Department of Computer Science

INFS 614 Database Management

Spring 2015


Instructor:      Dr. Lei He


Classroom:     Art and Design Building 2003

Day & Time:  Thursday       7:20pm – 10:00pm

Office Hour: By appointment

Course Description

Introduces database systems, emphasizing the study of database models and languages and practice of database design and programming. Topics include:  Entity-Relationship model, relational model and its formal query languages, SQL, theory of relational database design, and object-oriented and logic-based databases.


INFS 501 (Discrete mathematics), 515 (Computer architectures/organization), 519 (Program design / Data structures), and SWE 510 (Object-oriented programming in Java) or equivalent. You must either have a grade of B or better in each of these courses, or produce evidence (e.g., transcript, acceptance letter) that one or more of these courses have been waived due to prior work. You must satisfy the course prerequisites to register for and stay in this course. If you have specific questions, please meet with your academic advisor.


·      Required
Database Management Systems, by Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke

Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 3rd Edition (August 14, 2002) ISBN-10: 0072465638

·      Recommended
Oracle 10g Programming: A Primer, by Rajshekhar Sunderraman

Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 1st Edition (May 09, 2007) ISBN-10: 0321463048


Course Format

Lectures will be given by the instructor. Besides material from the textbook, topics not discussed in the book may also be covered. Handouts of material not covered in the book will be made available. Grading will be based on homework assignments and exams.

Course Outcome

As an outcome of taking this class, a student will be able to

·         Knowledge of fundamental concepts of file and database management;

·         Knowledge of database design principles, and ability to model real-world environments using the ER model;

·         Knowledge of the formal principles of the relational database model and its query languages, and ability to design relational databases and express queries in the relational algebra and calculus;

·         Knowledge of the Structured Query Language (SQL) and database programming principles, and ability to author SQL queries and implement Java database applications using the Oracle database system;

·         Experience in the complete database creative process: from database design, to database constuction, to database programming.


Grades will be based on two examinations (30%), homework (40%), computer projects (20%) and class participation (10%).

·      Examinations (30%)
All examinations are closed books, see the class schedule for the exam weeks. Make up exams and incompletes will not be given for this class.

·      Homework (40%)
Homework writing assignments will be posted to your Blackboard account after each chapter. Working on your homework is critical to develop a deep understanding of the course topics. The homework assignments will not be graded based only on the correctness. The instructor will also record your efforts to solve problems. Proper documentation and typed homework is required.
<Late Work> Homework is due at the beginning of class on the due date. Late work will not be accepted.

·      Computer Projects (20%)
You will implement a database of your selection on specific real applications (e.g., education, finance, and retail), based on which a report will be developed. More detailed requirements will be given in the assignments.

·      Class Participation (10%)
Requirements include class attendance, active participation in discussions and in-class problem solving. Please let the instructor know in advance if you expect to be absent for any reason. If you must miss a class due to an emergency or documented illness, email the instructor as soon as possible. You are still responsible for any material covered, assignments given, and homework due during the missed classes unless pre-approved by the instructor. Each absence without prior notice will result in a 2% deduction on the grade.

Tentative Class Schedule

Time may not permit the coverage of all the chapters of the book. The pacing below is not rigid, and the list is subject to change. The topics will be: 

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: The ER model

Week 3: Relational model

Week 4: Relational algebra

Week 5: Relational calculus

Week 6: Preparation for midterm exam

Week 7: Midterm exam. 

Week 8: Spring break

Week 10: SQL 1

Week 11: SQL 2

Week 12: Database applications

Week 13: Functional dependencies

Week 14: Normal forms and normalization

Week 15: Schema refinement

Week 16: Final exam


Honor Code Statement

Collaboration on homework is permitted; copying of solutions is not. The work you hand in should be your own. Please check the Mason Honor Code at,
and the CS Department policies

Disability Accommodations

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at 993-2474, All academic accommodations must be arranged through the ODS.