CSC 355 Database Systems

Eric Schwabe

Office: CDM 739
Fall 2023-2024
Class number: 13249
Section number: 431
MW 1:30PM - 3:00PM
OLSYN CHLIV Online Campus
Course homepage:


An introduction to modern database systems; the course covers the traditional concepts and techniques of database systems including the relational model, SQL, indexes, and normalization as well as a selection of advanced topics such as constraints and triggers, transactions, database programming, semi-structured data, and recursive SQL.

Approximate weekly schedule:

Week 1: Introduction, Relational Model (Chs. 1, 2)
Weeks 2-5: SQL (Ch. 6)
Weeks 6-7: Relational Database Design (Ch. 3)
Weeks 8-9: Constraints and Triggers, Database Programming, Views (Chs. 7, 8, 9)
Week 10: Slack Time or Optional Topics, Course Review (to be determined)

The course material for CSC 355 Section 402T/431 will be delivered simultaneously on campus and via Zoom.  Both sections will use the course web site at  Details of course delivery will be posted on the course web site.


Required Text: A First Course in Database Systems (Third Edition), by Jeffrey D. Ullman and Jennifer Widom, ISBN 9780136006374
Optional Additional Reference: Murach's Oracle SQL and PL/SQL for Developers (Second Edition), by Joel Murach, ISBN 9781890774806


Homework assignments will be given most weeks and will be worth a total of 20% of the course grade (lowest homework score will be dropped).  All submissions must be made through the course web site; emailed submissions will not be accepted.  Late submissions of homework assignments will be accepted for up to 24 hours with a 15% penalty.  Weekly quizzes given through d2l will be worth a total of 10% of the course grade.  There will be a midterm exam given during class time on Wednesday, October 11th that will be worth 35% of the course grade, and a comprehensive final exam given 11:30am-1:45pm on Wednesday, November 15th that will be worth 30% of the course grade.  (Students in Section 402T will take the exam in the classroom; students in Section 431 will also take the exam in a proctored setting.)  Everyone must take the midterm and final exams on the scheduled days – as a rule, no make-up exams will be given. If you wish to petition for a make-up exam in an emergency situation, you must contact me in advance and provide written documentation of the emergency.


CSC 301

Other Course Policies

Regarding Email Communication: Please begin the subject line of any email to me with "CSC 355", so that I can easily identify course-related messages. I will reply to email messages within one business day after I receive them; therefore questions that are only received by me on an assignment's due date are not guaranteed replies before the assignment is due. Please plan accordingly and begin the assignments early enough to ask questions and receive answers. If you are having problems, send me a detailed description of the problems you are having; I will guide you in locating and solving your problems yourself, rather than simply solve your problems for you. For general questions, please consult the course syllabus, course announcements, and course Discord server for answers before emailing me. Please do not use the comment field of the assignment submission system to send me questions.

Regarding Academic Integrity: This course is subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at Violations of the Academic Integrity Policy will be dealt with decisively; in particular, penalties for cheating, plagiarism, and/or complicity as defined in the policy may range up to an automatic F in the course and possible expulsion for repeated offenses.

Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:  Turning in another person's work as your own; Starting with another person's work and modifying it to turn in as your own; Cutting and pasting, or otherwise copying, sections of another person's work into your assignment; Allowing another person (such as a tutor) to write any part of your assignment; Turning in solutions generated by a chat bot, other generative AI, or automated code generator (even with later modifications); and so on.  (Any examples that I post, as well as any solutions generated by a chat bot, other generative AI, or automated code generator are all considered "another person's work" in this context.)  Supplying such assistance to another student is also considered a violation of the policy. 

You may always discuss the course material with other students, and you may also discuss assignments at a general level. However, when completing your assignments, you must work individually and neither share your solutions with other students nor consult other students' solutions. Any assignment you submit must be entirely your own individual work.

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.

Online Course Evaluations

Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation. Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

Academic Policies

All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at

Students with Disabilities

Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296