Amol Deshpande
Email: amol at cs dot umd dot edu
Office hours: Thursday 1:30pm-2:30pm, or by appointment.
Office AVW 3221, Tel. 301-405-2703

Teaching Assistants:

Walaa Eldin Moustafa (Email: walaa at cs dot umd dot edu)
Ethar Elaska (Email: ethar at cs dot umd dot edu)
Office hours: Monday 3-4pm, Wednesday 1-2pm, Thursday 10-11am
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:

This semester, we are using Piazza for class discussion (link at top). The system is highly catered to getting you help fast and efficiently from classmates, TAs, and instructors. Rather than emailing questions to the teaching staff, we encourage you to post your questions on Piazza. You and other students can answer a question and edit the answer, with the teaching staff chiming in as appropriate. Use Piazza to ask anything, from questions about assignments to when the next quiz is.


"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.

Course Grading:

Homeworks: 10%, In-class Quizzes (more below): 20%, Final: 30%
One programming assignment: 10%, SQL Assignment: 10%, Application Development Project: 20%

In-class Quizzes: Instead of a single midterm, this semester we will have a number of small 15 min quizes, done at the end of the lecture. The calendar has the specific dates that we are currently planning to have these quizes. In case of a snow day, we will do the quiz in the next class instead. I will take the best 6 scores out of the 7 scores in case you are unable to make it to the class on one of the schedule days (see excused absence policy below).

All assignments (including the web project) are individual.

Excused Absenses 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).