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California State University Stanislaus

CS 4250: Database Management Systems

Spring 2020

2:00 - 3:15 pm, Tu Th, DBH 107, Dr. Megan Thomas

[Syllabus ]        [Announcements]        [Calendar/Lecture Notes]        [Homeworks]        [Resources]        [Fun News]

Welcome to CS4250, an introduction to database management systems. Topics include:

Modeling, development, and implementation of database systems using storage structures, data definition languages, and data manipulation languages for the relational approach to database management. Database integrity and security problems. Historical development of database systems.

Prerequisite: CS 3100.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

5/20/2020 Part 7 deadline extended to May 22 at 5pm. 5 points extra credit to those who turned it in by original deadline.
5/19/2020 Final Exam here (1:55 pm)
When you are done with the midterm, upload your work to the CS Homework site.
(Password for final exam is the same as the lecture slide password.)
5/18/2020 In case you missed the discussion in class last Thursday, the plan is for the final exam to be like the midterm. Available from about 2-4 pm on Tuesday (our "normal" final exam time), and must be uploaded to CS Homework by 4pm Tuesday.

Open book. Strictly to be taken on your own, with no communication with classmates.

I will be "sitting in" our class Zoom meeting during final exam time, and probably for a half-hour or more beforehand.

5/6/2020 Spring 2020 Grading Options - including instructions on how to change your grading options if you want.
4/10/2020 Spring 2020-only Grading Policy Changes.
4/8/2020 More COVID-19 class changes: The number of Late Days each student has for the semester has been increased.
4/7/2020 Midterm here (1:50 pm)
When you are done with the midterm, upload your work to the CS Homework site.
(Password for midterm and blank document is the same as the lecture slide password.)
4/7/2020 A better version of the blank Word document to work on midterm was just uploaded. (1:40pm)
3/31/2020 Blank Word document to work on midterm in. I found most of the relational algebra operators and put them at the top, so you can copy and paste them into appropriate locations. I haven't found the bowtie operator (yet -- it used to be there somewhere!), but copy-n-pasting two sideways-facing triangle symbols is pretty close.
3/16/2020 Sent via email:
As you may have read in recent campus email, face-to-face classes are suspended as of tomorrow morning.
There is no way I can figure out how to give a good midterm, in on-line format, in 24 hours or less. So the midterm is postponed. There will be a midterm; I simply have to figure out how to give it, first.
Keep an eye on your email. Since we were planning a midterm tomorrow and classes were cancelled already on Thursday, CS 4250 will resume after Spring Break. (Project Part 3 and Homework 2 still due as scheduled. Via email, if at all possible. I will be in my office during office hours and class time tomorrow if you want to submit on paper.)
Plan to be actively occupied with CS 4250 activities on Tues / Thurs, 2 - 3:15, just as normal, after the Break. I don't yet know what those activities will be, but I will expect you to focus solely on learning about DBMS's at those times.
3/15/2020 Here is one small chunk of the midterm you will take on Tuesday.
3/12/2020 Midterm moved to Tuesday, from Thursday, due to campus closure on Thursday.
3/10/2020 "The 5 top tech skills companies want in new hires right now", Fortune magazine, 2020 Feb 6.
3/4/2020 To help students practice SQL syntax, you may log in (using SSH or a similar tool) to and use your local MySQL account to try SQL queries at the MySQL command line.
After you log in to hopper, then
  • start the MySQL command line (#2 on the account paper you are given)
  • copy and paste the text from Engineer.sql into the MySQL prompt
  • copy and paste the text from Project.sql into the MySQL prompt
  • copy and paste the text from ProjectEngineers.sql into the MySQL prompt
That will set up sample Engineer, Project, ProjectEngineers tables, with schemas like in Hwk 2. (Note: for simplification, no foreign keys are set up. And real data is likely to have many more duplicates in human name fields, which a good DBA would think about carefully when writing queries.)

If you would prefer to download SQLite to your own machine and use the command prompt interface to practice, I was able to copy and paste the contents of Project.sql, Engineer.sql and ProjectEngineers.sql into SQLite and run queries.

Start practicing!

(To tidy up the "look" of your query output, you might want to type:
.mode column
.headers on
.nullvalue NULL
at the SQLite command line.)

Basic sample data was generated at

2/6/2020 Extra hours for Part 2 ER diagrams. I will be in my office from approximately 1:30-2:45pm on Friday, Feb 7. Stop by to show me an ER diagram draft before the deadline for the Review 1 deadline. (As additional times become available, I'll update this list.)

  1. 11-2 pm on Monday, Feb 10
  2. 12:15-1:45, 3:20-3:45 pm on Tuesday, Feb 11
  3. 11-1:30 pm and 4-4:30 on Wednesday, Feb 12
  4. 10:15 - 12:15, 1 - 1:50 pm, 3:30 - 4:30 on Thursday, Feb 13 (may leave before 4:30 if no one shows up)
  5. 11 - 2:30 pm on Friday, Feb 14. Can be here between 4-5 pm, if someone emails to say they will come at that time.
  6. 1:15 - 2:45 pm, 4 - 5 pm, Monday, Feb 17
1/30/2020 Good news! As a few of you cleverly figured out in class on Tuesday, our class textbook is now available in our library's electronic books collection. Visit Safari Tech Books Online from our library web site. Some students have also succeeded in going directly to and searching for 'Databases Illuminated'.
1/23/2020 "Tech Professions Dominate Rankings of Best Jobs in the U.S.", IEEE Spectrum 'View from the Valley', 17 Jan 2020.
1/28/2020 Welcome to CS 4250!


Project Overview

Project Part 1 20
Project Part 2 25 + 4
Homework 1 30
Project Part 3 20
Homework 2 30
Project Part 4 10
Project Part 5 25
Project Part 6 12
Homework 3 50
Project Part 7 70

Books at the CSU Stanislaus Library

The Ramakrishnan and Garcia-Molina/Ullman/Widom textbooks are both available at the university library.

Campus Resources

DBMS Resources

Fun News Items