Recent Year's Projects.

Recommended Modules

Information Retrieval and Organisation
Cloud Computing

Suggested Reading

Toby Segaran, Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web 2.0 Applications, O'Reilly, 2007.
Matthew Russell, Mining the Social Web: Analyzing Data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Other Social Media Sites, O'Reilly, 2011.

Preferred Programming Languages

Python, Matlab, R, C++, and Java. (in the descending order of preference)

My Blog - Research on Search