Princeton University
Computer Science Dept.

Computer Science 597A

Principles of Database and Information Systems

Andrea LaPaugh

Fall 2011

General Information | Schedule and Readings | Project Page | Announcements

Course counts under Software Systems for the Computer Science Ph.D. program breadth requirement

Course Summary

The models and computational methods of database and information systems. Emphasizes database systems, but also considers systems for semi-structured and unstructured information.  Some specific topics: the relational data model; the XML model; indexing; query construction and evaluation; transactions; search effectiveness.  Concludes with current research directions, emphasizing interactions with other computer science research areas.


Knowledge of core undergraduate material in programming, data structures and algorithms.  NO prior course in database systems is necessary.  Cannot receive credit for this course and COS 425.
Undergraduates interested in this course should see Professor LaPaugh.

Administrative Information

Meeting time:  Mon., Wed.   3:00 pm - 4:20 pm
Meeting place: Room 302, Computer Science Building
Extra meetings: If a class should be canceled, a make-up class will be scheduled during reading period and/or in the evening during the semester. Class participants will be consulted before any make-up class time is chosen.  Meeting in reading period may also be necessary for student presentations depending on class size.

Professor: Andrea LaPaugh, 304 CS Building, 258-4568, aslp at,
Office hours:  Monday 4:30-5:30pm  or by appointment.

Course secretary: Mitra Kelly, 323 CS building, 258-4562, mkelly at


Required text:

Supplemental reading on reserve at Engineering Library

Supplemental reading available online


Assignments will be made available through the Schedule and Readings page of the course Web site. ``Handouts'' and copies of any transparencies used in class will be posted on the course Web site with links from the Schedule and Readings page.  Important announcements on all aspects of the course will be made on the Announcements page. Students are responsible for monitoring the  Schedule and Readings and Announcements pages.  Schedule changes will be made on the  Schedule and Readings  page and announced on Announcements page.

You are encouraged to use electronic mail to set up appointments, leave messages, and ask quick questions. However, an old fashioned face-to-face meeting is still best for clarifying confusions and other technical discussions.

Work of the Course

The course will have the following components weighted as indicated:

Problem sets

There will be 5 problem sets distributed throughout the semester.  Most will be written work, although you may be asked to write a few short programs.


There will be two exams, each of equal weight.  Each exam covers roughly one half of the course material, excluding the research section of the course. 

Oral Presentation

Each student will give a 20 minute presentation describing a recent research paper or direction of research within the general subject matter  of database and information systems.


Each student will do a final project of his or her choosing.  The project should relate some material of the course to the research interests of the student.  This can be done in many ways.  The project must be approved in advance by the course instructor. The project page will provide more information and a list of example projects.
A.S. LaPaugh Fri Sep 16 14:00:31 EDT 2011