CS 133: Databases

Spring 2017


Course Description

Database management systems are powerful tools for storing, managing, and querying data. This course provides an introduction to database systems, with a focus on system design principles and techniques. Topics to be covered include:

Textbook: Database Management Systems 3rd Edition, by Ramakrishnan and Gehrke

Course Aims and Objectives

This course aims to:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

Course Format

This course meets twice a week for lecture; students are expected to attend. The course calendar will include the topics covered in each lecture as well as the corresponding textbook chapter(s). Students should read the listed material before class. The calendar may shift slightly if necessary (exam dates will remain fixed).

Coursework includes five significant programming labs using Java and SQL, in addition to shorter weekly problem sets. Students may work alone or with a partner for the programming labs (and may discuss general ideas with other students). For the problem sets, students may again discuss general ideas but should complete the problems on their own. There will be one midterm and one final exam. The final will be cumulative, but have more emphasis on material covered during the latter half of the semester.


Evaluation of student performance in this course will be based on labs, problem sets, exams, and participation/attendance:

Labs40%200 pts
Problem sets14%70 pts
Midterm20%100 pts
Final20%100 pts
Participation6%30 pts

Late Policy

Each student will be allowed four total "slip" days that can be used on the assignments. For example, you could hand in one assignment four days late, or four assignments each one day late, or two assignments each two days late, etc. Each day can only be used in its entirety (you cannot use "half" a day to turn in an assignment twelve hours late). You cannot use slip days on lab intermediate deadlines. If working in teams, slip days are deducted from each team member's allotment. After slip days are exhausted, any assignment handed in late will be marked off 25% per day.

In the case of emergency or other special circumstances, we can discuss extensions on assignments in consultation with the Dean for Student Health and/or the Dean for Academic Affairs.


My goal is to make my course equally accessible to all of you. To request academic accommodations you'll contact the relevant disabilities resources person from your institution. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Honor Code

Students enrolled in this course are expected to adhere to the Harvey Mudd College Honor Code. As per the Student Handbook, students suspected of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Judiciary Board.