Cloud Computing

Module Tutor: Dell Zhang
Time: Friday evenings 6pm - 9pm (Spring Term)
Room: Birkbeck Main Building, Malet Street (MAL) 421 [BBK-DCS Teaching Map]
Code: BUCI028H6 (for UG), BUCI029H7 (for PG)
Teaching Assistant: Cosmin Stamate

Facebook Group: Cloud Computing (Birkbeck)

Prerequisites: Good knowledge of object-oriented programming in Python would be necessary.
BSc students should have already taken the Software and Programming II (SP2) module.
MSc students who did not have much experience in software development before joining their respective postgraduate programmes should have already taken the Principles of Programming I (POP1) module.

UCL students: Please note that although this Birkbeck module is taught in the spring term of 2018/19, all UCL students who would like to take it as part of their MSc programme must complete and submit the signed intercollegiate study application form (2018/19) to the admin office (Room 263, Birkbeck Main Building), before the deadline 31st October 2018.
The module can accommodate at most 25 UCL students (first-come, first-served) from MSc WSBDA and MSc DS.


Jothy Rosenberg and Arthur Mateos,
The Cloud at Your Service,
Manning, 2010.
Companion Website
Dan Marinescu,
Cloud Computing: Theory and Practice,
Morgan Kaufmann, 2013.
Companion Website
eBook in the Birkbeck Library
Jimmy Lin and Chris Dyer,
Data-Intensive Text Processing with MapReduce,
Morgan and Claypool, 2010.
Free eBook
Companion Website
Code and Data
Serge Abiteboul, Ioana Manolescu, Philippe Rigaux,
Marie-Christine Rousset, and Pierre Senellart,
Web Data Management ,
Cambridge University Press, 2011.
Free eBook
Companion Website
Jure Leskovec, Anand Rajaraman and Jeff Ullman,
Mining of Massive Datasets, 2nd edition,
Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Free eBook (3rd edition, beta version)
Companion Website
Ian Foster and Dennis Gannon,
Cloud Computing for Science and Engineering,
MIT Press, 2017.
Free eBook
Companion Website
Chuck Lam,
Hadoop in Action,
Manning, 2010.
Companion Website
Code and Data
Tom White,
Hadoop: The Definitive Guide, 4th edition,
O'Reilly Media, 2015.
Companion Website
Code and Data

Resources and Tools

Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS Educate; Amazon EC2, and Amazon EMR, etc.
Apache: Hadoop and Spark, etc.


Week Date Lecture
1 18/01/2019

Introduction to Cloud Computing
  • What is cloud computing
  • The history of cloud computing[CAYS-1.0] [CAYS-1.3] [CAYS-9.1]
  • The principles of cloud computing [CAYS-1.1] [CCSE-4.1]
  • The benefits of cloud computing [CAYS-1.2]
  • The economics of cloud computing [CAYS-3.1]
  • Where does the cloud (not) make sense [CAYS-3.2,3.3]

Cloud Computing Technologies and Types
2 25/01/2019
Parallel Computing and Distributed Systems
  • Parallel Computing: speed-up, parallelism, locking [CCTP-2a]
  • Distributed Systems: CAP theorem, logical clocks, snapshot algorithms, consensus protocols, RESTful APIs [WDM-14a] [CCTP-2a] [CAYS-2.1.3]
3 01/02/2019
Big Data
4 08/02/2019
MapReduce and Hadoop
5 15/02/2019
UCL Reading Week: No Cloud Computing Lecture for BBK and UCL Students.
Please find below the materials to read.
Selected Case Studies
Getting Started with Google App Engine (GAE)
6 22/02/2019
MAL 414/415
MAL 416/417
Practical Lab Class (NOT required for UG Students)
[slides] [slides]
7 01/03/2019
Developing MapReduce Programs
  • MapReduce algorithm design [DITP-3] [HIA-4,5,6,7] [HTDG-6,7,8]
8 08/03/2019
Information Retrieval in the Cloud
9 15/03/2019
Link Analysis in the Cloud
10 22/03/2019
Data Management in the Cloud
11 29/03/2019
Data Analytics and Machine Learning in the Cloud
-- Friday
6pm - 9pm
43 Gordon Sq
Revision Lecture (for UG Students)
2012-13 UG Exam Paper
2013-14 UG Exam Paper
2014-15 UG Exam Paper
2015-16 UG Exam Paper
2016-17 UG Exam Paper
2017-18 UG Exam Paper
[extra] [extra]
-- Friday
6pm - 9pm
43 Gordon Sq
Revision Lecture (for PG Students)
2012-13 PG Exam Paper
2013-14 PG Exam Paper
2014-15 PG Exam Paper
2015-16 PG Exam Paper
2016-17 PG Exam Paper
2017-18 PG Exam Paper
[extra] [extra]
-- ------------ More on Data Management in the Cloud
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)
-- ------------ More on Machine Learning in the Cloud
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)
-- ------------ Security of Cloud Computing
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)
-- ------------ Beyond MapReduce
(Optional self-study material, excluded from assessment.)
-- ------------ Guest Lectures (2014-2015)
Guest Lectures (2013-2014)
Guest Lectures (2012-2013)


Coursework: 20%

Please submit your solutions in electronic form, through the Moodle system.
Penalty for late submission (i.e., after the normal deadline):
the coursework mark will be capped at the minimum pass mark (i.e., 40% for UG students and 50% for PG students).

Examination: 80%
Past exam papers can be found at Birkbeck eLibrary.

Python Programming

Python [A Short Course for BGRS and BPSN]


Research on MapReduce (Literature)