This course is designed to prepare you for systems architecture innovation, with a particular focus on database systems. This ability to innovate is critical in both academic and industrial research and also in any technical leadership position you may obtain after you graduate. Over the course of attending the course, you will gain an ability to read, understand, and hopefully critique proposed systems designs, especially those proposed in published technical whitepapers and research publications (e.g., most papers in database conferences like SIGMOD/VLDB/OSDI/SOSP).

A big focus of this class will be “Big Data” systems. By the end of the semester, you will be able to identify flaws (if any) with a proposed design or solution. You should also gain enough familiarity with how big data systems are built to be able to easily start using any of them, and reason about the observed performance of a deployed system.


  • Time: Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:45 pm
  • Location: Iribe Center 2117
  • Discussion: Piazza
  • Seminar submission: ELMS
  • Lectures: This is an in-person course. There will be no recording of the lectures.
  • Contact: Students should ask all course-related questions on Piazza, where you will also find announcements.