Database systems today are more ubiquitous than ever. As the volume
of digital data explodes, new requirements for fast, easy-to-use and
reliable data management have emerged. In this course, we will study
new directions in database research that aim to address these new
requirements. We will examine a variety of data management problems,
some of the initial solutions proposed in the literature, and
hopefully, develop new ideas for new relevant database research.
Each week, we will tackle one topic and different approaches to solving the particular problem. The objective is to study multiple aspects of a topic by considering different perspectives. For each topic, I will suggest the material you need to read.
Our meetings will be a mix of lectures I give, where I will provide overview and the big picture for different topics, and student-led presentations and discussions. For the latter, the mechanics are as follows. Two teams will be assigned to each topic. One team, the "cheerleaders" will be responsible for presenting a summary of the topic based on the readings, and present the area in the best possible light. This can largely be derived from the assigned readings, but you are encouraged to go beyond these to discover other interesting work within the same topic. The presentation should *not* be a linear presentation of the sections in the papers, instead it should give a general overview of the problem, challenges involved in addressing the problem, existing solutions, and directions for new work in the area. The second team, the "discussants", will present a short rebuttal to the presenters talk. They will also come to class prepared with questions, counter-examples, and a generally with a devil's advocate attitude toward the work. The goal is to set up a debate-like atmosphere in which we can argue about the pros and cons of the basic technologies. The rest of the class (who are neither presenters nor discussants) is expected to actively participate in the debate. Also, in order to ensure that you read the papers and think about the issues before coming to class, everyone who is not a presenter or a discussant will write a brief position paper which captures your own thoughts about the readings. My guess is that these will need to be about 1 page in length, but you may use whatever you feel is adequate.
This course is based on research papers. There is no required textbook.