Andreas Weigend | Social Data Revolution | Fall 2014
School of Information | University of California at Berkeley | INFO 290A-03

Homework 3: Paper

Assigned: Fri Oct 24, 2014
Due: Fri Oct 31, 2014 at noon

In this class, we have started to discuss at a number of different ways in which new data sources can have an impact on individuals, business, and society. In the first class, we learned about how physical stores are starting to use sensors to observe consumer patterns in the same way that Amazon logs our clicks. Through LinkedIn, we saw how the social graph, representing relations between individuals, can be used to improve recruitment and marketing. When Max Levchin from Affirm came to class, he told us that if he could have access to tumor imaging data, he would want to build a system to crowdsource cancer diagnosis and lower the cost of cancer screening. Gary Kearns from MasterCard Advisors gave us a peak into the vast range of possibilities that can be realized with transactional data from 2 billion credit cards


Your task for this assignment is to write a short paper on the topic:
If you had access to all the data in the world, what would you build?

You can pick one of the verticals we will tackle in the remaining classes – Future of Work, Health, etc., but it might be more interesting to pick an area you are personally passionate about. How will data transform the sports you love, the music you play, the relationships you have? The way you sleep, walk and eat? Think about activities you are care for a great deal, and how social data and the things we have talked about in class can transform those activities.


Your paper should be between 300 and 600 words in length. Please cover the following points in your paper:
  1. What is the problem you are trying to address?
  2. How is the problem being addressed today and why is it not adequate?
  3. What are the type and scope of the data you need for your idea?
  4. What hurdles do you see in the executions, and how will you overcome them?

You should support your points with a reasonable amount of research and background information.


Please email your paper in either PDF or DOCX format to raven at cs dot stanford dot edu with the subject “INFO 290A-03 Homework 3”

Direct any questions to Raven Jiang (raven at cs dot stanford dot edu)