CPSC 343: Database Theory and Practice
Fall 2006


Stina Bridgeman
Lansing 312, x3614

Course Description

Information is the currency of the Information Age, but having vast quantities of information is useless if you cannot quickly locate the relevant data. Computer databases are used to store, organize, and retrieve information in a useful way. Databases are extremely common, particularly in conjunction with Web sites - if you've ever used amazon.com, eBay, or HWS' library catalog (to name just a few sites), you've interacted with a database.

The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to the theory and practice of relational databases. Four major aspects of relational databases will be addressed: data modeling and database design, SQL, building a Web site which interacts with a database, and understanding how database systems store and process information reliably, securely, and efficiently. Both practical skills and the necessary theoretical underpinnings will be emphasized.

Office Hours

M 12:30-1:30pm, W 3-4:30pm, R 10:30am-noon, F 9:30-10:30am
or by appointment (schedule)

Class Hours and Meeting Place

Lecture/discussion MWF 11:15am-12:10pm, Lansing 301

Some meetings will be in the Lansing 310 computer lab; these will be announced in advance.

Course Links


[12/7] There is a correction to the formula for J2 in the query cost evaluation handout. The version posted on the syllabus page is correct.

[11/13] Project databases have been created: use cc3168_project, rk9872_project, or wc9604_project.

[10/27] For part 1.e on homework #14, the target solution posted was for departments with an average salary above $50,000 instead of $30,000. Both versions are now given on the homework page.

[10/25] The MySQL server now has a name. You can connect to sbridgem instead of having to use the IP address:

mysql -h sbridgem -u <user> -p

[10/17] The MySQL server has been moved. You should now connect to instead of valentha:

mysql -h -u <user> -p

[9/18] There have been some updates to the recommendations for which mapping technique to use for binary relationships - see the handout posted on the syllabus page. Some of the earlier recommendations recommended options that resulted in redundant information (which is something that should be avoided).

[8/30] Homework #1 (due Friday) has been posted on the syllabus page.

[8/28] Office hours will end early on Wednesday 8/30 because of Convocation.

[8/28] Welcome to CPSC 343! This web page is your source for a great deal of important and useful material, so you should take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the website. Check back often for announcements and new information.

Valid HTML 4.01!