Course Syllabus

Room and times

Thursdays, 12-3pm in UTA 1.210A (at the iSchool)


Byron Wallace
Office: 5.532
Office Hours: Thursdays, 3-4pm* 
* or by request

Our TA is Yalin Sun <>. She will be having her own separate office hours on Mondays  at 1-2pm in UTA 5.540. 

Course materials


We will use the interactive book Learn SQL the Hard Way

And we will make some use of Forta, Ben (2005). MySQL Crash Course. Sams. Book companion website (Links to an external site.) and SQL scripts (Links to an external site.) (zip file). Available for purchase at the Co-op bookstore. This is a good reference to own.

We will also use Learn Python the Hard Way, How to Think Like a Computer Scientist and, potentially also Dive Into Python:

Course overview and objectives

This course will cover the basics of databases, database management systems and web programming in Python. This is an introductory class, if you have experience programming and/or working with databases, this is likely not appropriate for you (although you may feel free to talk with me about this).

Specific topics will include:

  • Introduction to basic relational database concepts
  • SQL syntax and practical details
  • Specifics of the SQlite and MySQL data management systems
  • Basic Python scripting
  • Building dynamic, database-driven web pages/apps in Python

The final project will constitute a large part of your grade. This will be done in groups of 2-4 members. You will come up with a dynamic, database driven website to build. I will help you with generating reasonable ideas for this.

Put succinctly: this course will familiarize you with the basics of databases generally, SQL specifically, and fundamentals of Python programming for the web. One practical goal is for students to leave with the ability to put together a dynamic, database-driven website. 


Grading will primarily be based one three components: homework assignments, participation in class and a final project. 

The final project will be the single most important element of this class; you should therefore start thinking about it early! Projects will be done in small groups (2-4 students each). The sooner you start talking with me and your classmates about your idea(s), the better. 

In class exercises/participation  30%
Homeworks 30%
Final Project 40%

Course policies

Late homework policy homeworks are due at the beginning of class. Late assignments will be accepted for two weeks after the class in which it they were due, but at a penalty of 10 points per week -- so failure to turn in an assignment at the start of the class in which it is due results in an immediate 10 point penalty. After two weeks, assignments will receive a 0. 

Missed exercises you will be allowed one missed in class exercise per semester with no penalty (your lowest exercise grade will be excluded). If you absolutely must miss another, contact me as soon as possible and we can work something out.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 512-471-6259,

Note: the schedule below is subject to change!

Course Summary:

Date Details