Course Syllabus

Fall 2020 EECS 498-009

Data Science Projects: Reducing Emissions through Applied Data Science


Course Overview

This course will provide opportunities for students to apply advanced data science techniques to real-world problems. with a focus on reducing the environmental impact of personal and freight mobility systems. Students will work in teams throughout the semester on one of three projects as part of a collaboration between the Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL).

Research areas include anomaly detection within vehicle emissions,  sparse data analysis of marine vessel traffic, and quantifying maritime emissions.


3 credit hours. This course is an approved Data Science Capstone for undergraduates in the Data Science-Engineering program.



Students must have received credit for either EECS 445 – Introduction to Machine Learning or STATS 415 – Data Mining and Machine Learning. Student should be comfortable in coding in either Python or MATLAB.



Jonathan Gryak, H.V. Jagadish


Required Textbook

None. Slides and other course materials will be distributed through Canvas.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Formulate and execute a research plan for applying data science to a real-world dataset.
  2. Understand the issues of applying data science techniques to real-world datasets and how to mitigate them.
  3. Communicate research results with both domain experts and a general audience.


Course Schedule

All meetings will be held virtually via BlueJeans from 1:30-3:00 PM unless otherwise noted.

  • Thursday, September 3 – Course Introduction, Research Plans, and Introduction to Research Projects
  • Tuesday, September 8 – Kickoff meeting with NVFEL Staff Meeting
  • Thursday, September 10 - Team Formation, Project Discussion, and Overview of Relevant Data Science Techniques
  • Wednesday, September 16 - Draft Research Plans due at 4 PM
  • Thursday, September 17 - Review of Research Plans
  • Friday, September 25 - Revised Research Plans due at 4 PM
  • Wednesday, September 30 and every Wednesday until December 2 - Meeting Agendas due at 4 PM
  • Thursday, October 1 and every Thursday until December 3 – Weekly Progress Meeting - Summaries due by 4 PM Friday
  • Tuesday, October 20 – Meeting with NVFEL Staff
  • Friday, October 23Midterm reports due at 4 PM
  • Tuesday, November 17 – Meet with NVFEL Staff
  • Friday, December 11Final reports due at 4 PM
  • Tuesday, December 15Final presentations.


Holiday/Study Breaks (No Meetings):

  • November 26 – Thanksgiving Recess
  • December 10 – Examinations



10% Participation in Weekly Meetings, 10% Participation in Monthly Meetings with NVFEL staff, 30% Midterm Report, 40% Final Report, and 10% Final Presentation.

  • Weekly Meetings – Every week all students will participate in an hour-long progress meeting. Each team will be required to set a meeting agenda in advance for their team’s discussion. Each team will produce a weekly summary of the meeting that will include a description of each team member’s activities, meeting minutes, intermediary results, and action items for the following week. Team members will rotate the responsibility of setting the agenda and leading their team’s discussion.
  • Monthly Meetings - Each student team will meet individually for a one-hour virtual monthly meeting with NVFEL staff. During this meeting, students will provide a short presentation of the current status of the project, from which NVFEL staff will have the opportunity to ask questions of and provide feedback to the students.
  • Midterm Report - Each team will be required to submit for evaluation a mid-term progress report. The progress report must detail a) the data science methods chosen and their scientific rationale, b) steps taken to address the research question, with both positive and negative findings, c) the current state of their proposed solution, d) a timeline outlining their remaining work, and e) anticipated challenges and how to address them.
  • Final Report - Each team will be required to submit for evaluation a final progress report. The final report must detail a) positive and negative findings, b) the final results of their proposed solution, c) how the proposal solution meets the stated NVFEL goals of the project, and d) how the solution fits into the overall NVFEL goal of reducing emissions.
  • Final Presentation – Each team will prepare a presentation for an end of semester event that will be held virtually and attended by NVFEL staff and MIDAS affiliated faculty and students. NVFEL staff will have the opportunity to provide public feedback to the participating teams during this event.


Course Policies

  • Attendance – All team members are expected to attend all requisite meetings throughout the semester. In the case of scheduled absences, the instructor must be notified in advance.
  • Academic Integrity – Students will perform their work in accordance with their schools’ respective academic integrity or honor code policies (e.g., LSA, College of Engineering)
  • Late Assignments – Late assignments will not be accepted without prior written consent by the instructor.

Please note that given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it is understood that students may be face additional challenges in completing their coursework. Please notify the instructor of your needs and reasonable accommodations will be made for these policies.

Student Resources