[Dedicated to the memory of Professor Phil Dorin, teacher, mentor and friend.]
Theory and design of database systems, with emphasis on relational and object-oriented models. Topics include database system structure, semantic data modeling, relational databases, object oriented extensions, formal query languages, integrity and security, physical design of databases, indexing and hashing, and query processing and optimization. Transaction processing, concurrency, and crash recovery are introduced.
Note that the course description above is not very specific.... there is more detail below!
Programming, like anything else, takes practice and perseverance. You must be willing to make mistakes, to learn how to fix them, and to learn not to be afraid of them. Humans [and now even computers!] learn by making mistakes, and this is the place to do so without fear.
The goal of this course is to learn the basics of database systems, including their underlying concepts, design, construction, and operation. The topics covered include [but are not limited to] the following:
When you finish the course, you will be able to:
In accordance with the LMU Credit Hour Policy, this 3-unit course will require 9 hours of work per week, which includes the time spent in class and lab sessions. This work will consist of homework, a project, watching and commenting on some videos about databases and related topics, and reading/study of textbook material.
In a nutshell, here's what you'll need to do to be successful in this course.
*YOU* promise to:
…and *I* promise to:
There are three required textbooks for this course:
YOU WILL NEED ACCESS TO THESE BOOKS FOR THE CLASS!
THE BOOKS ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN THE LMU BOOKSTORE. They are available at many other fine retail outlets, both online and brick-and-mortar. We will be using them for homework assignments, general reading and information, as well as tutorials for using several different databases both in and out of the classroom. The titles of the books provide you with their contents and focus.
Although we won't be covering the books in their entirety for this class, we will be using them as primary resources.
There is also a large number of other resources which can be used to "mine the gold" for related
information about database systems. The topic is a very broad field, which has been around for a
very long time, and touches almost every aspect of modern life. Any google search on
systems will turn up at least ten million links. Many of these will be shared during class, and
you will be required to find some information about specific topics on your own. You may even be
required to use the LMU library, [GASP!!] so be prepared!
A list of topics that are covered, and the approximate order and time frame in which they will be discussed, is available on the class notes page for this site.
Chapter readings from the text books and the dates by which these readings should be completed are listed below. Note that you should have read the chapter material prior to the date listed, and you should be ready to discuss the text, ask questions about the concepts, and begin working with some of the implementations of the concepts in class. It is also a good idea to at least read (or preferably try) the exercises contained in and at the end of each chapter.
Here is the reading list:
All written homework assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the date
they are due. Deviation from this process requires prior consent of the instructor.
I left my
homework at home is not a valid reason for late work. This is college, and you can be
responsible for remembering what you need to remember. Every effort is made to ensure assignments,
required deliverables, and due dates are prominently posted on these pages; it is your
responsibility to make sure you know what is due and when it is due.
You may certainly turn assignments in late; I will happily accept them, but they will be reduced in
grade by one letter for each day they are late.
class day; an
A+ homework due on Thursday which is not
turned in until the following Tuesday will unfortunately only earn a failing grade, unless some prior
arrangements are made with the instructor due to illness or some major schedule conflict. However,
if you want to turn something in late, I'll still provide feedback even for assignments which have no
chance of any credit; I keep this policy to allow you to get the learning benefit of the assignment
even if you don't get a grade for it. My philosophy is that it is important for the students to know
the material, even if an assignment doesn't get the best marks.
All assignments must be printed on a printer. All assignments must use proper American English and/or Programming Language spelling and grammar. Failure to do so will cost you a letter grade, so get a spell-checker and a grammar checker, or find a friend who is proficient to proofread your work before it is submitted.
Other than these simple rules, there are no requirements for formatting, fonts, colors, diagrams, or anything else with respect to your homework assignments, other than good code craftsperson-ship.
There will be three homework assignments during the semester, due on the dates shown in the list below. Each assignment will contain eight to ten written problems, and some reading and other information/activities such as web sites to browse, articles to read (and possibly write about), or videos to watch. Each of these assignments is detailed on a separate web page; they are available by using the links in the list. Solutions will be provided after the assignments are handed in.
There will be a mid-term during the semester, scheduled for Wednesday of week six. Note that the test is interspersed with the homework assignments, such that there will not be any homework assignment due on a test date.
There will be a final exam, which will be scheduled per the university's official
exam schedule. At this writing, the final is scheduled 08:00 on Wednesday of finals week. It would be a
good idea to double-check this date and time as the semester end approaches. The schedule is available
The final is a
cumulative final, which covers everything for the entire semester.
There will be a semester database project, which will implement a database of your choosing. You will pick the application, and will decide which type of database and which engine you will use to implement it. You MUST implement, at a minimum, the database portion of the project. This means you must have all tables, collections, documents, or what-have-you, in the database. You may, if you desire, make a front-end so you have a full-stack implementation, or if you prefer you can implement a command line interface [for example, using SQL queries] to access the data. You will be documenting the database in full, per the requirements on the project page. That page also includes several suggestions for projects which you may use. You will be required to demonstrate certain basic functionality to insert, modify, and retrieve data from your implementation. This demonstration will be a presentation at the end of the semester, which will occur two weeks before final exams, during normal class time.
Missed quizzes or tests: it is the responsibility of the student to provide adequate advance notice to the professor if a scheduled quiz or test is going to be missed. If you have a conflict in schedule which will cause a missed exam, please notify the professor at least two days in advance, if possible, to avoid a failing grade for that exam. Prior arrangements must be made in order for a make-up exam to be taken, since this situation requires the professor to create a second copy of the exam/quiz/test.
You will need access to a computer of some variety. Duh.
If you don't have a computer available, or if you just don't want to carry it around, there are plenty of computers of all types in the Keck Lab, Doolan 112. However, they may not all have the desired software installed. Caveat Emptor.
Although attendance is not mandatory, it is in your own best interest to attend every class. Much of the material will be discussed and elaborated upon in class, so counting on the books for all required information will not provide you with complete information. In addition, there will be in-class exercises in small groups which you will miss out on if you are not there.
Obviously, if you skip too many classes, you will likely fail; this is a simple and self-fulfilling prophecy.
The class participation rubric appears with the grading stuff in the tables below.
There will be no extra credit given in this course.
Grades for the course are assigned according to the weighting factors shown in the tables below.
Final letter grades will be assigned based on the following scale:
|Percent||Letter||Rating and Achievement|
|91 - 100%||A / A-||Professional quality work; outstanding|
|81 - 90%||B+ / B / B-||Entry-level quality work; above average, shows extra effort and interest|
|71 - 80%||C+ / C / C-||Satisfactory work; expected with reasonable effort|
|61 - 70%||D||Substandard work; minimal effort shown|
|60 or less||F||Thank you for playing; see you next semester|
|Homework (total, all 3)||15%|
|Database Project |
[5% Preliminary Doc]
[5% Detailed Doc]
[20% Database Implementation]
|Class Participation Criteria||Value|
|Absent *without* prior notification/agreement of professor||0|
|Absent *with* prior consent/agreement of instructor||3|
|Demonstrates excellent preparation with respect to readings and other materials;|
Offers pertinent analysis, synthesis, and evaluation; puts together pieces of the discussion to develop new approaches that take the class further.
Starting Fall 2016: Minimum Grade Requirement for LMU Core Curriculum Courses
Effective Fall 2016:To satisfy a Core requirement (other than a flag requirement), a course must be completed with a grade of C- or better. To satisfy a flag requirement, a course must be completed with a grade of D or better.Baccalaureate Degree Requirements, 2016-17 University Bulletin.
Should a student receive a D in a Core Curriculum course, the student will earn the course units, but the Core Curriculum requirement (except for flags) will not be met.
Important to Note: This policy does not affect any grade received prior to Fall 2016. Those grades of D earned in Core Curriculum courses prior to Fall 2016 will remain on record as having met the Core Curriculum requirement. This policy only affects grades awarded in Fall 2016 and beyond.
Also of note…
An incomplete will be granted only when the student requesting the incomplete has completed at least 80% of the coursework, and has at least a B average in the course work completed. This is standard LMU policy.
Leave of Absence/Withdrawal:
Please read the revised policy on the top right of page 38 of the University Bulletin. A PDF copy is available here.
All work is evaluated for both technical merit and quality of written and/or oral presentation.
Find yourself a good spelling and grammar checker, or a trusted human editor, if you are having any
difficulty with the rules of standard English language usage. Another excellent resource is the
Academic Resource Center,
located on the south side of Daum Hall. The center takes appointments, and also allows
drop-in consultation sessions, and they have a number of good benefits. Call (310) 338-2847
to schedule an appointment. (For those that don't know, Daum Hall is the building where the
LMU Security and Parking office used to be. ARC is on the secon floor.)
FAIR WARNING!!! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! FAIR WARNING!!!
In this class, documentation which is not of professional quality is no longer acceptable. Spelling, grammar, and internal document consistency all count and will cost you big-time if not correct! I will not hesitate to knock off a full letter grade on an otherwise perfectly correct assignment if there are egregious and/or numerous spelling/grammar errors. In addition, coding style will play a large part in determining the grade on the code for the homework and project. It is the job of each student to properly structure, comment, and indent, to select the proper names for variables, and to nothard-codevalues. NO MAGIC NUMBERS!
FAIR WARNING!!! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!! FAIR WARNING!!!
Academic dishonesty will be treated as an extremely serious matter with severe consequences that can
range from receiving no credit for assignments/tests, failing the class, to expulsion. It is never
permissible to turn in any work that has not been authored by the student, such as work that has been
copied from another student or copied from a source (including the Internet) without properly
acknowledging the source. It is your responsibility to make sure that your work meets the standard
set forth in the
Academic Honesty Policy
Cheating on assignments, plagiarism, falsification of data, and other similar or related violations of LMU standards of honesty and integrity ARE NOT TOLERATED. Any student or students who commit such offences will receive a failing grade for that assignment, possibly a failing grade for the course, and conceivably further disciplinary action. It is acceptable to use code from textbooks, friends, coworkers, or other sources, as long as the source of the code is cited/acknowledged in all reports and source file headers.
This does not mean that collaboration is discouraged; in fact, the "pair programming" paradigm is encouraged. However, this does mean that exact duplicates of reviews and write-ups turned in by more than one student as individual work, or uncited copying from the Internet or any other source, will not be allowed. Such a situation will be dealt with in the manner outlined above. In short, if you are responsible for your own work, do your own work.
Repeat: failure to follow this simple guideline will result in a failing grade on that assignment, likely failing grade in the course, and quite possibly further disciplinary action.
Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance, or accommodations in this course should promptly direct their request to the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office. Any student who currently has a documented disability (ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Learning, Physical, or Psychiatric) needing academic accommodations should contact the DSS Office (Daum Hall 2nd floor, 310-338-4216) as early in the semester as possible. All discussions will remain confidential. Please visit http://www.lmu.edu/dss for additional information.
As an LMU Lion, by the Lion's code, you are pledged to join the discourse of the academy with honesty of voice and integrity of scholarship and to show respect for staff, professors, and other students.
The following LMU documents are available to reference:
Disruptive Behavior, and/or intentionally or recklessly interfering with normal University life, activities, processes or University-sponsored activities including, but not limited to: studying; teaching; research; classroom instruction; campus or residential life; University administration; judicial proceedings; or fire, police or emergency services.[see page 8 of the Community Standards document]
Disruptive behavior which is persistent or significantly interferes with classroom activities may be subject to disciplinary action. A student may be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs if their behavior constitutes a violation of the conduct code.[See Disruptive Behavior Brochure.]
For more information on this or any other conduct issues, please refer to the Student Codes and Policies section in the Community Standards. The Lion's Code, Student Conduct Code, Honor Code and Process, and information on many other policies are available from that link. You can find any and all other related data from the Office of Student Conduct & Community Responsibility web page. Also check the main Student Affairs Departments Website.
Electronic Devices: Without being totalitarian about it, because I forget sometimes myself, but I would prefer that you turn off your cell phone ringer during class. Cell phone ring tones and text message tones can become disruptive. If you have a laptop, I don't mind if you want to IM with your friends or surf the Internet during class time, but be aware that will not be accepted as a valid excuse if you are called on and don't know what we're talking about — this could be a contributing factor for a low class participation grade for that day, but it's really up to you to decide. Just please keep the volume off so that you don't disturb others.
To report an emergency or suspicious activity, contact the LMU Department of Public Safety by phone (x222 or 310-338-2893) or at the nearest emergency call box. In the event of an evacuation, follow the evacuation signage throughout the building to the designated safe refuge area where you will receive further instruction from Public Safety or a Building Captain. For more safety information and preparedness tips, visit http://www.lmu.edu/emergency.
I have office hours during the days when I have classes, Monday through Thursday. The normal hours are listed at the top of this syllabus page. I will make every effort to be available during those hours, and if I cannot for some emergency reason, I'll make sure you all know about it in advance if possible. My office is Doolan 220, on the second floor, and the normal office hours are posted on the small cork bulletin board to the right as you are facing the door. Office hour data is posted there in redundancy to the posted hours on this syllabus page. Brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.
Every effort will be made to be availble during these posted hours. If something changes, I will notify you in advance, when possible and as soon as possible, via an e-mail blast.
In addition, if you want specific [undivided] attention, you can set up appointments at my You Can Book Me site. Just visit the page and click on any available slot (which isn't greyed out), then enter your information in the window fields. We will both get a confirmation e-mail, which is my notification that you'll be coming in. Easy, huh!?
I am also always available by e-mail at either of the following addresses:
I check email at both these addresses at least twice a day, usually three times a day. In
addition I am frequently on line for AIM chat sessions after 9:00 PM; my screen name is
NanoBeej, or for Google chat sessions at the above address..
YOU SHOULD CHECK YOUR LION EMAIL ADDRESS OF RECORD. I will start by sending all
email blasts to everyone's
lion.lmu.edu email addresses. If you specifically provide
me with a preferred alternative email to use I will be happy to oblige. I create a distribution list
to which I send all general communications, so it is important for me to have an email address
which you will check on a regular basis.
If necessary, this syllabus and its contents are subject to revision; students are responsible for keeping up with any changes or modifications, which will be distributed either in class or using the normal (specified) communications channels previously described (usually via e-mail).