G E O R G E T O W N C O L L E G E
CSC405 Fall 2010 Syllabus
CSC405 Database Management, MWF 2:00-2:50pm, Asher 133 [ https://scholar.georgetowncollege.edu ]
Dr. Danny Thorne (dthorne0), Asher 121, 502-863-8362,
Course Description Concepts and structures necessary to design and implement a database system, including file and data organization, data models and a study of a specific database management system. Prerequisite: CSC 215.
Text Ricardo, Databases Illuminated
Topics We will plan to cover chapters 1 through 8 fairly
thoroughly and then explore some selected material from some of the remaining
chapters 9 through 15. Decisions about what selected material to cover
will be made based on time and collective inclination. A challenge for me in
teaching this course is to include the right balance of theory and
practice -- or, in terms perhaps more suited to the context of this
course, design and implementation.
In order to avoid skewing the topics toward the theory/design end of the
spectrum, I will include some basics of web-based interfaces to MySQL (e.g.,
PHP) and possibly a web application framework (e.g., Ruby on Rails).
Grading Categories and weightings:
Exam One 0.20,
Exam Two 0.20,
Final Exam 0.20.
Numerical scores between 0 and 1 (0% and 100%) are computed for
assignments and exams by dividing the
total number of points earned by the total number of points possible.
Scores for categories are computed by averaging the individual scores
in the categories.
The score for each category is then weighted according to the above
weights to give an overall course score between 0 and 1.
The overall score for the course is then mapped to a letter grade for
the course as follows:
Homework will be assigned regularly. There will often be two sets of problems
assigned at a time, one set to be handed in for a grade (usually about a week
later) and a second set not to be handed in. The set that is handed in
should be done independently by each student (see the Honor System section of
the 2008-2009 Student Handbook, pg. 198). The set that is not handed in can
be used to facilitate collaborative learning and study. The total points
possible for the graded set of homework problems will be around 10 points per
assignment. If you have to turn in homework late, provide a documented
There will be a running project that starts in the first chapter and
continues through chapter eight.
Each phase of the project will be graded separately as we cover the
corresponding chapters. There will be one phase per chapter plus an
additional final phase at the end of the semester. The final phase will
include a web-based interface to your database.
The project can be done collaboratively or individually or a little
of both. We will discuss this together and you will help me decide
what is best.
Each intermediate phase of the project is due within a week after we finish
the corresponding chapter.
I will try to always remind you of this, but it is your responsibility to
turn the phases in on their due dates whether I remind you or not.
If you have to turn a phase in late, provide a documented reason.
Phases completed collaboratively (if any) will be given a collective
The grades for each individual phase of the project will be averaged to get
the overall project grade. Each phase will be weighted the same except for
the final phase which will be given double the weight of the individual
intermediate phases. That is,
w = 1/(n+2).
The book includes one sample project that is worked out in detail plus 5
other project options for students to choose from. A few other possible
You may also design a project of your own if you have an idea. Of course,
you will have to present it to me for approval a priori.
- Botany database for biology department (in consultation with Tim Griffith).
- Automated syllabus system for MPC department (to be discussed with David
DeSario who has seen something like this in action).
- Integrated Library System (in consultation with library faculty staff)
Tentative, approximate dates for the midterm exams are
If you must miss an exam and want to make it up,
arrange it with me at least a couple of days before
the exam date, and provide a documented reason for missing.
The Final Exam is scheduled for
Friday, December 10th, 12:00pm-2:00pm
and will be comprehensive.
Your attendance will be monitored. There is no explicit
category for attendance in the grading scheme for the course. However,
missed exams and late homework will affect your grade. Furthermore,
attendance will flavor my decisions about borderline scores.
Office Hours My office hours
are posted on my door and on my web page.
They might change, so check my door or the web page to confirm.
I am at your disposal independently of office hours.
You may call ahead, make an appointment,
or just drop by and see if I am available.
If I am unavailable due to work-related business when you drop by,
I will tell you; otherwise, I am happy to see you anytime.
Do not use cell phones during class, and make sure they are silent during
class. When we are in the lab, do not use lab computers for anything
unrelated to class (e.g., facebook, games, idle web browsing). Similarly, if
you use a laptop during class for taking notes, do not use it during class
for anything unrelated to class.
The following learning outcomes will be assessed primarily by homework
assignments and exams.
Demonstrate basic content knowledge consisting of what is described above in
the Topics section.
Use analytical reasoning skills and problem-solving skills to determine and
carry out the appropriate techniques for
Read quantitative material (e.g., the course text, course notes, online
resources), interpret correctly what has been read, and apply it correctly
in all topics throughout this course.
Apply creative thinking and written communication skills to communicate
precisely and effectively on the quantitative matters that are the focus of
this course (as described above).