CSCI E-268


course details
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Computer Science E-268
Database and Information Management Systems


Welcome to Computer Science E-268!
The course will next be offered in the spring of 2014.

The key details of the course can be accessed using the links at left.

Please check this page regularly throughout the semester for announcements and course materials.

Course Information

This course covers the fundamental concepts of information management. Topics include data models (relational, object-oriented, and others); implementation techniques of database management systems (indexing structures, concurrency control, recovery, and query processing); management of unstructured and semistructured data; and scientific data collections.

David G. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Lecturer on Computer Science, Boston University
see the staff page for contact info.

Computer Science E-119 or the equivalent, and proficiency in Java, C, or C++.

  • problem sets: five assignments including a combination of written exercises and programming problems. Programming problems must be completed in Java, C, or C++, and they must compile and run on the nice.fas.harvard.edu cluster of Linux machines. While you are welcome to use your own computer to work on the assignments, you will need to upload the programs to the nice.fas machines and test and submit them there.
    Important note: The problem sets tend to be fairly time-consuming. You should plan on devoting approximately 10-20 hours of work per week to complete them. If you have other major time commitments, you should reconsider whether to take this course.
  • midterm exam
  • final exam

  • Policy on collaboration and academic honesty
  • Lateness: Homework must be submitted electronically by the date and time listed on the assignment. There will be a 10% deduction for homework that is up to four days late (by the end of the day on Sunday), and a 20% deduction for homework that is 5-7 days late (by the start of the next week's lecture). We will not accept any homework that is more than 7 days late. Plan your time carefully, and don't wait until the last minute to begin an assignment. Starting early will give you ample time to ask questions and obtain assistance from members of the course staff.
  • Determining the final grade:
    • problem sets: 50%
    • midterm exam: 17%
    • final exam: 33%
    The exams will count for a total of 65% (and the problem sets 35%) if doing so improves your final grade.

  • Computer Science E-268 coursepack. This will be available for download from the course website after the first lecture. More information will be given during the first lecture.
  • optional: Database Systems: The Complete Book (2nd edition) by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeff Ullman, and Jennifer Widom (ISBN 978-0131873254, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009).