CSci 6441.BA2: Database Management Systems

Department of Computer Science
The George Washington University, Spring 2011
CRN 15165


Instructor: Matthew M. Burke, 709 Academic Center, ph: 202.994.0718,
Textbook: Elmasri, Ramez and Shamkant B. Navathe. Fundamentals of Database Systems. 6th edition.
Location/Times: Dulles 2237; Weds 6:10–8:40
Office Hours: After class and by appointment
Prerequisites: CSci 210, CSci 211 or equivalent

Data is zeroes and ones—software is zeroes and ones and hard work.—Greg Wilson

Course Content: In this course we will learn different techniques for designing and implementing relational databases, study the mathematical theory underpinning relational databases, and explore some of their implementation details. In addition we will discuss some of the different types of database systems and compare them to the relational model.

Goals: By the end of the class, students will

  1. design a relational database schema
  2. implement complex queries against a database
  3. be able to normalize a relational schema
  4. evaluate a schema to determine what sorts of indices will improve performance

Please see the schedule [1] to keep abreast of reading assignments and class topics.

Class Preparation: includes, but is not limited to, having read any and all assigned readings for that day and having spent a reasonable amount of time on the current assignment. All students are expected to be prepared for each class.

Homework and Examinations: Late work will be accepted but the grade will be decreased one-half letter grade for each day late. Examinations cannot be rescheduled, although they can be made up for a documented emergency or work-related travel.

Special Needs: Any student with a disability for whom special accommodations would be helpful is encouraged to discuss this with me as soon as possible. I recommend you contact the Disability Support Services office at 202-994-8250 in the Marvin Center, Suite 242, to establish eligibility and to coordinate reasonable accommodations. For additional information please refer to the Disability Support Services website [2]. If you intend to be absent due to the observation of a religious holiday, please let me know during the first two weeks of the semester so that we can make appropriate arrangements.

Rights and Responsibilities: Students are expected to be familiar with the Computer Science Department Policy on Academic Integrity, the University Code of Academic Integrity and the ACM-IEEE Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (all of which may be found at [3]) and will be held to the standards outlined in these documents. Students will be treated in a professional manner by both their instructor and fellow students.

Email Policy: I will answer most class email during specific times set aside during the week for this purpose—so do not expect an instantaneous response. Class announcements will be sent to the email account registered with Banner or Blackboard. This is most likely a gwmail account. Please make sure to either check this account regularly or configure it to forward your email elsewhere. If your email account has a quota, it is your responsibility to make sure you keep your inbox cleaned out. "I didn't get the memo," is not a sufficient excuse!

Grading: The assignments and the amounts they will contribute to your final grade are listed in the following table. Refer to the chart [4] for details on the correspondence between numeric grades and letter grades. The attendance policy outlined in the referenced document does not apply to this class.

In-class Assignmentseach class10
Topic Presentationas scheduled15
Homework Assignmentssee schedule40
Term ProjectApril 13th35


Modified: Sun Dec 27 14:06:46 EDT 2010