CSc 538
Advanced Topics in Database Systems


Prof: Chris Fernandes
Office Hours: Mon 10:30-noon, Mon 2-4, Tues and Thurs 4-5, Wed 3-4 or anytime my door's open!
Office: 229 Steinmetz Hall
Phone: 388-6401
Course Webpage:

Text (1 required). Available at the Bookstore:

Elmasri and Navathe, Fundamentals of Database Systems. 4th ed, Addison-Wesley, 2004.

Course Summary

While our introductory database course (CSc 340) focused on databases, this course focuses on the implementation of database management systems (DBMSs). The goals of this course are:

Topics to be covered include


The prerequisite for this course is CSc 340 (introduction to databases) or the equivalent. We will also be drawing upon what you learned in data structures (CSc 140 or its equivalent.)



Academic Dishonesty

Students often have some confusion about what might or might not be considered "cheating" in a computer science class. In general, you should take advantage of your instructors and fellow students in working out solutions to assignments. However, I also need to make sure that you are actually learning, and not simply using all of these resources as a crutch. As with writing a paper for an English class, there is a point at which working together becomes plagiarism. As a rule of thumb, feel free to discuss general solutions to problems, but the writing down of an actual solution must be done solo by you. If you find yourself turning in work that looks substantially like the work of someone else, you should seriously examine whether you have crossed the line. If you have any doubts, talk to me before turning in the assignment.

In all cases, you must give credit to any source (like a written work or help from some individual) that you use to help complete an assignment. Again, this is similar to writing an English paper; if you use a quote or material from someone else, you have to give credit where credit is due. Otherwise you are inappropriately plagiarizing or borrowing ideas.

What you need to do

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

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.

Any student with a documented disability or learning disorder is welcome to come talk to me privately about accommodations to help you complete exams and homework assignments. All discussions will remain confidential.

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