CS 377 Introduction to Database Systems, Fall 2011

Lecture: TuTh 2:30-3:45pm MSC W201

Web: http://www.mathcs.emory.edu/~cs377000
Mailing List: cs377000-list AT mathcs DOT emory DOT edu
Share Directory: /home/cs377000/share

Instructor: Li Xiong (lxiong @ mathcs.emory.edu)
Office Hours: TuTh 4-5pm at MSC E412 or by appointment
TA: Qi Guo
Office Hours: MW 3-4pm


This is an introduction course on database systems. It introduces the fundamental concepts of the design and use of database systems. We will introduce the Entity-relationship model used to design a database. The main focus of the course will be relational database systems where we will study the relational data model and the SQL query language for accessing the data maintained by relational database systems. We will also give a brief overview of database systems implementation, including topics such as storage management and transaction processing.


Fundamentals of Database Systems, 6th Edition, by Ramez Elmasri & Shamkant B. Navathe (4th edition or later is fine)


CS171 or equivalent


There will be written assignments as well as programming assignments/projects. The SQL programming assignments involve formulating queries on a small database using the departmental Oracle relational database system. The Java/SQL programming projects involves implementing a GUI application that accesses and queries a database. You will work on projects in a team with up to 2 students.


We will have a midterm and a final exam that will test your conceptual understanding of the material and will require some attention to SQL programming details. Study guides will be made available prior to each exam.


Your grade will be determined by a weighted average of all the graded items. Grades will be curved (up) so that the class mean falls at least in a B range. Although the numerical grade you receive for each assignment and exam will be a raw uncurved score, you will be given the class median and mean so that you may gauge where you stand. It is very important to demonstrate that you are making an effort. Coming to class, asking questions, and seeing me or the TA in office hours are all very good ways to demonstrate your interest in the material.

Component Weight

Score Grade

93-100 A
90-92.9 A-
87-89.9 B+
83-86.9 B
80-82.9 B-
77-79.9 C+
73-76.9 C
70-72.9 C-
67-69.9 D+
60-66.9 D
0-59.9 F

Late Policies

All exams must be taken promptly at the required time. Requests for rescheduling a midterm exam will only be considered if the request is made at least a week prior to the exam date. Final can not be rescheduled.

You have 2 late assignment allowances, each can be used to turn in a single late assignment within 3 days of the due date without penalty. Beyond this allowance, late assignment will be accepted within 3 days of the due date and penalized 10% per day. No extensions will be given. Please note on the assignment if you wish to use the late assignment allowance.

The above policies will be waived only in an "emergency" situation with appropriate documentation.

Honor code

All class work is governed by the College Honor Code and Departmental Policy. Discussing with other students about general concepts is encouraged but all code and writeups should be written by yourself. Every program assignment must have the following comment included at the top of the file.

Enjoy yourself and good luck!