George Mason University

Department of Computer Science

CS 550: Database Systems

Fall 2014

Prof. Ami Motro


An introduction to database management with focus on architecting databases and using them in applications. Topics to be covered include: data modeling with the Entity-Relationship model; the relational model and its formal languages; SQL and application programming and protocols; the theory of database design; object databases; and XML and Web data.

Approximate class schedule
  1. Course administration; Introduction to database systems
  2. Conceptual modeling with E-R diagrams
  3. Conceptual modeling with E-R diagrams - advanced concepts
  4. The relational model - formal foundations, from E-R diagrams to relations
  5. The relational model - relational algebra
  6. SQL - Data definition: tables, constraints, assertions, views
  7. SQL - Data update and retrieval: set operations, nesting, aggregation
  8. Mid-term exam
  9. SQL - Advanced concepts: nulls, materialized views, triggers
  10. SQL - Application programming: embedded and dynamic SQL, JDBC and SQLJ
  11. Theory of database design: Functional dependencies and their properties
  12. Theory of database design: Normal forms and decomposition algorithms
  13. Object databases: The object data model, objects in SQL 1999 and SQL 2003
  14. XML and Web data: Overview of XML, XML Schema, XML query languages
  15. Final exam
Time and place

Thursday, 4:30-7:10 pm
Innovation Hall 136


Dr. Amihai Motro
Office: ENG-4415
Telephone: 703-993-1665
Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-2:45 pm

Teaching Assistant

Roy Abhishek
Office: TBA
Email: TBA
Office hours: TBA

  1. CS 310 Data Structures
  2. CS 330 Formal Methods and Models
Prerequisites are strictly enforced!


Two exams (a mid-term and a final) and about 8 homework assignments (of difefrent magnitude), most requiring computer work.
The final grade would be based on exams (75%) and homework assignments (25%).


The first book is required, the second is recommended.

  1. Database Systems - An Application-Oriented Approach, Complete Version, 2nd Edition
    Kifer, Bernstein, and Lewis
    Addison-Wesley/Pearson, 2005
    ISBN-10: 0321268458
    ISBN-13: 9780321268457
  2. Oracle 10g Programming: A Primer
    Addison-Wesley, 2008
    ISBN-10: 0321463048
    ISBN-13: 978-0321463043