CSC 340
Introduction to Database Systems


Prof: Chris Fernandes
Office Hours: TBD
and anytime my door's open!
Office: 219 Steinmetz Hall
Phone: 388-6401
Course Webpage:

Text (1 required). Available at the Bookstore:

Elmasri and Navathe, Fundamentals of Database Systems. 7th ed, Addison-Wesley, 2015.

Course Summary

This is an introductory course to modern databases. We will discuss the design, creation, and querying of databases, with an emphasis on the relational model but touching on others as well. Our primary focus will be the modeling and usage of databases. The design of database management systems (including file structures, indexing, etc.) are covered in our Advanced Databases course.

The goals of this course are for you to be able to:

Topics to be covered include



Academic Dishonesty

Struggling on your own to figure out what to write next is where a lot of the learning happens in CS. Give yourself the opportunity to do this -- ALONE. Here are some specifics (this is not a complete list):

We have an honor code and I trust y'all to follow it. Read up on it at All suspected violations will be reported to the Honor Council chair and Dean of Studies.

If you have any questions about what's ok and not ok, ask me!

What you need to do

To prepare for class, you are required to do the following:

Zoom Policy

If you are sick, I'm happy to meet with you for office hours over Zoom if you don't want to come to my office in person. Just set up a specific time with me first. However, due to the awkwardness of the hybrid model, I do not usually use Zoom to accommodate students who miss class. I will post slides from lecture on Nexus though.


Union College facilitates the implementation of reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions and temporary disabilities resulting in difficulties accessing learning opportunities. All students needing services must first register with Accommodative Services located in Reamer 303. It is strongly recommended that accommodations be requested within the first two weeks of the term. Last minute requests can be denied. Any student with a documented learning disorder is welcome to come talk to me privately about options for completion of exams and homework assignments.

The Bottom Line

Ask questions and seek help. This is the most important point of all. I live to answer questions. Don't be afraid to come to my office every single day if you want. It's better for everybody (you AND me) if you understand things sooner rather than later.