Database Systems

Thurs 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Room: WWH 109

Instructor: David Tanzer (
Office hours: Thurs 1:00 to 2:00 pm, WWH 419

Teaching Assistant: Yunyue Zhu (
Office hours: Mon 3:00 to 5:00 pm, WWH 408

Grader: Yong Liu (
Office hours: Tues 7:00 to 9:00 pm, WWH 426, and by appointment


The course covers the concepts of database systems with a special emphasis on relational database systems and SQL. Topics covered will include:

* Architecture of database systems.
* Logical design of relational databases, including normalization.
* Data definition and data manipulation using SQL.
* Physical design, including storage management and access techniques.
* Query-Processing
* Selected advanced issues.

Course Work

Homework assignments, final exam, final project.


Silberschatz, Korth and Sudarshan : Database System Concepts
McGraw Hill, Third Edition, 1998
ISBN Number: 0-07-031086-6

Course Mailing List

All students should register themselves with the class list, which we will use for technical discussions and course announcements. Click here to subscribe. To post a message, send email to: Click here for the archives.

The list can be used for discussion of any course-related topics--with the obvious exception that it should not be used as a medium for solving the homework problems. Please send your questions to this list (not to the instructor) so that everyone can participate. The TA's and/or I will then reply to the list.


Late homework will not be accepted, unless you have a note from your employer or doctor. This is because we will generally be discussing the solutions to the homework on the day that they are due.

Reading Homework: Sign up for the course mailing list. Buy the textbook.
Read: Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3

Here are the solutions to homework 2. Thanks to Yong and Yunyue.

Lecture Notes

The notes are available here as pdf files. All of the notes by the authors of the textbook are available at this site . But those notes cover a very large scope of topics, and so they won't all be covered in this class. On this page I will place the notes that I actually use in class.

1. General Introduction and Preview of Various Topics
mod1.2.pdf Textbook Slides
unit1.pdf My Slides

2. Entity-Relationship Model mod2.2.pdf
3. Relational Model mod3.2.pdf
4. SQL mod4.2.pdf
5. Functional Dependencies and Relational Design Theory (my notes) design.pdf
7. Problems and Solutions on Third Normal Form
3nf_prob.pdf (disregard the heading "Homework 6")
3nf_sol.pdf (disregard the heading here also)

Alternative Lecture Notes

These notes are supplementary, not necessary. This link is the homepage for my undergraduate course.
Here are some of those slides that I have used this term:

Unit6b (intro to functional dependencies)
The last slides of unit4, on Embedded SQL (which won't be covered on homeworks or final)

Note: the slides on Transaction Processing and Concurrency Control, are NOT part of our curriculum. They are covered in advanced databases.

Note: ignore all references to homework there, we are following a different program.