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CS157aFall 2005Sec3& Sec4Home Page/Syllabus

Database Management Systems I

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours:MW 4:20-6:55pm
Class Meets:
Sec3 MW 1:30pm-2:45pm in MH223
Sec4 MW 3:00pm-4:15pm in MH223


To take this class you must have taken: CS146 with a grade of C- or better.

Texts and Links

Required Texts: Fundamentals of Database Systems, 4th Ed.. by Elmasri and Navathe.
Oracle 9i Programming: A primer. R. Sunderraman
Online References and Other Links: Oracle's web site.
Java 2 API Specification.
Java 5 API Specification.
Free PDF Converter.

Topics and Outcomes

This class concerns various aspects of database management systems. Database management systems (DBMS) basically provide facilities to organize data so that it is easy to retrieve quickly, so that it is easy to view the data in different ways, and so that the data is stored as efficiently as possible. By the end of the course, you will know about the three schema architecture used for databases, data independence and client-server architectures. You should be able to model how data should be organized heuristically in a database using entity relationship (ER), extended entity relationship (EER), and UML diagrams. You should know what the relational model is and about relational database constraints. You should know how to translate EER diagrams into relations which could then be created as tables in a DBMS. You should be able to write relational algebra queries and to be able to predict given a database instance what such a query will return. You should be able to know enough SQL and enough about Oracle SQLPLUS to be able to create a database in Oracle, insert rows into it, and update these rows. You should know how to use the Oracle bulk loader to load large amounts of data quickly. You should be able to write simple transactions using JDBC and SQLJ. Finally, you should be able to analyse the relations you have might get from ER modeling followed by conversion to the relational model with respect to various normal forms to be able to judge how good they are. In particular, this means given a table decomposition you should by the end of this course be able to say which of the following normal forms it is in: 2NF, 3NF, 4NF, 5NF, or BCNF. You should also know the algorithms for testing if a decomposition is in a given normal form and the algorithms which given a set of functional dependencies can do table decomposition into 3NF or BCNF.

Below is a tentative time table for when we'll do things this quarter:

Week 1: Aug 24 Read E&N Ch1
Week 2: Aug 29, Aug 31 Read E&N Ch2
Week 3: Sep 5 (Holiday), Sep 7 Read E&N Ch3.1-3.4
Week 4: Sep 12, Sep 14 Finish E&N Ch3
Week 5: Sep 19, Sep 21 Read E&N Ch4
Week 6: Sep 26, Sep 28 Review for Midterm
Week 7: Oct 3, Oct 5 Read E&N Ch5
Week 8: Oct 10, Oct 12 Read E&N Ch6
Week 9: Oct 17, Oct 19 Finish E&N Ch7
Week 10: Oct 24, Oct 26 Read E&N Ch8 and S Ch1 &Ch2
Week 11: Oct 31, Nov 2 Read E&N Ch9 and S Ch5&Ch6
Week 12: Nov 7, Nov 9 Review for Midterm
Week 13: Nov 14, Nov 16 Read E&N Ch10
Week 14: Nov 21, Nov 23 (no class) Read E&N Ch11.1-11.3
Week 15: Nov 28, Nov 30 Finish E&N Ch11
Week 16: Dec 5Dec 7 Read Ch12. Review for final.
The final will be Dec 14 from 12:15pm to 2:30pm for Sec3 and Dec 16 from 12:15pm to 2:30pm for Sec4


Homeworks 40%
Midterm 1 15%
Midterm 2 15%
Final 30%

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: The person or persons with the highest aggregate score will receive an A+. The lowest scoring person with a score above 55 will be the cut-off for a C-. That is, that person will receive a C-, but no one below him will. The region between this high and low score will be divided into eight equal-sized regions. From the top region to the low region, a score falling within a region receives the grade: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. If the boundary between an A and an A- is 85, then the score 85 counts as an A-. Scores below the lowest C- but above 50 receive the grade D. Those below 50 receive the grade F.

If you do better than an A- in this class and want me to write you a letter of recommendation, I will generally be willing provided you ask me within two years of taking my course. Be advised that I write better letters if I know you to some degree.

Homework Info

Links to the current list of assignments can be found on the left hand frame of the class homepage. After an assignment has been returned a link to its solution will be placed off the assignment page. Material from assignments may appear on midterms and finals. Homeworks for this class will be submitted and returned completely electronically. The written and programming parts of an assignment are submitted by clicking on the submit homework link for your section on the left hand side of the homepage and filling out the on-line form. Hardcopies or e-mail versions of your assignments will be rejected and not receive credit. Homeworks will always be due by the start of class on the day their due. Late homeworks will not be accepted; however, your low homework score will be dropped.

When doing the programming part of an assignment please make sure to adhere to the specification given as closely as possible. Names of files should be as given, etc. Failure to follow the specification may result in your homework not being graded and you receiving a zero for your work. In addition, you should make sure your code conforms with the Departmental Java Coding Guidelines. This will be worth one point on every assignment.


The midterms will be during class time on: Sep 28 and Nov 9.

The final will be: Dec 14 from 12:15pm to 2:30pm for Sec3 and Dec 16 from 12:15pm to 2:30pm for Sec4.

All exams are closed book, closed notes and in this classroom. You will be allowed only the test and your pen or pencil on your desk during these exams. Beeper or cell-phone interruptions will result in immediate excusal from the test. The final will cover material from the whole quarter although there will be an emphasis on material after the last midterm. No make ups will be given. The final exam may be scaled to replace a midterm grade if it was missed under provably legitimate circumstances. These exams will test whether or not you have mastered the material both presented in class or assigned as homework during the quarter. My exams usually consist of a series of essay style questions. I try to avoid making tricky problems. The week before each exam I will give out a list of problems representative of the level of difficulty of problems the student will be expected to answer on the exam. Any disputes concerning grades on exams should be directed to me, Professor Pollett.


If you believe an error was made in the grading of your program or exam, you may request in person a regrade from me, Professor Pollett, during my office hours. I do not accept e-mail requests for regrades. A request for a regrade must be made no more than a week after the homework or a midterm is returned. If you cannot find me before the end of the semester and you would like to request a regrade of your final, you may see me in person at the start of the immediately following semester.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism on homework or cheating on tests will result in appropriate academic disciplinary action being taken. Information on the university policy governing academic dishonesty can be found at At a minimum a 0 on the assignment or test will be given. A student caught using resources like Rent-a-coder will receive an F for the course and be referred to University for disciplinary action.

Additional Policies and Procedures

The campus policy to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is:
"If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability."

More information about SJSU policies and procedures can be found at the following links: