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Course Info:
  [Texts & Links]
  [HW Info]
  [Exam Info]

HW Assignments:
  [Hw1]  [Hw2]  [Hw3]
  [Hw4]  [Hw5]

Practice Exams:
  [Mid1]  [Mid2]  [Final]


CS157a Spring 2002 Sec4 Home Page/Syllabus

Database Management Systems I

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours:MW 12:30-2:30pm F 12:30-1:30pm
Class Meets:
Sec4 MWF 2:30pm-3:45pm 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. 3rd Ed.. by El Masri and Navathe.
Online References & Other Links: Sun's Java site..
The Java 2 Platform Class Library.
Dr. Sathaye's Oracle Handbook.


This class concerns various aspects of database management systems(DBMS). Database management systems basically provide facilities to organize data so that it is easy to retrieve and so that it is stored as efficiently as possible. This class covers the entity relationship (E-R) model and the extended entity relationship which are heuristic ways to break data sets into groups of related data for storage. This heuristic approach will be then used to break the data into tables of data. The class thens cover the data structures and the techniques for organizing these tables in files such as heaps and sorted files, hashing, and indexing with B+-trees. Various query languages used by users such as the relational algebra will be discussed. The SQL language will also be introduced and examples using Oracle and Access will be given. The class will lastly consider more formal ways to determine if a data set has been split into tables in an efficient manner and consider normal forms for data sets such as 3NF and BCNF.

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

Week 1: Jan 23, Jan 25 Read E&N Ch1
Week 2: Jan 28, Jan 31 Read E&N Ch2.
Week 3: Feb 4, Feb 6 Read E&N Ch4.
Week 4: Feb 11, Feb 13 Review.
Week 5: Feb 18, Feb 20 Finish Ch4.
Week 6: Feb 25, Feb 27 Read E&N Ch5
Week 7: Mar 4, Mar 6 Read E&N Ch6
Week 8: Mar 11, Mar 13 Read E&N Ch7
Week 9: Mar 18, Mar 20 Read E&N Ch8 (then Spring recess)
Week 10: Apr 1(Holiday), Apr 3 Read E&N Ch9
Week 11: Apr 8, Apr 10 Review
Week 12: Apr 15, Apr 17 Read E&N Ch10
Week 13: Apr 22, Apr 24 Read E&N Ch14
Week 14: Apr 29, May 1 Read E&N Ch15
Week 15: May 6, May 8 Read E&N Ch16
Week 16: May 13May 15 Review.
The final will be May 23 from 12:15am-2:30pm (Sec 4)


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

When I assign grades the high score has an opportunity to receive an A+. I do curve grades and my curving will be in line with previous times this class has been taught. 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.

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. Each homework will consist of a reading, a writing and a programming part. Material from the reading part of an assignment 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 frame of the homepage and filling out the on-line form. I will not accept hardcopies or e-mail versions of your assignments. The written parts of an assignment will be submitted as text documents. 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 spec may result in either I or the grader refusing to grade your homework 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: Feb 22 and Apr 10.

The final will be: May 23 from 12:15am-2:30pm (Sec 4).

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 is returned.

Academic Honesty

You are both allowed and encouraged to discuss general algorithms and approaches to programming problems with your classmates. But these discussions must remain at a high level and not involve actual code being exchanged. In particular, the code you submit as a solution to an assignment must be your own. 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