CMSC724: Database Management Systems

Prof. Amol Deshpande;    CSIC 3118;    Tue-Thur 3:30am-4:45pm

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Office Hours:

AVW 3221; Tuesdays 5-6pm (after class), Thursdays 11am-12pm, or by appointment.


Udayan Khurana; AVW 3222. Udayan will be helping me with assignments/grading, but I should be the first contact for you for most things.

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.
Piazza Class Forum


This course covers advanced topics in Database Management systems, with a blend of classic and ongoing research. We will cover some of the classic papers in the area in the first half, and focus on more recent work in the second half. About 3/4th of the class will be presentations by me, though I expect these to be heavily interactive.

Textbook: Readings in Database Systems, by Hellerstein and Stonebraker, MIT Press, 4th Edition, 2004.

List of the papers in the book. This is a compilation of papers in the Database area, but also contains some very nice overview chapters at the beginning. The papers themselves are mostly available on the web, but the overview chapters and other material from the book are not. About 2/3rd of the class will be from the book, and the rest of the class will be on recent papers from major DB conferences.

The course counts towards the Database area's requirements for PhD core, MS comps, and MS coursework.

Course Grading:

The following is subject to change. The grading will be based on class participation + reading questions (15%), 3 programming assignments (10%), written assignments (30%), final (15%), and a class project (30%). More details on the assignments tab.
Unlike previous years where the students were asked to submit a critique for each assigned paper reading, we will take a different approach this semester. You have to answer a few simple questions about the readings (this is just to make sure you at least skim through the papers before class), and we will do a few take-home assignments where we will delve deeper into some aspects of the readings.
Second, class participation will be given a higher weight. More details in class.


CMSC 424 or equivalent.


Following the structure of the textbook, here is a "rough" list of the topics we will cover in the class; this list will be finalized, and most likely changed, as we go along. The list of papers at the book webpage.
  • Data models and DBMS architecture: Chapters from the book.
  • Query processing: First four papers and 2-3 more.
  • Data storage and access methods: Papers from the book.
  • Transaction management: 4-5 of the papers from the book.
  • Extensible systems: [Stonebraker'86].
  • Database evolution: [Chaudhuri'98], [Bernstein'03].
  • Data warehousing: 2-3 papers from the book TBD.
  • Data mining: [Agrawal'94], [Zhang'94], maybe 2-3 more.
  • Web services and databases: TBD.
  • Data streams, adaptive query processing: TBD.
  • Probabilistic, and uncertain databases: TBD.
  • Sensor network data management: TBD.

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