Introduction to Database Systems

Where does most class communication happen?

Almost everything (homework, announcements, exam room assignments, etc.) is posted on Piazza; it will be the main medium of communication for course announcements and logistics this semester. Lectures are posted on edX, and section materials will be posted on Piazza (PDF form) as well as on edX (interactive).

What are the prerequisites for this course?

We assume familiarity with 61A, 61B, and 61C for this course. We also assume knowledge of Java programming. If you do not feel comfortable writing significant amounts of software in Java you should not sign up for the course.

Is it true that all lectures will be online this Spring?

Yes (except for the first one, which is 8-9:30 PM on Wednesday, 1/23, in 1 Pimentel)! In recent years most students have opted to watch the webcasts instead of coming to in-person lecture, so we have transitioned entirely to online delivery — hence the CS W186 course number.

Where will course material be made available? What will be included?

Course material is available on edX (sign up with your berkeley credentials). It includes regular releases of:

    • Video lectures, with slides designed and narrated by Prof. Hellerstein. Each lecture includes simple and highly recommended interactive exercises to reinforce material.
    • Optional discussion section worksheets.
    • Required vitamins, which are simple weekly quizzes designed to test your understanding of fundamentals from lecture.
    • Required homeworks (a.k.a. projects) that involve programming in SQL and Java within a Docker environment.

I'm unable to enroll due to being on the waitlist, concurrent enrollment, etc. What can I do to get in?

In a course this big, we cannot consider requests for individual treatment, so we will let the campus policies play out. Interested students are invited to sign up for the edX course, work through the first few lectures, begin homework assignments, and wait to see if they can get in.

Are students outside Berkeley able to enroll?

Enrollment is open to the public via UC Berkeley Extension (concurrent enrollment), subject to enrollment caps. UC Berkeley degree students have enrollment priority in all courses. In the future we hope to open this course to the general public as an edX MOOC.

What is the class curved to?

By policy we can't release that data, but it will be curved in accordance with EECS department guidelines. The exact distribution will vary with a multitude of different factors.

I have a final exam conflict. What do I do?

Our final is Thursday, May 16, from 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM. If you have a conflict with Data 100, you will take our final and then go to take the Data 100 final directly afterwards, from 3-6 PM. If you have another conflict or have 3+ finals in a day on Thursday, send documentation and a request for a spot at the alternate final to Our alternate final will be on Friday, May 17, from 11:30 AM -2:30 PM.