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 CSE444 Introduction to Database Systems - Fall 2005
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CSE 444 Syllabus

Dan Suciu

Course Goals
Databases are at the heart of modern commercial application development. Their use extends beyond this to many applications and environments where large amounts of data must be stored for efficient update and retrieval. The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the design and use of database systems, as well as an appreciation of the key issues in building such systems.
We begin by covering the relational model and the SQL language. We then study methods for database design, covering the entity relationship model. Next, we discuss XML as a data model, and present languages for querying it. We see how XML is used for sharing data among different applications in a distributed environment. We then inspect the architecture of a database system, and discuss efficient storage of data, execution of queries and query optimization. Finally, we touch on some advanced topics in database systems.
Course Format
The class meets three times a week for lectures. We won't meet in the computer lab except perhaps very occasionally. We will follow parts of the textbook (see below). There will be 4 homework assignments (some of which will involve light programming). In addition, there will be a programming project, due in 3 stages. You can usually find copies of the slides used in the lecture on the web site, on the day of the lecture.
MWF 10:30-11:20, EE1 037
Midterm: Wednesday, November 2, 10:30 - 11:20 (in class)
Final: Monday, December 12, 8:30 - 10:20
Instructor Information & Office Hours

Office hours  
Dan Suciu, Professor Allen 662 685-1934 suciu@cs Wednesday 11:30 AM
Ashish K Gupta, TA
Allen 506
akgupta@cs Friday 12:30 PM
Nathan Bales, TA

Main textbook:

  • Database Systems: the Complete Handbook, by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jennifer Widom, and Jeffrey Ullman. Available from the University Bookstore

Web sources: there will be some reading assignments from the Web:

Other texts:

The library will have on reserve other books that you might find useful if you require another explanation of a topic:
  • Fundamentals of database systems by Elsmasri and Navathe.
  • XQuery from the experts, edited by Katz
  • Database management systems by Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke.
  • Foundations of database systems by Abiteboul, Hull and Vianu.
  • Data on the Web: from relations to semistructured data and XML by Abiteboul, Buneman, Suciu.
Programming and Homework
Some programming will be necessary in this course. One can only start to appreciate database systems by actually trying to use one. There will also be homeworks with no programming at all.
Late Policy
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date, unless otherwise announced. Barring unusual circumstances, late homework will not be accepted.
Tentative Grading Breakdown
Homework: 25%
Project: 30%
Midterm: 15%
Final: 25%
Intangibles: 5%
I hope you will attend every lecture. If you miss a lecture, talk to a friend who was present, and be sure to check the Web site for class messages.
The course website and mailing list will be used extensively to provide you with course information, such as the schedule mentioned above, homework assignments and solutions, class messages and many other things.
Computer Systems
For the required hands-on homework, access to Microsoft SQL Server is needed, for which you will all be given accounts. This software is available in the NT lab. Additional software may be required for the project. You are allowed to use a different relational database management system, if you wish. Upon request, Bhushan Mandhani will create an account for you on MySQL (http://www.mysql.com/), the most popular free database system, which runs both on Unix and Windows. Expect less support for MySQL than for SQL Server.  Alternatively, you may want to use a commercial system like Oracle or DB2, or some other free system Postgres (http://www.postgresql.org/). In that case you need to install it yourself. We will provide no support at all.
Computer Use Policy
Some excerpts from the campus policies. Take them seriously: "You must use all UW [computing] resources in strict accordance with local, state, and federal laws. These laws cover such areas as illegal access to computer systems, networks, and files; copyright violations; and harassment issues... Software and information resources provided through the university for use by faculty, staff, and students may be used on computing equipment only as specified in the various software licenses. Unauthorized use of software, images, or files is regarded as a serious matter and any such use is without the consent of the University of Washington...If abuse of computer software, images, or files occurs, those responsible for such abuse will be held legally accountable."
Academic Misconduct
 All work turned in is expected to be your own. Although students are encouraged to study together, each student is expected to produce his or her own solution to the homework problems. Coping or using sections of someone else's program, even if it has been modified by you, is not acceptable. The University has very clear guidelines for academic misconduct and the staff of CSE 444 will be vigorous in enforcing them.

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