Syllabus, Grading, and Assignments 

Database Systems I, Spring 2016 (Section 1). 
Monday and Wednesday, 10:10-11:25 307 Manning Hall

Honor Code | Diversity


Course Description and Prerequisites

INLS 523
Database Systems I
Introduction to Databases (3 credits)

Design and implementation of database systems. Semantic modeling, relational database theory, including normalization, query construction, and SQL.

Prerequisite: INLS 261 or INLS 461.

This course will introduce the basic concepts and applications of relational database management systems, including semantic modeling and relational database theory.

  • User requirements and specifications

  • Semantic data modeling

  • Relational databases

  • Structured Query Language (SQL)

  • Normalization and data quality

  • Relation topics and emerging technologies

  • Data ethics and security

Course Objectives

Through this course, students should...

  • Garner a general understanding of databases and of the relational database model

  • Experiment with both the theoretical and practical aspects of database design and implementation

  • Be able to consider, discuss, and justify database design decisions

  • Learn about concepts involved in database operation and maintenance

  • Understand the basic concepts of programming database user interfaces

  • Have an understanding of important ideas for managing data


Cliff Missen, Clinical Associate Professor

Office: 6 Manning

Lab: 30 Manning

Office Hours are Mondays and Wednesdays, by appointment.  Send me email to set up a time.  Or... let's chat after class.


Shenmeng Xu, Ph.D. student

Office: 8 Manning

Office Hours by appointment.


Textbook: Fundamentals of Database Systems, Seventh Edition, Elmasri, R. & Navathe, S. (2015), Addison-Wesley.
Or previous editions 5 or 6.

UNC Sakai Site

MySQL Community Server Package
Either download and install on your computer (recommended) or use a classroom computer


  • Attend classes

  • Complete all assignments and exercises by the due date

  • Contribute to the class as a professional

  • Participate in class discussions and exercises; working both in groups and independently

  • Meet with the instructor at least once during the semester to ask questions and provide feedback



  • Attendance is the best way to master the ideas, network with your colleagues, and meet visiting professionals.

  • Participation in classroom discussions and exercises is the best way to demonstrate that you have done the readings and homework.

  • Frequent homework assignments designed to give you practice applying the concepts that are discussed in class

  • Quizzes throughout the semester will be designed to gauge your understanding of the course material.

  • The Midterm Exam and Final Exam will be computer-based tests on your comprehension of the concepts and terminology.

  • Each individual will design a relational database.

  • The entire class will design a complex schema.

  • You will be assigned to a small group to design and model one or more components and then present the results to the class.


Course Grading

10 points

15 points Classroom Participation and Exercises
15 points Assignments and Quizzes
20 points Design Relational Database
10 points Midterm Exam
20 points Design Component(s) of Complex Schema
10 points Final Exam


Letter grades will be assigned as follows:

Grad Undergrad Points Description
H A >95 Mastery of course content at the highest level of attainment that can reasonably be expected
P A-
A totally acceptable performance demonstrating an adequate level of attainment
L C+
A marginal performance in the required exercises demonstrating a minimal passing level
F F <60 For whatever reasons, an unacceptable performance