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6.893: Database Systems (Fall 2004)

3-0-9 (H)
MW 11-12:30, Room 32-144

InstructorProfessor Samuel Madden
madden AT csail DOT mit DOT edu
Office HoursBy Appointment

This course relies on primary readings from the database community to introduce graduate students to the foundations of database systems, focusing on basics such as the relational algebra and data model, schema normalization, query optimization, and transactions. It is designed for students who have taken 6.033 (or equivalent); no prior database experience is assumed though students who have taken an undergraduate course in databases are encouraged to attend.

Classes consist of lectures and discussions based on readings from the database literature. Grades are assigned based on a semester long project, as well as two exams and a few (2 or 3) problem sets. For more information about the readings and assignments, use the links at the top of the page.


12/12/04 Quiz 2 Solutions are posted. Graded quiz 2's are available for pickup in my office. Email me, or just drop by.
Class is over. Happy holidays, and have a great IAP!

11/28/04 QUIZ 2 IS WEDNESDAY 12/1. I will hold office hours in 32-G938 from 1-3:30 on Monday, or by appointment.

11/28/04 Some reminders about upcoming events in the class:

  • This Monday is the last regular lecture.
  • Quiz 2 is on Wednesday.
  • Monday, 12/6 will be a guest lecture on recovery in streaming databases from Magdalena Balazinska.
  • Wednesday, 12/8 we will have final project presentations. Each group should prepare a 10 minute presentation on your project, describing the main idea and showing results or a demo. Your final project reports are due.

11/28/04 PS3 solutions are (finally) posted here.

11/8/04 Exam 1 Solutions are posted here.

10/26/04 Exam 1 Next Monday: The first exam will be in class next Monday. It is an open book, open notes, multiple choice exam. It covers all material through Wednesday's lecture (optimisitic concurrency control.)

10/26/04 Slides from Today's Lecture Posted [PPT]

10/12/04 PS 3 Posted: Problem Set 3 is now available. It is due 10/27.

10/10/04 P2 Solutions Posted: PS2 solutions are available here.

10/3/04 (PS 2 Clarifications, again): In problem 8, the 2nd paragraph describes the operation of permutation as "[it] that maps the ith entry in a column A to the P_A->B(i)th entry in B"; what the example should (and what this should have said) is "it maps the P_A->B(i)th entry in A to the ith entry in B".

9/30/04 (PS 2 Clarifications): There are some questions about Bob's schema; you may assume that:

  1. No customer ever buys the same model of vacuum twice.
  2. Bob initializes the last_svc date to be the date of purchase when a vacuum is first sold.


An initial set of possible class projects is posted here.

9/27/04 (#2): I have posted a set of reading questions for the next class meeting. You are not required to writeup answers to these questions, but you should think about and be prepared to answer them in class -- hopefully, they will serve as a reading guide to help you focus on the important issues as you read this week's papers! I will post reading questions for most other classes during the semester on the schedule page.

9/27/04: I have placed a copy of the textbook on reserve in the CSAIL reading room, in room 32G-882. See the reading room home page.

Link to slides from today are posted.

9/21/04: Link to slides from Monday are posted.

There were some questions about Bob's schema in problem 2 of PS2. The "cid" field is a customer id, which you may assume is a unique assigned to each customer. The "no" field is the street number of the address.

9/20/04: Solutions to PS1 are posted.
PS 2 is posted; it is due October 4th.

9/15/04: A link to slides from today's lecture (showing the various BCNF/3NF algorithms) has been added.

9/13/04: A couple more clarifications. For questions 3 and 4 -- I had originally intended for the answer to include times up to 9:59:59 PM, but the wording of question 2 make it seem like I wanted otherwise. It is fine if you want to include times only up to 9:00:00 PM, in which case you will only get 3 rows for question 4. Just state which you have assumed.

Also note that a collaboration policy has been added to the syllabus. It reads:
"Collaboration policy: For problem sets, you are allowed to discuss your answers with other students, but please write up your own answers and list your collaborators. Copying solutions from other students is never allowed. For the group project you will work in teams and hand in only one written report."

9/9/04: Two small bugs:

  1. The first problem in PS1 has an empty answer set as specified. I have posted a new problem set that asks you to look for light readings above 550 instead of temperatures.
  2. The grading scheme added up to 110% -- I've changed the syllabus slightly such that it now adds up to 100%.

9/8/04: Students who didn't receive readings can pick up additional copies outside of 32-G938.

9/6/04: First day of classes is Wednesday, 9/8. Check back for more information.

Last modified: Sun Dec 12 22:21:17 EST 2004