Database Systems
Prof. Mohamed Zahran   (aka Prof. Z)
mzahran AT cs DOT nyu DOT edu
Thursdays 5:00-6:50 pm  Location: WWH 109
Office Hours: Wed 4-6pm (WWH 320)


Welcome students! ... to the database systems course, edition Fall 2012.  I will keep updating this page regularly. If you have questions related to that course feel free to email me at mzahran (at) . Here is some basic information:

We have3  graders for this course!
Amey Laxman Gawde    alg489(at) 
Deepa Saini  ds3569(at)
Prathamesh Vasudeo Behere  pvb221(at)  

Our midterm is schedule to be on Oct 11th
The final exam is on  Thursday Dec 20th, same place and time as the lecture.

Mailing List

Sign up for the Mailman mailing list for the course. If the system has not already signed you.
You can do so by clicking here. Please follow the mailing list etiquette.
  • Use the Reply command to contribute to the current thread, but NOT to start another topic.
  • If quoting a previous message,  try to trim off irrelevant parts.
  • Use a descriptive Subject: field when starting a new topic.
  • Do not use one message to ask two unrelated questions.
  • Do NOT make the mistake of sending your completed project assignment to the mailing list!

  • Lectures

    Lecture                                                      reading                 

    Gentle Introduction to DB Systems                             1.1, 1.4-1.6, 1.8

    First Steps in DB Design: ER Model                           chp2 (till and including 2.5)

    From ER to Relational Model                                     chp 3 (till and including 3.6.1)

    Relational Algebra and Calculus                                  4.1  and 4.2

    SQL   I                                                                       5.2, 5.3, and 5.4

    SQL II                                                                        5.5 -> 5.9 (inclusive)

    Schema Refinement and Normalization                         Just the slides

    Physical Schema: Sorage                                              9.1, 9.3, and 9.4
    File Organization and Indexing                                      8.2,  8.3, 8.4, 8.5 (not 8.5.4), 9.5, 9.6, and 9.7

    More on Indexing                                                         10.2, 10.3, 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3




    A quick start guide about XAMMP for MySQL, prepared by our grader Amey Laxman Gawde.

    Part 1: ER Model
    Due Oct 25th
    In this part of the project you need to design an ER model for a retail store.
    You need to submit, electronically, your model as follows:
    * First page: contains your name, email, and title of the project (as indicated below)
    * Second page: All the assumptions you came up with as a bulleted list. You can use more than one page if you want.
    * Then the ER model.
    Based on your last name, the retail store assigned to you, and the grader
    you need to email your ER model to is as follows.
    Part 2:  Relation Model
    Due Nov 15th
    Now that you guys have an ER model, it is time to go to the next step and create the logic schema.
    In that part of the project you need to do two things:
    Gzip the above two files in a file called:  (where lastname is your lastname and firstname is your first name).
    Email the zip file to your corresponding grader.

    Part 3: Indexing and File Organizations
    Due Dec 6th
    Given the tables generated in part 2 of the project, you need to do the following:
    Submit a softcopy  to graders.
    Homeworks Assignments

    HW1 (Due Sep 20th)   Sol   Comments
    HW2 (Due Sep 27th)   Sol   Comments
    HW3 (Due Oct 4th)     Sol  
    HW4 (Due Nov 1st)    Sol


    Midterm-Fall12          Solutions

    Interesting Links (Geeky stuff about Database Systems)

    If you have an interesting link, please email it to the instructor and it will find its way to this page.

    Some fun stuff regarding SQL and DB in general

    List of reserved or not-supported keywords in SQL 




    Latest SQL standard: SQL:2011