7 Important Data Science Papers


It is back-to-school time, and here are some papers to keep you busy this school year. All the papers are free. This list is far from exhaustive, but these are some important papers in data science and big data.

Google Search

  • PageRank – This is the paper that explains the algorithm behind Google search.


  • MapReduce – This paper explains a programming model for processing large datasets. In particular, it is the programming model used in hadoop.
  • Google File System – Part of hadoop is HDFS. HDFS is an open-source version of the distributed file system explained in this paper.


These are 2 of the papers that drove/started the NoSQL debate. Each paper describes a different type of storage system intended to be massively scabable.

Machine Learning

Bonus Paper

  • Random Forests – One of the most popular machine learning techniques. It is heavily used in Kaggle competitions, even by the winners.

Are there any other papers you feel should be on the list?

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