CS465/CS565 -- Databases/Scripting Languages

Brad Vander Zanden

Where to Find Things

Important Announcement About Online Class: See the canvas announcements for this course to find The Zoom link to the online classroom. Class and my office hours will all be held at this site.

Masks Are Required!!!

  1. If you come to class then you are required to wear a mask over both your mouth and nose per UTK policy.
  2. Also per UTK policy there is to be no food and drink consumed in the classroom because that would require removing your mask.
  3. Your mask protects me and your fellow students, not necessarily yourself. I understand that wearing a mask may not be comfortable but it is vital to the safety of me and your fellow students. If you have Covid, you will be infectious to others before you start experiencing symptoms, so you may think you are healthy when you are instead infected and spreading Covid. Additionally, a significant number of people in your age group will have Covid but never experience symptoms (i.e., you will be asymptomatic). You will also spread Covid even though you think you are healthy. The reason you wear a mask is to stop you from spreading the Covid virus if you are infected but seem healthy. If you do not feel as though you can tolerate wearing a mask for 1:15 then please take the course online. Wearing a mask is the price of in-person admission.

Teaching Philosophy

I expect you to come to class having read the assigned material. You will be assigned participation activities from the e-textbook that will force you to read the assigned material before class. The database portion of the course will resemble the lecture-oriented courses that you are familiar with but the web programming portion of the course will be more like a flipped classroom where you work on exercises from the textbook or your homework assignments. Unlike many courses that you take, I think that you can understand much of the web programming material by simply reading it and then practicing it. There will be new concepts that you may be unfamiliar with, such as regular expressions in PHP and Javascript, or some of the "plumbing" (i.e., infrastructure) underlying the communication between the client and server. In these cases I will cover the material in a traditional lecture format. However, there will also be material that while new, can probably be understood by reading the assigned sections of the textbook. This includes much of the material on syntax for loops, functions, or conditionals in the scripting languages or the syntax for html markup tags. In this case you should expect more hands-on exercises during class.

I will also be assigning regular quizzes that are due by the next lecture period and regular homework assignments. I find that material is best learned when it is rehearsed and the best way to get you to rehearse the material I teach is to have you work short problems as soon as possible after the material is presented. Unlike other programming courses there will not be long programming assignments because database queries and scripting languages are meant to be used for relatively short programs. Since query languages and scripting languages are interpreted rather than compiled, they are much slower than conventional languages and hence ill-suited for solving large, computation-intensive problems.

In the web programming portion of the course you will only have one homework assignment, which is roughly 2/3 of the way through that portion of the course. The remainder of the time you will be working on a project that implements the client and server sides of a web-site. The project has a number of intermediate deadlines to force you to steadily work on the project rather than putting it off to the last minute.