CIS 450-550, Database and Information Systems




Section 401, Monday/Wednesday 12-1:30 pm, Berger Auditorium

Section 402, Tuesday/Thursday 9-10:30 am, TOWN 313

Office Hours 612 Levine 5-7pm Mondays-Thursdays (except 9/26, 27 when they will be 6-8pm)


Instructor for Section 401

 Instructor for Section 402


 Professor Susan Davidson

 Location: 566 Levine Hall North

Office hours: Wed. 1:30-3 (starting 9/6/2017)


Dr. Abdu Alawini

Location: 571 Levine Hall North

 Office hours: TBD

Teaching Assistants:

Boyi He


Yingjie Luan


Yizhou(YeeJoe) Luo


Hari Parameswaran


Shivendra Pandey


Sahana Vijaya Prasad

Animesh Shah


Surabhi Suresh


Yinjun Wu


Lanqing Yang


Jie (Andy) Chen


Course description Structured information is the lifeblood of commerce, government, and science today. This course provides an introduction to the broad field, covering a range of topics relating to structured data, ranging from data modeling to logical foundations and popular languages, to system implementations. We will study the theory of relational data design; the basics of query languages; efficient storage of data, execution of queries and query optimization; transactions and updates; and “big data” and NoSQL systems.
Topics covered Database design, relational algebra, query languages (SQL, XQuery), data import and munging, views, indexing, transactions, query optimization, client-side & server-side Web development, Map/Reduce and NoSQL systems.
Format The format is two 1.5-hour lectures per week, plus assigned readings. There will be regular homework assignments, plus a team project, a midterm and a final.
Prerequisites For Penn undergrads and submatriculants: CIS 121.

For MCIT students: CIT 592 and 594.

For other Master’s students: programming experience and mathematical maturity equivalent to the above.

Texts and readings
Grading and policies Homework 20%Project 25%, Class Participation 5%

Midterm 20%Final 30%

Collaboration on homework assignments will be allowed. Copying from the Web or from students who have taken the class in previous years will NOT be allowed.

All homework should be submitted to Canvas by its due date and time. After this it will be considered late.   Late homeworks should be submitted by Monday at 11:59pm if it was due on a Friday, and will only count for half credit.  After this point, homework will no longer be accepted.  Everyone is allowed one free late homework without loss of credit.

Cheating on the midterm or final will be rewarded with an “F” for the class.

Other resources

Web Links

Potentially Useful Downloads

These are only necessary if you want to download software to run on your home machine. The CIS department servers and labs have Galax, Eclipse, Tomcat, and MySQL installed.