CS 4604: Introduction to Database Management Systems

Fall 2008

CS 4604 is intended to be a first course in database systems for advanced undergraduates in computer science. It offers students an introduction to the design and programming of database systems. In particular, we will cover the ER (entity-relationship) approache to data modelling, the relational model of database management systems (DBMSs) and the use of query languages such as SQL. We will also cover relational algebra and the use of SQL in a programming environment. We will briefly touch upon query processing and mention the role of transaction management. We will also devote a class or two to current topics of research such as XML databases, as data warehousing and data mining. Topics outside the scope of this course are how to implement a DBMS, active database elements, and object oriented DBMSs.


Teaching Assistant

Class Meeting Times and Contact Info:


Course Description and Syllabus



Homework Assignments

Course Project

Help with PostgreSQL

Practice Problems

Sample Exams


This is only a tentative schedule, and is subject to change throughout the semester. Lecture notes will be posted here.
FCDB = "A First Course in Database Systems," the textbook for the class.
Date Day Topic Reading Homework/
August 26, 2008 Tuesday Introduction and Course Logistics (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 1
August 28, 2008 Thursday The Relational Model (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 2.1-2.4 Project assignment 1
September 2, 2008 Tuesday SQL and Relational Algebra (pdf) (ppt)
Handout 1
FCDB, Chapters 2.4
September 4, 2008 Thursday Queries and Subqueries in SQL (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapters 6.1, 6.3 Project assignment 1 due
Homework 1
September 9, 2008 Tuesday Data Definition using SQL and Constraints in Relational Algebra and SQL (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 2.3, 6.1.5, 6.1.6, 6.1.7, 6.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
September 11, 2008 Thursday Bags, Extended Operators, Transactions, Views, Indexes (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 5.1, 5.2, 6.6, 8.1, 8.3
September 16, 2008 Tuesday Entity-Relationship (E/R) Models (pdf) (ppt)
FCDB, Chapter 4.1, 4.2 Homework 1 SOL
Project assignment 2
September 18, 2008 Thursday E/R Models Designs, Constraints, Converting E/R Models to Relational Designs (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 Homework 2 SOL
September 23, 2008 Tuesday E/R Model Practice (pdf) (ppt)   Project assignment 2 due
September 25, 2008 Thursday Functional Dependencies (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 3.1 Homework 2 due
Project assignment 3
September 30, 2008 Tuesday Manipulating Functional Dependencies, Closures, Keys (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 3.2 Homework 3
October 2, 2008 Thursday Manipulating Functional Dependencies, Closures, Keys    
October 7, 2008 Tuesday Midterm Prep : SELF STUDY  

Sample Midterm SOL

October 9, 2008 Thursday
Midterm review (pdf) (ppt)

Project assignment 3 due
Homework 3 SOL

October 14, 2008 Tuesday
Midterm examination
Project assignment 4
October 16, 2008 Thursday
Discussion of solutions to midterm exam (pdf) (ppt)
October 21, 2008 Tuesday BCNF and Normalisation (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 3.3, 3.4  
October 23, 2008 Thursday 3NF and Practice problems. Handout 2 (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 3.5 Project assignment 4 due
October 28, 2008 Tuesday Multivalued Dependencies and 4NF (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 3.6
Homework 4
October 30, 2008 Thursday Multivalued Dependencies and 4NF    
November 4, 2008 Tuesday Semistructured Data and XML (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 11.1 - 11.4 Homework 4 SOL
November 6, 2008 Thursday VT Home Game: No Class    Project assignment 5
November 11, 2008 Tuesday Querying Semistructured Data: XPATH and XQUERY (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 12.1, 12.2  
November 13, 2008 Thursday Warehousing and Data-Mining (pdf) (ppt) FCDB, Chapter 10.6, 10.7 Project assignment 5 due  
November 18, 2008 Tuesday Project / Study Break  
Project assignment 6
November 20, 2008 Thursday Final Review (pdf) (ppt)  
November 25, 2008 Tuesday Thanksgiving week, no classes Homework 5
November 27, 2008 Thursday Thanksgiving week, no classes
December 2, 2008 Tuesday Project Presentations (in-class) Project assignment 6 due
Final Exam: Take-Home Part
December 4, 2008 Thursday Project Presentations (in-class)
December 9, 2008 Tuesday
Final Examination. IN-CLASS

Take-Home Part due

Homework 5 due