CS 4611 Course Syllabus
Database Management Systems
Spring, 2003

Course Information

Instructor:Rich Maclin
Office:315 Heller Hall
Office Hours:13:00-14:30 Tuesday and Wednesday and by appointment
Teaching Assistant:Deodatta Bhoite
Text:Ramakrishnan and Gehrke, Database Management Systems, McGraw-Hill, Third Edition
Lecture:11:00-11:50 Monday, Wednesday and Friday, HH 306
Lab:17:00-17:50 Thursday, MWAH 177

Course Coverage

This course will present an introduction to database management systems. We will attempt to cover the first 21 chapters of the textbook though certain material will be skipped. The focus of the course will be on aspects of implementing and organizing databases rather than on querying databases, though this issue will also be covered. The course will include one or two query oriented projects as well as several coding projects in which you will build a simple database system as a member of a small team.

Expected Course Outcomes

This course is designed to achieve a number of goals for each student:

Examinations and Grades**

For students who are not graduating this semester or who are graduating and are taking CS 4993 (or 5993), the following point breakdown will be used. For students who are graduating and are not taking CS 4993 see the note (**) below.

ItemPointsDate and Time
Midterm Exam 1 175 points February 21 (Friday), 11:00-11:50
Midterm Exam 2 175 points April 11 (Friday), 11:00-11:50
Final Exam 350 points May 15 (Thursday), 10:00-11:55
Programming Assignments (5-6) 250 points TBA
Homework Assignments (5) 50 points TBA
Total 1000 points Grade based on total points

Grades are assigned on a percentage basis, and then an adjustment is applied based on a minimum effort requirement (see below). The grade percentage cutoffs are as follows:

These percentages may be lowered but will not be raised.

Minimum Effort Requirement: Students must turn in a minimal credible effort for EVERY assignment or their grade will be reduced one full letter grade (an A would become a B, an A- a B-, a B+ a C+, etc.). A turned-in assignment achieving at least 40% of the possible points (before late assignment penalties) will be considered a minimal credible effort (though this percentage may be revised downwards by the instructor as warranted). For example, if a program has a maximum possible 30 points, then a turned-in assignment achieving at least 12 points before late penalties would be considered a minimal credible effort.

** - Graduates needing to complete the in-major verbal and written skills degree components. Those students who are graduating this spring and who have chosen not to take CS 4993 will be required to (1) present a paper covering an ethical issue related to database management of no less than 30 minutes and (2) submit a summary paper on the same issue of no less than 5 pages and no more than 8 pages. Oral presentations will be scheduled outside of class time and as such are not required of other students (though they are encouraged to attend and will be given a form to fill out to provide feedback).

The oral presentation will be graded (out of 50 points) both for content and for organization and effectiveness of presentation. The summary paper will be graded (also out of 50 points) both for content and writing style. Students in this situation will have their grade percentages calculated on the basis of an 1100 point total (the 1000 point split shown above plus the 100 points for the oral presentation and summary paper).


Course Material

Copies of the overheads used in class can be obtained from the textbook web page.

Missed Classes

You are responsible for what goes on in class, including lecture material, handouts, and turning in assignments. If you are unable to attend class it is your responsibility to obtain copies of class notes and any materials distributed in class. You may turn in copies of assignments early or have other members of the class turn in an assignment for you.

Missed Exams

No exam will be given early. Exams can be made up only in the case of emergencies such as severe illness or death in the immediate family. You must contact me 24 hours in advance in order to arrange a makeup.


All assignments will be collected at the beginning of class on the due date. Late assignments will be penalized 20% of the grade for each working day the assignment is late.


Programming assignments must be your own work. You may discuss general ideas with other students, but should not discuss actual code with others. If you are having problems with an assignment, please come and see me or send me email.

Equal Opportunity

As instructor I shall make every attempt to treat all students equally, without regard to race, religion, color, sex, handicap, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation. I encourage you to talk to me about your concerns of equal opportunity in the classroom. To inquire further about the University's policy on equal opportunity, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (6827), 269-273 DAdB.

Students With Disabilities

If you have any disability (either permanent or temporary) that might affect your ability to perform in this class, please inform me at the start of the semester. I may adapt methods, materials, or testing so that you can participate equitably. To learn about the services that UMD provides to students with disabilities, contact the Access Center (8727), 138 Kirby Plaza, or the Office of Equal Opportunity (8217), 269-273 DAdB.