CMSC424: Database Design (Spring 2014)

Essential details

Time: Tuesday,Thursday 12:30-1:45
Location: CSIC 1121
Instructor: Mihai Pop (mpop at umiacs) x5-7245
Office hours: TBD
Office address: AVW 3223

Alternate office (by appointment):3120F Biomolecular Sciences Building (bldg #296).
Building is usually locked. Call me from the intercom and I'll buzz you in.

TA: Bill Warshaw (warshaw424ta [at]
TA office hours: Tuesdays 2-4pm
TA office: AVW 4103

TA: Mariel Bartolome (marielb [at] terpmail)
TA office hours: TBD
TA office: AVW 4103

Useful Material


The goal of this course is to introduce students to database systems and motivate the database approach as a mechanism for modeling the real world. The course will cover in depth the relational model, logical database design, query languages, and other database concepts including query optimization, concurrency control, transaction management, and log based crash recovery. Distributed and Web architecture databases will also be discussed. The class project requires a complete analysis, design, and implementation of a database application.


A grade of C or better in CMSC 330 and CMSC 351.


Database systems concepts. (6th ed.)

Silberschatz, Korth, Sudarshan
McGraw Hill, ISBN 0-07-352332-1

Course topics

Coursework and grading

Regular homework assignments will consist of a combination of one or more of the following: (i) exercises from the textbook; (ii) small programming assignments (e.g. SQL exercises). In addition, all students must complete a programming project.

The final grades will be a combination of the grades for the homework, project, midterms and final exams. In addition, participation in the class will be taken into account for extra credit. The breakdown of you final grade is shown below.

Homework - 10 %
Project - 30 %
3 small midterms - 30% (10% each)
Final - 30%

Assignments submitted late will be graded as follows: up to 1 day late - 10 points will be deducted from the grade, up to 2 days late - 20 points will be deducted. Your assignment will not be graded beyond the second day past the deadline. If for reasons outside your control you will not be able to submit an assignment on time, see me as soon as possible to discuss an alternate deadline.

Attendance policy

This course follows the University's attendance policy. In short, if you will miss class for any reason you should let me know in advance, unless this is not possible (e.g. sudden illness). In any case, please let me know as soon as you are aware that you will not be able to attend a class (e-mail is OK). I will work with you to help you catch up on homework or exams if you have to miss any of the lectures.

Academic integrity

I expect that the students taking this class fully adhere to the Code of Academic Integrity. Please read this document in full if you have not already done so. The University of Maryland, College Park has a nationally recognized Code of Academic Integrity, administered by the Student Honor Council. This Code sets standards for academic integrity at Maryland for all undergraduate and graduate students. As a student you are responsible for upholding these standards for this course. It is very important for you to be aware of the consequences of cheating, fabrication, facilitation, and plagiarism. For more information on the Code of Academic Integrity or the Student Honor Council, please visit

To further exhibit your commitment to academic integrity, remember to sign the Honor Pledge on all examinations and assignments: "I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination (assignment)."