Computer-aided tool for the teaching of relational algebra in data base courses

  • Johnny Villalobos Murillo Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica
  • Steven Brenes Chavarría Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica
  • Sonia Mora Rivera Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica
Keywords: compiler, teaching-learning, educational software, SQL relational algebra, translator


This article describes the design and implementation of computer-aided tool called Relational Algebra Translator (RAT) in data base courses, for the teaching of relational algebra. There was a problem when introducing the relational algebra topic in the course EIF 211 Design and Implementation of Databases, which belongs to the career of Engineering in Information Systems of the National University of Costa Rica, because students attending this course were lacking profound mathematical knowledge, which led to a learning problem, being this an important subject to understand what the data bases search and request do RAT comes along to enhance the teaching-learning process.

It introduces the architectural and design principles required for its implementation, such as: the language symbol table, the gramatical rules and the basic algorithms that RAT uses to translate from relational algebra to SQL language. This tool has been used for one periods and has demonstrated to be effective in the learning-teaching process.  This urged investigators to publish it in the web site: in order for this tool to be used in other university courses.

How to Cite
Villalobos Murillo, J., Brenes Chavarría, S., & Mora Rivera, S. (2012). Computer-aided tool for the teaching of relational algebra in data base courses. Uniciencia, 26(1-2), 179-195. Retrieved from
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