TWiki> Cruz Web>Teaching>CS480Spring2012 (2012-01-10, Main.ifcruz)EditAttach

Spring 2012

CS480 "Database Systems"

Schedule: M-W 3:00-4:15 pm
304 SH


The Blackboard web site for the course has been created. This page will no longer be significantly updated.


More details will be announced in class and/or e-mailed to the class and/or posted in your Blackboard account ( for the course. If you have never used Blackboard, you can read the Blackboard 9.0 Learning System User Manual (PDF).

Teaching Team

Instructor: Professor Isabel F. Cruz, SEO 1134
Contact email:
ifc AT cs DOT uic DOT edu (please make sure you mention CS480 in the subject of the message)
Office hours: Wednesday 2pm (SEO 1134)

Additional help: Federico Caimi (Graduate Student) fedeoasi AT yahoo DOT it

Teaching Assistant: Huayi Li (Graduate Student) hli47 AT uic DOT edu
Office hours: TBD

Course Objectives

This course aims to teach the fundamental concepts of database systems, which include conceptual design, query languages, and implementation issues. The concepts and algorithms that we cover are often based on those used in commercial and experimental database systems. We will emphasize the relational model and also cover the object-oriented and extended relational models. Further topics reflecting recent advances in database and information systems may also be covered, including XML, search engine querying, and heterogeneous databases.

Official Description

Database design, logical design, physical design. Relational, hierarchical and network databases. Recovery, concurrency control. Normalization. Prerequisite: CS 202.

Grading and Important Dates (all still tentative)

Evaluation Components Date Percentage
Assignments (2-4) Due: TBD 35%
Class attendance, quiz Date: TBD 5%
Test 1 Date: February 15 (in class)
Test 2 Date: April 2 (in class) 20%
Test 3 Date: April 25 (in class) 20%
Total 100%

First Class: January 9
Spring break: March 19-23
Last Class: April 25


Database Systems Concepts, Silberschatz, Korth, and Sudarshan, McGraw-Hill, 6th edition. Book web site:


Any requests for regrades of assignments or tests must be submitted in writing, along with the assignment or test within one week from the day it was returned. Your request must detail what you think was incorrect about the grading and must be submitted during regular office hours or immediately after a class.


Each assignment will have a deadline (date and hour). Late assignments will not be considered unless as specified in the assignment handout. Most assignments will be due in class and you must hand them in person for obvious reasons (see Course Policy below).


There will be no make-up tests. If you have a conflict with a test, contact the instructor at least seven days in advance, so that your situation can be evaluated and a solution can be found. Of course, only serious conflicts will be considered.

Expectations of Students

If you are attending this class, you must be an experienced student already. Therefore, you also will know that what follows is the best way to get an A

  • Attend all classes. As you know, there are many benefits to attending every class, such as being guided through concepts and through examples by the instructor. In addition, hints might be given on how to solve a particular assignment question. By attending every class, you will also not miss any important announcement made in class. Another good reason to attend class is that there are some points for regular class attendance.
  • Start early. Start working on the assignments and start studying for the tests as soon as possible. In this way you can clarify any questions you may have during the office hours.
  • Check your assignments and tests. When you receive your assignment or test back, make sure that all your questions were graded. (See the policy for Regrades, above). If there is a concept you do not understand, make sure you clarify it, so that you can be prepared for a future assignment or test.
  • Check Blackboard daily. In this way you will not be missing any announcement made in-between classes. Make sure that you are receiving the email messages that are sent to the whole class via Blackboard.

Course Policy

Cheating will not be tolerated in this course. In particular, individual work must be performed by the student alone and group projects (if any) must be performed only by the elements of the group. Note that plagiarism, including copying information from the web, is a form of cheating. Any form of cheating will result in immediate failing of the course. In addition, the case may be reported to the university.

Students are urged to check with the instructor on what constitutes proper and improper use of references both available in printed form or electronic form and on what constitutes proper and improper forms of collaboration and authoring. Understanding such distinctions will be extremely useful in a student's research or professional career.


We believe that gaining knowledge in the subject of databases will open many opportunities in your life. If you have interviewed recently you know that the subject of databases comes up regularly in an interview. Many companies (e.g., Google) explicitly require database knowledge while others have large groups specifically developing databases (e.g., Microsoft). Many students before you have gotten very nice database-related jobs, or have gone on to pursue graduate degrees. Some (including several undergraduates) have even joined the ADVIS research group before going on to successful careers! Do not hesitate to ask questions and really make this course a valuable and enjoyable experience for you.

Isabel F. Cruz

Page created: January, 2012

Topic revision: r3 - 2012-01-10 - 07:53:57 - Main.ifcruz
Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees
of the University of
Helping Women Faculty Advance
Funded by NSF