University of South Carolina

Department of Computer Science and Engineering



CSCE 520 – Database Management Systems

Fall 2023


Sections 001 & H10:Tuesday, Thursday  2:50 – 4:05pm

Section J60:  APOGEE class


Instructor:                   Csilla Farkas

Office:                         Horizon II, 2253

Office Hours:              Via MS Teams, Tuesday, Thursday 8:00 am – 9:00 am and in-person Tuesday, Thursday 4:05-4:35 pm


Class homepage:   

Graduate TA:              Nihang Fu

Office:                         Horizon II RM 2240

Office Hours:              TBA



Database management systems; database design and implementation



CSCE 245 or GEOG 563 or permission of the instructor


Course Text


·        J. D. Ullman and  J. Widom: A First Course in Database Systems, 3rd edition, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 013600637X



·        Homework: there will be 8-10 homework assignments during the semester.  Homework should be individual work.  There will be a late submission penalty of 20%/day (including weekends) after the due date.  (You can always turn it in early.)

·        Quizzes: there will be several short quizzes reviewing materials from the previous lectures.

·        Exams: two open book tests will cover the course material.



Course Outcomes: Students will be able to:

·        Describe the major components of a database management system and state their

functions and purpose.

·        Develop a data model for a database application using an appropriate modeling tool such

as ER diagrams.

·        Use the concepts of data normalization to develop well-designed database applications.

·        Implement a database application using an appropriate relational DBMS.

·        Use SQL to access database information.

·        Describe major operational issues associated with database applications, including transaction management, security, and integrity.


Course Overview

Lectures slides, homework and project assignments, and announcements will be posted in MS Teams.  All class assignments and tests will be handled electronically.  Students expected to use MS Teams and the website for class related materials and assignment submissions. 


Communication: Responses to email communication and questions will be provided within 2 workdays.


Assignment Grading: Grades for assignments will be returned within a week of due date (assuming the assignment is turned in on time).


Test Grading: Grades for tests will be returned within 72 hours of due date.



Students will use mySQL for hands-on homework assignments. 



Assignments contribution to the final grade:

Quizzes: 10%, Homework assignments: 40%, Midterm: 20%Final exam: 30%


Undergraduate students will have 100 possible points.  Final grade will be assigned based on the percentage of points achieved by the students as follows.


Final grade:                             A  = ≥ 90%                 C = 70-74%

(undergraduates)         B+= 85-89%                       D+= 65-69%

B = 80-84%                 D = 60-64%

C+= 75-79%                       F = < 60%


Graduate students will have 120 possible points.  Final grade will be assigned based on the percentage of points achieved by the students as follows.


Final grade:                             A  = ≥ 90%                 C = 70-74%

(graduates)                  B+= 85-89%                       D+= 65-69%

B = 80-84%                 D = 60-64%

C+= 75-79%                       F = < 60%


Course Policies

Attendance: The course will be delivered online. It may be accessed either synchronously or asynchronously via the web. There is no expectation of physical attendance. 


Tardiness, late assignments: homework is due at midnight on the due date (submitted via Late assignments will be charged 20% per day. Dates for the exams are announced at the beginning of the semester and posted on the class’ website.  Students must complete the exams as scheduled unless impeding circumstances outside of their control.  Such circumstances must be clearly documented.


Policy on disabilities or special needs: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Students, you have a disability and may need accommodations to fully participate in this class, contact the Student Disability Resource Center:  803-777-6142, TDD 803-777-6744, email , or stop by LeConte College Room 112A. All accommodations must be approved through the Office of Student Disability Services.   See


Violations of academic honesty: Homework assignments and exams are expected to be the sole effort of the student submitting the work. All students are expected to practice the highest possible standards of academic integrity. Any deviation from this expectation will result in a minimum academic penalty of your failing the assignment and will result in additional disciplinary measures including referring you to the Office of Academic Integrity. Violations of the University's Honor Code include, but are not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, falsification, complicity, and any other form of academic misrepresentation. For more information, see


Diversity: To learn, we must be open to the views of people different that ourselves. In this time we share together over the semester, please honor the uniqueness of your fellow classmates and appreciate the opportunity we have to learn from one another. Please respect each other’s opinions and refrain from personal attacks or demeaning comments of any kind. Finally, remember to keep confidential all issues of a personal or professional nature that are discussed in class.


Topics covered

1. E/R diagrams

2. The relational database models

3. Relational algebra

4. SQL

5. XML and semi-structured databases

6. Datalog

7. Transactions

8. Access control