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 CSE 544: Syllabus
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CSE 544 Syllabus

Dan Suciu, Spring 2006

University of Washington 
Web site:

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 quickly the relational model the SQL language, conceptual design, and XML/XQuery.  There will be two homeworks for practicing SQL and XQuery.  We will then discuss classical topics in databases: transactions (ACID properties, recovery from crashes and concurrency management), query processing techniques, and query optimizations.  These topics will be partially covered by papers, and by the textbook.  Finally, we will discuss two novel topics in data management: database security (fine grained access control and anonymization techniques) and approximate query answering (IR-style queries and probabilistic databases).  Both are covered by research papers.

Course Format
The class meets two times a week for lectures. Some of the material is covered in the textbook, and in addition there will be a number of reading assignments.  Lectures are usually given on Wednesday, and paper readings are due by next Monday (short reviews are due the evening before). There will be three homework assignments: short SQL programming, short XQuery programming, and a problem set covering a variety of topics. There will be 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 10:30 am - 11:50 am, EE1 003
Final Exam
June 5, 8:30 am - 10:20 am, EE1 003
Instructor Information & Office Hours

Office hours 
Dan Suciu, Professor CSE 662 206-685-1934 Wed 12 pm - 1 pm.
Bhushan Mandhani, TA
CSE 490
206-543-4149 TBA
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, both in the first homework and in the project. For the first homework you need to work with a relational database system (you have a choice of SQL Server or Postgres) and with the Galax XQuery interpreter (which you have to download from here). Depending on the topic, the projects will involve programming in a general-purpose language (C++, Java, etc), and/or using a query processor (SQL, XQuery). 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: 20%
Project: 30%
Paper reviews: 20%
Participation in discussions: 10%
Final: 20%
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. Copying 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 544 will be vigorous in enforcing them.

Last modified: Sun Mar 26 19:49:23 PST 2006