CS 317 Data Management and Information Processing


Yan Chen, Assistant Professor
Room 330, 1890 Maple Ave., 491-4946. ychen AT cs.northwestern.edu
Office Hours: Thursday. 2-4pm or by appointment, Rm 330, 1890 Maple Ave.

Teaching Assistant

Yi Qiao

yqiao AT cs.northwestern.edu
Office Hours: Wednesday 2-4pm, Rm 246, 1890 Maple Ave.


Earl Wagner

ewagner AT cs.northwestern.edu
Office Hours (by Jin Hu after the midterm): Monday 4:30-6:30pm, Rm 252, 1890 Maple Ave.


Location and Time

       Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:50am, Tech LR5.

       Recitation: Tu. Rm 381, 1890 Maple Ave.

1.     bfore midterm 6-7pm

2.     after midterm 5-6pm

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the use of database systems for the implementation of information systems. In this course, you will become acquainted with various data models and see what goes into database design. The first half of the course will largely be devoted to understanding the data models that are commonly used in designing databases. The second half of the course will be spent putting these ideas to use in implementing a reasonably large information system.

Course Prerequisites

  • CS110, CS111, or programming experience

Course Materials


There will be a midterm and a final exam. Exams will be in-class, closed-book, and will cover materials from lectures, required readings and projects. The final exam will not be cumulative.

  • Homework 25%
  • Projects 25%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final 25%


  • Course web site: http://www.cs.northwestern.edu/~ychen/classes/cs317/. Check it out regularly for schedule changes, clarifications and corrections to assignments, and other course-related announcements.
  • Recitation. TA will lecture on complementary materials of the lectures, address questions for homework and projects, and help to prepare the exams. We hope it can help students more efficiently than the one-on-one Q&A in office hours.
  • Newsgroup (cs.340.announce and cs.340.discuss) are available for announcement, and posting questions and answers.


There will be two kinds of homework assignments: reading assignments and textbook-style questions. You should have finished the assigned reading before coming to lecture. In addition, there will be about four sets of written homeworks.


Over the course of the quarter, you will use Microsoft Access to design a database in two projects. The first project is on the entity-relational (ER) model, and the second project is about relational algebra (RA) and relational calculus (RC).


  • Late policy:
    Unless otherwise indicated, homeworks and projects are due by the end of lecture on their due date. If you hand in an assignment late, we will take off 10% for each day (or portion thereof) it is late.
  • Cheating:
    It's OK to ask someone about the concepts, algorithms, or approaches needed to do the project assignments, I encourage you to do so; both giving and taking advice will help you to learn. However, what you turn in must be your own, or for projects, your group's own work; copying other people's code, solution sets, or from any other sources is strictly prohibited. We will punish transgressors severely.

Tentative Schedules

Notes: Reading refers to the required textbook unless denoted otherwise.


Lectures Topics



Th 3/31

Class overview, Introduction to Database

Ch. 1


Tu 4/5

Entity-Relationship Model

Ch. 2


Th 4/7

Entity-Relationship Model (cont’d)

Ch. 2


Tu 4/12

Relational Data Model

Ch 3.1-3.3


Th 4/14

Relational Data Model (cont’d)

Ch. 3.1 -3.3


Tu 4/19

Functional Dependencies

Ch. 3.4 -3.5


Th 4/21

Normal Forms, BCNF and 3NF

Ch. 3.6


Tu 4/26

Multivalued Dependencies

Ch. 3.7


Th 4/28

Midterm Review



Tu 5/3


Th 5/5

Relational Algebra

Ch. 5


Tu 5/10

Relational Algebra (cont’d)

Ch. 5


Th 5/12

SQL Queries

 Ch. 6.1-6.6


Tu 5/17

SQL Queries and Data-definition

Ch. 6.1-6.6


Th 5/19

SQL: Views, Constraints

Ch. 6.7


Tu 5/24

SQL: Trigger, PSM

Ch. 7


Th 5/26

System Aspects of SQL, Object-Relational DBMS

Ch. 8


Tu 5/31

More OR Systems, Semistructured Data/XML

 Ch. 9


Th 6/2

Review for final