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 CSEP 544 - Principles of Database Systems
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CSEP 544 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, discuss a few advanced data management topics, such as the use of views and subtle issues in concurrency control, and to give 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. We spend a lecture on the advanced use of views in data management. Next, we discuss transaction management, covering both recovery from systems failures and concurrency control. We then inspect the architecture of a database system, and discuss efficient storage of data, execution of queries and query optimization.

Course Format

The class meets once a week for lectures. Lecture slides are in powerpoint and will be made available on the web prior to the lecture. Some lectures follow the textbook losely, others contain material that is not included in the texbook. The lecture itself plus the the lecture notes are designed to be clear and selfcontained, so please make every effort to come to class. You are also encouraged to read from the textbook. There will be seven homework assignments: the odd numbered ones are mini programming project, the even numbered are theoretical assignments.


Wednesdays 6:30-9:20 pm, CSE 305


Take Home Final:   Posted Dec 8 (Midnight), Due Dec 9 (Midnight)

Instructor Information & Office Hours

Office hours  
 Dan Suciu, Professor  Allen 662  685-1934  suciu[at]cs Wednesdays, 5-6pm
 Jessica Leung, TA
 By email appointments
 Paramjit Singh Sandhu, TA
 By email appointments

Main textbook:

  • Database Management Systems (third edition), Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke.    (Most of the advanced material is form this book.)

Second textbook:

  • Database Systems: The Complete Book, Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeffrey Ullman, Jennifer Widom.   (Some of the basic material follows this book.)

Web sources:

Late Policy

  • You are allowed a total of 3 late-days that you can use in 24-hour chunks at anytime. Please note that once you use-up your late days, no additional extensions will be granted for any reason at all. You should thus save your late-days only for true emergencies. Also note that everything must be handed in by the end of the last lecture in the quarter. No assignments nor projects will be accepted after that date even if you have late-days left.


Home work: 70%
Final: 30%


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 Website for class messages.

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 CSEP 544 will be vigorous in enforcing them.

CSE logo Department of Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
Box 352350
Seattle, WA  98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX