CS 460/ CS 660


course details
     other info



Computer Science 460/660
Introduction to Database Systems


December 11
The final exam will be held on Monday, December 16, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in KCB 101 (note the change in room).

Additional information about the exam is available in the final set of lecture notes.

October 16
The midterm exam will be held on Thursday, 10/24. It will cover all of the material through the lecture notes on implementing a logical-to-physical mapping. We will not expect you to know the details of the Berkeley DB or DBMS APIs, but you should understand the big picture of both BDB and the DBMS framework. During the quiz, you may use a single 3-inch x 5-inch sheet with handwritten notes on both sides.

You may find the following materials helpful as you prepare for the exam:

In addition, you should review all of the relevant notes, and the questions asked in Problem Sets 1 and 2.

To provide more room for you to spread out, the exam will be held in CGS 511. Please make an effort to arrive on time or even a bit early, so that you can be sure to have the full 60 minutes for the quiz.

September 10
Problem Set 1 is now posted. Use the assignments link in the left-hand navigation bar.

September 3
Please complete Problem Set 0 ASAP.

If you did not receive a copy of the lecture notes and syllabus in lecture today, there are PDF versions available using the lectures link in the left-hand navigation bar.

The first lecture for the fall semester will be held on Tuesday, September 3.

The key details of the course are given below. For more information, consult the syllabus or contact Dr. Sullivan.

Please check this page regularly throughout the semester for announcements and course materials.

Course Information

This course covers the fundamental concepts of database systems. Topics include data models (ER, relational, and others); query languages (relational algebra, SQL, and others); implementation techniques of database management systems (indexing structures, concurrency control, recovery, and query processing); management of semistructured and complex data; and distributed databases.

Prerequisites: CAS CS 112

David G. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer on Computer Science
see the staff page for contact info. and office hours

Lectures: Tues/Thurs, 9:30-11:00 am

  • Five problem sets
  • Midterm exam
  • Final exam
  • Attendance and participation

  • Policy on collaboration and academic honesty
  • Lateness policy: Homework must be submitted electronically by the date and time listed on the assignment. There will be a 10% deduction for homework that is up to 24 hours late, and a 20% deduction for homework that is 24-48 hours late. We will not accept any homework that is more than 48 hours late. Plan your time carefully, and don't wait until the last minute to begin an assignment. Starting early will give you ample time to ask questions and obtain assistance from members of the course staff.
  • Determining the final grade:
    • attendance and participation: 10%
    • problem sets: 40%
    • midterm: 17%
    • final exam: 33%
  • Extensions and makeup quizzes/exams will only be given in documented cases of serious illness or other emergencies.
  • You cannot redo or complete extra work to improve your grade.
  • Incompletes will not be given.

Optional Textbook
Database Systems: The Complete Book (2nd edition) by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeff Ullman, and Jennifer Widom (ISBN 978-0131873254, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009). Copies are available at the Barnes & Noble at BU.