Introduction to DataBase Management Systems

Bob Matthews

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

January, 2004


Change History:


Weekly reading and lecture schedule


Exam reviews

Group Projects




Grading Policies

Programming exercises will be graded on style and documentation as well as correctness. Programs and control scripts must include header documentation as well as adequate internal documentation unless otherwise specified. Late assignments will generally not be accepted, will incur an increasing penalty when accepted, and will certainly not be accepted after the graded exercise is returned to the class unless I have asked you to correct and resubmit the exercise. Late exercises must be submitted in hard-copy form with listings of the assignment source and of test runs. Programs marked for correction and re submission must be turned in within a week of the day that the assignment was returned to the class. If a program or control script meets requirements, works OK, is readable, and at least minimally documented (header documentation and some internal documentation at important points, it earns between 70% and 80% of the points possible. If a program or control script is well structured, meets all tests (tests are driven from the statement of the assignment, and the specific tests I will use on your program will be taken from the problem description in the assignment write-up, but the specific tests will not generally be provided in advance), and is well documented, it will earn between 80% and 95% of the total possible points. To earn 100% of the total possible points, the program or control script must generally meet all of the above and do something exceptional beyond the statement of the program.

A minimum grade of 50% on exams and 50% on homework assignments is a necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) condition for a passing grade. All assignments turned in must represent individual effort: work done by a committee cannot be accepted except where a group effort is a clearly stated part of the assignment. All students in Computer Science classes at the University of Puget Sound are responsible for the material contained in the document on academic honesty published by the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and included in the Academic Handbook

I try and return exams and homework within a week, and will let the class know if that is not possible.

No late homework can be accepted past the last day of classes (Wednesday, May 5). 

Attendance Policies:

Although I do not usually take formal attendance (my reading of names is generally to get to know everyone), this is a project class, and the performance of your group depends on your full participation.  Attendance problems in class or lack of participation in your group may result in your removal from the class.

Final Exam:

The final exam for this class will be Friday, May 14, at 8:00 AM. It will be a comprehensive, two hour in-class examination.

Should you find yourself in difficulty at any point in the semester, please make arrangements to meet with me as quickly as possible.

Course Syllabus


I. Introduction

II. Required Topics

Class exercises will include practice with actual database management systems. The University of Puget Sound has a commercial copy of the Oracle relational database management system which is used for the majority of database exercises in the class. In addition, software developed at the University of Puget Sound will be used for exercises in the relational algebra and relational calculus. The term project  will involve a substantial effort in the specification, design and implementation of a information system using Oracle.


Note: Please note that, except for scheduled University events and exam dates, the schedule of topics, readings, and assignments is  tentative. Please refer to the current weekly schedule posted above. It may be necessary to change an exam date: if that happens, I will give you at least a week's notice and make alternate arrangements for students unable to take the exam on the rescheduled date. Please inform me of any conflict between the dates entered here and those in the catalog and course schedule. In the event of any conflicts, the catalog and course schedule have the final say. Please note: It is not possible to change the date or time of the final examination. All students in the class must take the exam at the date and time given in the final exam schedule. The course is in roughly four parts:

The tentative schedule of readings and examinations can be found here. Several of the readings overlap, particularly in the reference material to which we will return several times during the semester.

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