Practice and Applications of Data Management, Spring 2021


Jaime Davila

Course goals:

This course will offer students an introduction to database systems and their applications.

As a successful student, by the end of this course, you will be able to::


The textbook for this course is the 2nd Edition of "Database Systems: The Complete Book" by Garcia-Molina, Ullman, and Widom. The textbook is available from Amazon. The textbook is optional, but strongly recommended. A student who studies all the provided materials and who remains actively engaged in the class activities may not need the textbook. However, a student who may have several absences may find the textbook valuable to get up to speed with material they missed during class. We strongly recommend the textbook to all students who are unfamiliar with the flipped classroom setting and would benefit from more traditional study resources. All students are likely to find the textbook a useful resource to prepare for exams.


The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to making reasonable, effective and appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities and help create a barrier-free campus. If you have a documented disability on file with Disability Services, you may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in this course. If your disability requires an accommodation, please notify your instructors as early as possible in the course so that we may make arrangements in a timely manner.

Honesty Policy

We will guide ourselves by the university’s academic honesty policy and guidelines for classroom civility. You must read both of these.

Grade calculation (subject to change)

Several factors determine your grade in this course. They are weighted approximately as follows:

Component Weight
Homework 55%
Midterm 1 15%
Midterm 2 15%
Final exam 15%

The exact grading scheme may be adjusted during the course. However, a typical breakdown of percentages and final grades for this course are A (93-100), A- (90-92), B+ (87-89), B (83-86), B- (80-82), C+ (77-79), C (73-76), C- (70-72), D+ (67-69), D (60-66), F (0-59).

Topics (subject to change)

Week Topics
1 Course overview
2 Basic SQL
3 Advanced SQL
4 SQL wrap-up
5 SQL activity
6 Database design
7 Index selection and tuning
8 Functional dependencies and normalization
9 Security, views, and access control
10 Transactions
11 Non-SQL systems
12 Data visualization
13 Review