Database Theory

ECEE 610 001

Autumn, 2010


Instructor: Lawrence J. Mazlack

Office: 834 Rhodes

Telephone: 556-1883

email: (the most reliable way to contact me outside of class or office hours)

office hours:

See the course instructor during office hours for all questions related to course, except for the solution of review problems. Help in working the review problems can be had from the course TA.

Course Purpose:

The development and use of highly structured databases. The focus is on agents that support the solution of computer problems requiring the use of large amounts of interrelated data. Particularly, data that are stored in a complex manner and are used to develop information. The emphasis is on theoretical, underlying issues; a practicum in database programming will not be provided.

Course Materials:

Suggested Texts:

Supplemental Texts:

Simsion, Witt, Data Modeling Essentials, Elsevier (Morgan Kaufmann) ISBN: 0126445516

Date, An Introduction To Database Systems, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0321197844

Ullman, Principles of Database and Knowledge-Base Systems, vol 1

Published by either: Computer Science Press or Freeman (either version is OK)

This text is out of print but is strongly recommended.

Good Additional Sources Of Information:

Awadm Gotterer, Database Management, Boyd & Fraser

Marakas, Modern Data Warehousing, Mining, and Visualization, Prentice-Hall

Martin, Managing the Data-Base Environment, Prentice-Hall

Supplemental Materials - a single packet (available from: Duplication Services, Medical Center Public Relations, Dyer Hall, Room 511e):

Additional Supplementary Materials (found in journals in the library):

How You Will Be Graded:

Three examinations: all exams are comprehensive; each examination is approximately of the same time length:

The material on the examinations will largely be drawn from lectures. A substantial portion of the examinations will be taken directly from the homework. Consequently, you are encouraged to solve the relevant learning objective questions before taking an exam.


It is expected that you do all of the relevant learning objectives questions found in the packet. It is your task to be professional and schedule your own efforts. Your work on the learning objective questions will not be turned in. However, a substantial number of the examination questions will be directly drawn from the learning objective questions.

Course Mechanics:

  • No final grades of incomplete.
  • No makeup exams.
  • If you miss an exam for any reason, the grade for the missed exam will be interpolated from the next exam taken. (Interpolation provides an adjustment that reflects the relative difficulty of the two exams.) No interpolated exam grade value will exceed 95% of the maximum grade for those who actually took the exam. If you miss the last exam, the grade turned in at the end of the quarter will be what you earn for the course with your last exam a zero. If you have a valid medical reason or compelling personal trauma (such as a family death), you may be permitted to arrange to take the last exam the next time the course is given and this exam will be used to determine your final grade in this course. To qualify for this, you must have your Dean of Students write a letter affirming the basis for this action. Difficulty with other classes or employer tasks is not an acceptable basis.
  • Any regrading requests must be requested by one week after the exams have been passed back.
  • If any one question is regraded, the entire test may be regraded at the discretion of the instructor.
  • If more than three questions are to be regraded, you must submit a written request for that indicates:
  • Which questions are to be regraded and
  • Why you think that they should be regraded.
  • It is expected that all members of the class will be professional and act in a honest, ethical, and moral manner. Failure to do so will result in course failure. Any transgression, no matter how small, will be a cause for course failure.
  • Attendance will not be taken, however, you are expected to attend class. Each student is responsible for all information covered in lectures, all announcements made in class, all handouts distributed during class, and all assignments given during class.
  • Lectures may not be taped.
  • Class Representative:

    If you have a concern about this class, you are encourage to discuss it immediately and directly with the course instructor. However, as some people may be unwilling to do this, a representative for the class will be chosen by the class. The task of this representative is to convey concerns of students to the instructor.

    Planning Your Future In This Course:

    This course requires consistent work. Normally, people who fall behind should withdraw and take the course at another time. It is pretty hard to catch up. Grades in this class last quarter ranged from "A" to "F." This course is available for both undergraduate and undergraduate credit. Graduate students and undergraduates are expected to perform equally. Last quarter, both undergraduates and graduates received "A"s as well as "F"s.

    Suggestions on working on the learning objectives:

  • First: the most important thing is to try and do them as the subjects come up in class.
  • Second: Do not wait until the last minute to work on them.
  • Other than that, there are at least six ways to move forward on the learning objectives:
  • Read the relevant part of the books. Read the suggested supplemental articles. For example, on normalization read the Kent article.
  • Come to the review sessions.
  • Come by during my office hours for help.
  • Send me email.
  • Try to find someone else to work with.
  • Find someone who took the course in a previous quarter and seek their advice.

  • Copying The Instructor's Notes And Images

    The instructor's notes and images will not be lent to individual students. This material is essential to the instructor doing his job and past lending to individual students has resulted in a variety of problems.

    The instructor's notes and transparencies are a personal work product, developed and produced on a personally owned computer. Many of the transparencies used in class are available in the packet. Other than those, you must capture (during lecture) any notes that you wish to have. If you miss a class for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact fellow students to copy their notes.
    Usually, directly and immediately after class, you may come by the instructor's office and compare your notes with the instructor's transparencies.

    last changed: 22 September 2010