CS 320 - Database Management Systems, Fall 2012

Lecture: MWF 1:10 - 2:00pm, in Acopian Engineering Center(AEC) 500
Instructor: Ge (Frank) Xia
Office: 506 Acopian Engineering Center
Phone: 610-330-5415
Office hours: MW 2:00 - 2:45 pm

[Announcements] [Labs] [Description] [Textbook] [Grading] [Schedule]


Project Assignments

Course Description

This course examines the organization, design and implementation of data base management systems.

Course Goals: At the end of the semester you should:

  • be able to apply knowledge of computing and mathematics appropriate to the discipline; in particular,
    • be able to apply the fundamental database design principles in the design and analysis of database management systems,
    • be able to use Structured Query Language (SQL) for the implementation and manipulation of database management systems.
  • be able to design, implement, and evaluate a computer-based database system to meet desired needs.
  • be able to function effectively on teams to accomplish a common goal.


  • "Database Systems: the Complete Book, 2nd ed." by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeffrey D. Ullman and Jennifer, D. Widom.

We will use an online learning system developed by an author of the textbook Gradiance.com. The Gradiance system allows students to make multiple attempts in solving problems. If an answer was wrong, the system would explain why the answer was wrong and provide hints on how to solve the problem. The student guide for using the Gradiance service can be found here.

Grading Policy

The course grade is distributed as follows:

  • Project assignments -- 30%
  • Homework assignments -- 10%
  • Midterm exams (2)-- 40%
  • Final exam -- 20%
Homework and lab assignments are to be turned in before the specified deadlines. Assignments turned in later will not receive credit.

Letter grades for the semester will be assigned based on the percentage of points earned:
  • A: 93% or more
  • A-: 90 - 93%
  • B+: 87 - 89%
  • B: 83 - 86%
  • B-: 80 - 82%
  • C+: 77 - 79%
  • C: 73 - 76%
  • C-: 70 - 72%
  • D+: 67 - 69%
  • D: 63 - 66%
  • D-: 60 - 62%
  • F: less than 60%

Academic Honesty

Discussion of concepts with others is encouraged, but all assignments must be done on your own, unless otherwise instructed. If you use any source other than the text, reference it/him/her, whether it is a person, a book, a solution set, a web page or whatever. You MUST write up the solutions in your own words. Copying is strictly forbidden.

The Student Handbook of Lafayette College has a section on Principles of Intellectual Honesty that defines academic dishonesty to include:

  • Use of other persons' writings without proper acknowledgment,
  • Use of reference material without properly crediting sources used,
  • Use of other students' work, with or without revision,
  • Collaboration beyond the limits established by the instructor,
  • Submission of the same work in more than one course
A student who commits academic dishonesty is subject to Disciplinary actions including suspension or expulsion.


Students are expected to attend classes unless there is a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse is a previously approved Dean's excuse or the instructor's permission.

Tentative Schedule

Changes will be made according to the progress of the course.

Fall 2010
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Week 1

Introduction, Syllabus, Fundamentals, etc
  Ch 4
Entity-Relationship Model
  Ch 4
More E/R Model
Week 2
Ch 2
Relational Model
  Ch 2
More Relational Model
  Ch 3
Functional Dependencies
Week 3
Ch 3
More Functional Dependencies
  Ch 3
Relational Design
  Ch 3
More Relational Design

Week 4
Ch 3
  Ch 5
  Ch 5
Relational Algebra
Week 5
More Relational Algebra
  Introduction to SQL, Part I
  Ch 6
Introduction to SQL, Part II
Week 6
Ch 6
Introduction to SQL, Part III
  Ch 6
Introduction to SQL, Part IV
Midterm I
Week 7
Fall Break
Fall Break Ch 6
Introduction to SQL, Part V

  Ch 6
Introduction to SQL, Part VI

Week 8
Ch 7
Constraints and Triggers
Indexing, B-trees
  More Indexing

Midterm grades due
Week 9

Other Indexing
Introduction to XML

Group discussion

Week 10
More XML
More XML

  Midterm II
Week 11
Web Apps Architecture
  Concurrency, Recovery
Week 12

Week 13

  Thanksgiving Break
Thanksgiving Break Thanksgiving Break

Week 14
Advanced Topics
  Advanced Topics
  Advanced Topics  
Week 15
Project Presentation
  Project Presentation
Final Review
  Reading Day

Final Exam period begins