Chris Pollett>Old Classes>CS560, Spring 1998

Computer Science 560
Introduction to Database Systems

Spring 1998 Syllabus/Homepage

Last modified 01/12/98


Chris Pollett
MCS 283
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Office Hours

TR 1-2:30
and by appointment

Classroom and Meeting Times

Classes meet TR 3:30pm - 5:00pm in CAS 324.

Required Textbooks

Other Useful Textbooks

These texts are not required. However, interested students may want to look at them.


To enroll in this course, you must have taken CAS CS320. In the future, CAS CS 350 will be a prerequisite, but it is being offered for the first time this semester. Students are encouraged to take CAS CS350 concurrently. CAS CS332 is likely to be useful later in the course. If you have not taken CAS CS 320 but still want to remain in the course, please see me.


The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the design, implementation, and theory of database systems. Topics to be discussed include the entity-relationship approach, storage structures such as hashes, indexes, B+-trees, the relational data model, SQL, Oracle, functional dependencies, normalization, query processing and optimization, concurrency control and recovery techniques, object-oriented databases, and deductive databases.

Grade Breakdown

Homeworks    40% 
Midterm      30%    
Final        30%

The midterm will be in class on March 24. The final will be Thursday, May 7; from 9:00-11:00am.

Homework Assignments

Homework will generally be given every week or two and will be a mixture of written assignments and programming assignments. Although consultation between students is permitted and encouraged outright copying of another person's work in whole or in part is not permitted. Students found to have misrepresented anothers work as their own will be dealt in the strongest way allowed under BU policies governing academic misconduct.

Late Policy

In general, you will have at least one week to work on a homework assignment and two opportunities to attend my office hours before a given assignment is due.

Late homeworks will not be accepted; however, your low homework score will be dropped.


As shown above in the grade breakdown there will be both a midterm and final in this course. The final will cover only material from the second half or the semester. These exams will test whether or not the student has mastered the material both presented in class or assigned as homework during the quarter. I will try to avoid both tricky and ambiguous questions. The week before each exam I will try to give out a list of problems representative of the level of difficulty of problems the student will be expected to answer on the exam. As with the warning above against homework copying, students are similarly warned against cheating on exams.

Mailing List

Other announcements will be made only by email. To add yourself to the course mailing list, log on to a CS cluster computer (such as csa) and type

    csmail -a cs560

Homework Sets

HW1| HW2| HW3| HW4| HW5| HW6| Practice Final|


link to grades

Some Useful Links

Prepared by Chris Pollett.