CS125 – Database Design

Fall, 2003

Course Information

OVERVIEW: Large repositories of data are becoming ubiquitous. In the course of a single day, you may (unknowningly) encounter numerous systems designed to organize and maintain data about significant populations. Examples of encounters include visiting or using your bank account, using your student ID card to gain access to the dining commons, getting stopped by the CHP, or simply buying items from a store (even with cash). The size of resulting data sets prevents straight-forward memory or file-based approaches from effectively handling the queries and modifications found in daily use. Thus, Database Systems have been developed to reliably handle the storage, access and maintenance of such large collections of data.

PREREQUISITES: CS30 Introduction to Computer Science II.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: From the Westmont Catalog: “Database system architecture; relational and object-oriented databases, the Structure Query Language (SQL), normal forms and database design; query processing and optimization; handling transactions, concurrency control, crash recovery; data warehousing and data mining.

It is expected that satisfactory completion of the course will enable students to tackle data intensive projects in commercial contexts. Such a project might include modifying, extending, or analyzing an existing database system, or might involve conceiving and designing the structure of a new database system for data that has not been collected previously.

The successful student in this class will also be prepared to take a graduate-level coure in Database Systems should she or he choose to continue their education in graduate school.

LOCATION: Murchison Gym, room 4.

DAYS & TIME: Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 12:45-1:50 am.

TEXT: A First Course in Database Systems (second edition), by Jeffrey D. Ullman & Jennifer Widom. Prentice Hall. (2002). [required]

COURSE WEBPAGE: http://homepage.westmont.edu/iba/CS125.html

Instructor Information


OFFICE: New Math/CS Modular Building


EMAIL: iba@westmont.edu

PHONE: 805-565-6799

Course Assignments, Requirements and Policies

ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments will be posted on the course schedule and unless otherwise noted will be due on the Friday of the week given. Students' submitted work shall be legible (text will typically be typed but figures may be hand drawn) and show their solution in a methodical manner. Illegible work will not be graded (and will be counted as not having been completed). Due dates for assignments will be strictly enforced. Late individual assignments will not be accepted.

DATABASE PROJECT: Each student will complete an individual database project. Conventional wisdom suggests that you choose a topic that interests you; the project will be much more fun and you will probably learn more. The project will be evaluated based on the functionality of the final result, the timeliness of periodic deliverables, and the quality of the presentation and demonstration.

CLASS PRESENTATIONS: Students will make at least one presentation to the class. The presentations will describe students' projects and demonstrate their working systems.

TESTS & EXAMS: There will be one mid-term and a final exam. There will also be zero or more surprise quizzes. Exams must be taken at the scheduled time unless arrangement is made with the instructor. You may not make-up a surprise quiz.

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is not required for grading purposes. However, students are responsible for the material covered and the assignments whether they attend or not. Surprise quizzes may not be taken at a later time under any circumstances.

GRADING: Students will be evaluated on how well they master the skills needed for database design. Letter grades for the course will be assigned as follows: A: [.9,1.0], B: [.8,.9), C: [.7,.8), D: [.6,.7), and F: <.6. The final grade will be based on the student's performance on course work. The following percentages will weight the final grade: self-evaluation – 15%, homework - 15%, surprise quizzes - 10%, mid term exam - 10%, final exam – 10%, database project – 40%.

ACADEMIC HONESTY: As in every area of life, you are expected to behave honestly within the context of this class. Do not attempt to receive credit for work that is not your own without properly acknowledging sources via appropriate citations or references. You are encouraged to get help from your peers but make sure you acknowledge such help and that you subsequently understand the help you received. The consequences of violating the trust I implicitly extend to you will be according to Westmont policy; but more serious will be the damage done to our academic relationship.