Recent Announcements/News

Midterm Answers

Practice midterms (from last semester) posted.

Make-up lectures on normalization posted.

Next Few Important Dates

April 1, 2010: Web Project Phase 1 Due


Amol Deshpande
Email: amol at cs dot umd dot edu
Office hours:Tuesday 2-3pm  or by appointment.
Office AVW 3221, Tel. 301-405-2703

Teaching Assistant

Jian Li
Email: lijian at cs dot umd dot edu
Office hours: Wednesday 11-12pm,
Thursday 2-3pm
Office: TA Room


A grade of C or better in CMSC 420; and permission of department. 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.

Class forum

We will use a forum for general announcements, to ask/answer questions about the projects/assignments etc. You are required to read the forum on a regular basis. Also, the forum should be the first resort for asking any (non-private) questions. You will need to register to use the forum.
CMSC 424 Forum


"Database System Concepts"; Silberschatz, Korth & Sudarshan; 5th Edition, McGraw Hill 2005.

The book website ( has a lot of supplemental material that you may find useful.

Note that there is a 6th edition coming out Jan 29, 2010. You are welcome to buy that one, but we will follow the 5th edition in the class.

Course Grading

[[ Subject to change ]]

Homeworks: 10%, Midterm: 20%, Final: 30%
One programming assignment: 10%, SQL Assignment: 10%, Application Development Project: 20%

All assignments including the web project to be done individually.

Excused Absences Due To Illness

A student claiming a excused absence must apply in writing and furnish documentary support (such as from a health care professional who treated the student) for any assertion that the absence qualifies as an excused absence. The support should explicitly indicate the dates or times the student was incapacitated due to illness. Self-documentation of illness is not itself sufficient support to excuse the absence. This instructor is not under obligation to offer a substitute assignment or to give a student a make-up assessment unless the failure to perform was due to an excused absence.

Academic Integrity

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).