CPSC 304 Introduction to Relational Databases

Winter 2016 Term 2 (January -- April 2017) 

Instructors: Hazra Imran and  Laks V.S. Lakshmanan

Welcome to the offical home of CPSC 304 2016 Winter Term 2. Here, you will find extensive information about the course  and related resources. Please note that for many of your needs, the go-to place is the Piazza page of the course, which is at https://piazza.com/ubc.ca/winterterm22016/cpsc304/home. If you haven't already done so, you can sign up for Piazza at piazza.com/ubc.ca/winterterm22016/cpsc304. This is where all online discussion related to this course will happen.

Quick Jumps:

Brief Course Description
Tentative Schedule
Tutorials & Labs
Keeping Pace.
Text and References
Course Activities
Important Dates and Deadlines
Your TAs.
Contact Hours.
Online Discussion
Midterm & Final Policy.
Quiz & Final samples.

Brief Course Description:

Overview of relational database systems, logical database design, E-R models, formal relational query
languages, SQL, functional dependencies, normalization, formal relational query languages (Relational 
Algebra and Datalog), Commercial Query Language (SQL), data warehouses, special topics.

Keeping Pace: 

We will normally assume that you will have read through the lecture notes as well as related textbook chapter/sections, AHEAD of each lecture. This will allow us to focus more on examples, exercises, and your questions in class, and less on lecturing. The notes will be released according to the lecture schedule. Slides on a unit will be released by 10 pm the night before the first lecture in that unit. 

Text and References:  

Text: Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke. Database Management Systems. 3rd Edition, McGraw Hill, 2002. 

References: There are several to choose from, and we recommend:

Course Activities: 

In this course, we have designed a number of activities in order to help you get up to speed and keep you in sync with the pace of the course. To achieve this, we will require you to answer Clicker Questions during lectures, and do a project as a team. The project will essentilly count as your assignment. In addition, there will be tutorials which will either supplement lecture material with additional exercises/examples or augment it with additional complementary material. Attendance at tutorials is mandatory. Tutorial exercises will also be posted on Piazza. Tutorials are very important for the project. In a nutshell, in this course, you will learn much more by actually DOING stuff, than by reading and listening alone. Doing is also more FUN! Click here for details about registering your clicker. 

Important Due Dates and Deadlines:

Your TAs: 

 See https://piazza.com/ubc.ca/winterterm22016/cpsc304/staff for info. on your TAs, their office hours, and contact info. You will also be able to find
your instructors' office hours and locations.

Location of TA Office Hours:
Demco Learning Center, X150.
Locations & Times of tutorials: See https://courses.students.ubc.ca/cs/main?pname=subjarea&tname=subjareas&req=3&dept=CPSC&course=304&section=201

Summary of Contact Hours (Laks' section only): 

Lectures: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00--12:30 pm, DMP 310, 6245 Agronomy Road. I will be holding two kinds of office hours.

Face-to-face hours will be held Tuesdays, 5:00-6:00 pm in my office, at 315-2366 Main Mall (aka ICICS 315). Normally these hours will be held one-on-one. When there  is oversubscription, these hours will be held in a group mode. Office hours held in group mode may switch to a special meeting room, which will be posted on my office door (ICICS Rm. 315) whenever the switch occurs.

Piazza hours: The second kind of office hour I will hold is a Piazza hour, held Thursdys 5:00--6:00 pm. I will dedicate this hour to answering questions posted on Piazza. While I may, from time to time, respond to questions on Piazza at other times in an ad hoc manner, this will be a dedicated hour. All office hours shown for TAs below are face to face. TAs will be responding to questions on Piazza through the week.

11:00 am--12:30 pm, DMP 310
11:00 am--12:30 pm, DMP 310
Tutorials T2B:  12:00--1:00 pm,

T2D 2:00-3:00 pm.
 T2B: 1:00-2:00 pm.
 T2C: 2:00-3:00 pm.
 T2G: 3:30-4:30 pm.
 T2H: 4:30-5:30 pm.
T2A: 9:00-10:00 am.
T2D: 2:00-3:00 pm.
T2F: 3:00-4:00 pm.

Office Hour (Laks)
Face to Face: 5:00--6:00 pm, ICICS 315.
Piazza: 5:00--6:00 pm.

Location of TA Office Hours: Demco Learning Center, X150. See https://piazza.com/ubc.ca/winterterm22016/cpsc304/staff for times of TA office hours.

Online Discussion of Course Material:

We will use the Piazza system for all online discussion of course material, and for posting of material and annoucements. Piazza is a next generation Question & Answer system specifically designed to help you get answers to your questions fast. The best way to get an answer to a question about 304 is to post it on Piazza. Piazza allows both instructor, TAs and students to answer questions, and makes it easy to edit both questions and answers to improve them. To join the Piazza group for CPSC 304, please go to piazza.com/ubc.ca/winterterm22016/cpsc304 and follow the instructions. 

Be sure to indicate your full name, student ID, and the email address that you want to be registered on Piazza (for this course) with.

Please note that Piazza is a service that is hosted in the United States. (It is a startup that originated at Stanford.) If this is not an issue for you, you are done and can skip the rest of this para. If you  wish to preserve your anonymity on Piazza, so that none of your personal information is stored in the United States, you can create a new anonymous email account and request your TA Dylan (aka Wengqiang)  (wdong@cs.ubc.ca)  
to use that email account for registering you. (If you already use a gmail, hotmail or other US hosted email account, this is essentially moot.)


Final grades will be calculated as follows:

In addition, we will be running a midterm suvey of the course: You will obtain 0.5 point  for completing the survey. There may be additional surveys with similar reward points. You will be notified if they are run. 

To pass the course, you have to obtain at least 50% overall mark and, in addition, must

The final grade for students who fail the project or the final exam will be set to the minimum of the grade
calculated by the above formula and 45%. 


Obtain from Connect.

Midterm and Final Exam Policy: 

Material Covered for quizzes and final:

For the midterm, you are responsible for all material covered, including any assigned reading up to and including the Thursdays's lecture in the week before the midterm. Final will cover the whole course. 

Quiz and Final Samples:

Will be posted on piazza.

DISCLAIMER: The sample midterms/final (with solutions) are posted as a study aid in preparing. They come with NO GUARANTEE about whether the actual midterm/final will or will not be similar either in content or in style to what is posted.