CSE 544 Syllabus

Dan Suciu, Spring 2002

University of Washington 
Web site: http://www.cs.washington.edu/544

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.  Their principles and fundamental techniques are being extended today to the Web and to novel kinds of data, like XML.  The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the principles of database systems.
We begin by studying database design, covering the entity relationship model and the relational model. We then study query languages: the relational algebra and SQL. As an newer model, we will cover XML and some XML query languages: XPath and XQuery. We then look at some mathematical foundations of query languages: variations of first order logic, connection to complexity classes. Next we will discuss some of the issues that arise in the implementation of database systems. We discuss the implementation of physical operators, indexes (B+ trees and hash tables), and query optimization.  Finally, we discuss some of the newer issues related to the implementation of XML query languages, and their translation to relational operators.
Course Format
The class meets two times a week for lectures. Some, but not all of the material is covered in the textbook. In addition there will be a number of reading assignments. There will be 4 homework assignments (the first will involve programming) and a programming project, which is designed as a mini research project. You can usually find copies of the slides used in the lecture on the web site, on the day of the lecture.
Mon/Wed 1:30 pm - 2:50 pm, LOW 102
Instructor Information & Office Hours: Mon, 3-4pm (subject to change -- check Web site)
Office hours 
Dan Suciu, Professor Sieg 318 685-1934 suciu@cs.washington.edu Mon 3-4pm
Peter Mork, Teaching Assistant Sieg 222 543-7119 pmork@cs.washington.edu Wed 12:30-1:20 or by appointment
The texts are available in a single shrink wrapped package from the University Bookstore. The library will have on reserve other books that you might find useful if you require another explanation of a topic:


Programming and Homework
This is not a programming class! Nevertheless, some programming will be necessary. There will be some mandatory SQL programming for setting up and querying a database in the first homework. Such queries are usually short compared to typical programs in other languages. The bulk of the programming will be for the class project.
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: 35%
Project: 35%
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 World-Wide Web and e-mail 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, students need accounts on cubist, which is running PostgreSQL.
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.