CSC 325 Grinnell College Fall, 2008
Databases and Web Application Design

Since this new course is new, all course-related materials are subject to adjustment through the semester.

  Assignments   Lab Index   Projects   Schedule ( .dvi format / pdf format / postscript )
  Instructor   Textbooks   Course Work   Deadlines   Collaboration   Grading

Today's Web-based applications often include these basic elements:

This course explores each of these areas, considering both principles and practice. In addition, the course reviews elements of software development methodology, particularly emphasizing rapid prototyping and other methods of agile programming. Expanding somewhat on these general topics, the course will consider these topics:


Henry M. Walker

Office: Science 3811
Telephone: extension 4208

Office hours are posted weekly on the bulletin board outside Science 3811, with additional hours possible by appointment. You may reserve a half hour meeting by signing up on the weekly schedule, but please sign up at least a day in advance.

Textbook and Selected References

Luke Welling and Laura Thomson, PHP and MySQL Web Development, Fourth Edition, (Developer's Library) Sams Publishing/Pearson, 2008.

The following book is placed on reserve in the Science Library. Reading assignments are planned for discussion on several days.

The Web contains numerous references for the HyperText Mark-up Language HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the PHP scripting language, and the MySQL database. The following links identify a few starting points, but use of a Web-based search engine will locate many more.

Many Web-based resources discuss the design and implementation of overall Web sites and individual Web pages. A Few starting places are:

Various sources discuss database design:

As an additional reference, CSE 190 M, Web Programming, at the University of Washington, uses an on-line textbook that is under development. Middle chapters cover JavaScript, Events, and Ajax — each topics that might be of interest to CSC 325 students.


While the schedule for this course is expected to evolve, a Tentative Class Schedule is available in .dvi , pdf, and postscript formats.

Also, if you are logged into the departmental network and want a copy printed, click duerer to have a copy printed on the printer duerer .

Course Work

This course will involve written assignments and tests.

  1. Written Assignments: Exercises will be assigned regularly throughout the course.

  2. Labs: About 14 labs will cover elements of html, style sheets, PHP scripting, the SQL query language, and databases.

  3. Hour Tests: Following the Tentative Class Schedule (.dvi format / pdf / postscript), hour tests are scheduled for Monday, October 13, and Friday, November 21.

  4. Exam: Following the published exam schedule, an exam is scheduled for 9:00 am on Thursday, December 18, during exam week.

  5. Projects: A few Web-based applications have been identified for attention as potential projects for this course. At the end of the semester, it is hoped that at least a couple of these projects will be developed sufficiently for use within the department or campus community. Work on the projects will utilize teams, following elements of Extreme Programming and rapid prototyping.


Late Work will not be accepted, as it interferes with normal grading and with preparation for other parts of this course. As homework may be handwritten, exceptions will not be granted for computer system malfunctions.

Exception: Allowances may be made for students with special circumstances, subject to written verification by the Health Center or the Student Affairs Office.


Collaboration often will be allowed on problems from the textbook, but collaboration normally will NOT be allowed on supplemental problems and tests. To avoid confusion, the rules for collaboration on homework are included in the specification of each assignment.


This instructor's grading philosophy dictates that the final grade should ultimately be based upon each student's demonstration of her or his understanding of the material, not on the performance of the class as a whole nor on a strict percentile basis. The following scheme is proposed as a base for how the various assignments and tests will be counted in the final grade.

Written Assignments: 10% Labs: 25% Project(s): 30%
Hour Tests: 20% Exam: 15 %

This document is available on the World Wide Web as

created 25 April 2008
last revised 17 September 2008
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For more information, please contact Henry M. Walker at