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, labs, and office hours will all be held at this site. Lecture, labs, and office hours are all being held at their scheduled times starting Monday, March 23. You can find further information about the online class on the Piazza discussion board for this course. All future announcements will be on the Piazza discussion board. If you have not yet signed up for Piazza, then do so immediately!!! The sign-up link is below.

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.