EECS 484: Overview

EECS 484 (Database Management Systems) Fall 2012




Course Description

EECS 484 provides a basic introduction to relational database management systems (DBMSs). This course is designed to provide you with both an external and an internal view of relational DBMSs.

Topics related to the external view will allow you to use a relational DBMS. Whereas course projects will involve a specific commercial database (Oracle), the purpose of this course is not to learn the details of how to use any specific commercial database system, and we will minimize product-specific issues that you need to learn. If you are interested in the details of SQL programming, or the operation of a specific commercial database system, you will be able to pick this up after you have taken this course. Topics related to the internal view have been selected to give you an understanding of the fundamental database concepts and implementation techniques that are used in relational database engines. Using the course project, you will actually build a few key components of a database engine. This course will allow you to better understand how a relational DBMS works, making you a more sophisticated database user. You will need the understanding provided by this course if you expect to be a decent database administrator, even if you have no plans to write code inside a database engine.


EECS 281 or graduate standing

Teaching Staff and Office Hours

Instructor: Michael Cafarella, michjc [AT]
Office Hours: M 1pm-2pm in Room 4709 BBB

GSI: Paritosh Aggarwal, paggarw [AT]
Office Hours: W 4:30-6, Th 1:30-3:30 in Room 1637 (or 1620) BBB

IA: Letian Chen, letichen [AT]
Office Hours: M 12-2, F 10:45-12:15 in Room 1637 (or 1620) BBB

IA: David Chen, davidcgl [AT]
Office Hours: M 2:30-4:00, W 2:30-4:30 in Room 1637 (or 1620) BBB

IA: William Beyer, wbeyer [AT]
Office Hours: Tu 4:30-6:30, Th 4:30-6 in Room 1637 (or 1620) BBB

Teaching staff will typically hold office hours in room 1637 in the CSE learning center. If it appears most student questions are code-related, office hours may be moved to CSE 1620. These two rooms are across the hall from each other -- check both places if you aren't sure where office hours are.

Lecture Time and Place

Lectures: MW 10:30 - 12:00, 1013 DOW.
Four discussion sections, all on Friday. You should attend one of the four.

10.30-11.30 William Beyer, 3150 Dow
11.30-12.30 David Chen, 1006 Dow
12.30-1.30 Letian Chen, 1005 Dow
2.30-3.30 Paritosh Aggarwal, 1014 Dow


Database Management Systems (3rd edition) - by Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke, McGraw Hill, 2003, ISBN: 0-07-115110-9. The book has a supporting website, where you can find answers to odd-numbered exercises.



We will use CTools for several purposes in this course. Please try logging in during the first few days of class, and send e-mail to the GSI if you encounter difficulty.

Oracle Accounts

The second programming assignment requires you to use an Oracle database. Each student will receive an Oracle account from CAEN during the first few weeks of class. (CAEN will send you information about this directly.)

Course Requirements and Grading

Exam 1: October 17 25%
Exam 2: December 18 25%
Projects: 4 programming assignments 10% each
Homeworks: 5 written assignments 2.5% each for the best 4

The examinations are *not* cumulative. Each applies to one half of the EECS 484 course. In particular, the final exam covers material presented after the October 17 exam.

Projects, Partners, and Late Days

You will work in teams of two for each programming assignment. You have two free late days over the semester for all projects combined. You will be penalized 1% of a full semester grade for each permitted late day beyond that. Typically, each project will allow a maximum of two late days.

Please register your group by Friday, September 14, at 11:59pm. You can register using the form here.

The written assignments are to be submitted by each individual. No late days are allowed. The best 4 out of the 5 will count toward your grade (i.e., the worst one will be dropped).

Honor Code

All students (including LS&A and Engineering) are required to observe the Engineering Honor Code in all assignments and exams. A copy of the honor code can be found here. Please make sure that you clearly understand what constitutes cheating. See the honor code tab on ctools for some course-specific information. If you are not sure in any specific case, you should ask the teaching staff. The University takes honor code violations seriously, and penalties can be severe.


Students with disabilities that are documented with the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD) Office should contact the professor during the first two weeks of class to make appropriate arrangements.