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Course Syllabus

FOCUS OF THE COURSE

      The perspective in this course shifts from the user or developer (as in an introductory database course), to the data(base) administrator (DBA, interpreted broadly) -- the role/function which is responsible for supporting system developers and database users. The DBA facilitates, coordinates, and manages the design, development, and use of databases. The focus is on developing, using, and managing information resources within an organization. Such a manager needs to know what information users and system developers need and to provide and support the necessary software tools.

      The Advanced Database courses follow two distinct threads:

* Data Modeling and Database Design (4431) - focuses exclusively on logical data modeling -         record-based (ER/Relational) modeling, and Fact Modeling (ORM flavor) with NORMA.

DBMS and DBAdministration (4x32) - covers all the other areas relating to Database Management (no longer taught at the U of MN).

 

COURSE MATERIALS:

HALPIN08 Terry Halpin and Tony Morgan, Information Modeling and Relational Databases, 2ed, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers (Elsevier), San Francisco, 2008, 969 pages, ISBN 978-0-12-373568-3.

Companion website http://www.elsevierdirect.com/companion.jsp?ISBN=9780123735683 (not as listed in the preface).


Gordon C. Everest, editor, Readings in Advanced Database Design (articles individually referenced by Author).  All articles are (or have been) available on the WWWeb, so there is NO readings packet to buy.


LECTURE NOTES (MS Powerpoint slides in .PDF) will be made available on the course website throughout the term. You will want a copy in hand when viewing the lecture online.  An email is sent when new notes are available.

 

OTHER RESOURCES on the Web:

      www.ORMfoundation.org -- most of the ORM material, including a discussion forum.

        Must receive invitation to access the site.  Request by sending email to join@ORMfoundation.org 

      www.orm.net - official ORM web site of Terry Halpin < t.halpin@live.com >

      www.datamodelingzone.com - site of Steve Hoberman

      www.essentialstrategies.com - site of David Hay

      www.thedatabasesite.com - site of Craig Mullins

      www.metadatajunkie.wordpress.com - blog of George McGeachie

      www.databaseanswers.org - site of Barry Williams

      www.dbdebunk.com - maintained by Fabian Pascal.

      www.tdan.com - The Data Administration Newsletter (online only), Robert S. Seiner, publisher

      www.dama.org - Data [Administration] Management Association, International

      www.dama-mn.org - the local chapter of DAMA, meets every third Wed. morning of the month

      www.information-management.com - monthly magazine, official publication arm of DAMA

      www.intelligententerprise.com - monthly trade magazine, since 1997, formerly DBMS, and DBP&D

      www.itpapers.com - for many useful white papers written by industry.

       www.thethirdmanifesto.com - requirements for future Relational DBMS systems.

 

University policy on use of Class Materials (Lecture Notes, software, etc.): Students may not distribute via the internet or other means, lecture notes, or other instructor-provided materials for compensation or for commercial purposes without the express written consent of the instructor. Violations may result in warning, required compliance, confiscation, probation, suspension, or expulsion. Software is for educational use only unless otherwise stated.

 

Policy on Technology in the ClassroomPortable computers or tablets may be used for working on assignments, note taking, or viewing slides only. Playing games, viewing email, or browsing the web are not acceptable unless specifically directed in class. These activities are a real distraction to the students around you (and yourself!).

Cell phones should be turned off or set on vibrate. Take an emergency call outside of the classroom.


GRADING

 

   10% Course PARTICIPATION, including the following:

      - you are encouraged to make comments and ask questions in the online forums (and in class).

      - timely submission of assignments (penalty of ~2% per day for late submissions).

     - course feedback survey evaluating the course, its content, conduct, text, readings, Lecture Notes, assignments, and                     any other materials found useful - providing compliments, complaints, and constructive suggestions for improvement. 

      - Vendor feedback memo, on the database design software tool (see guidelines in Usage Notes)

      - Contribution to Readings List Wiki, adding items, annotations, and evaluations.

  50% Written Homework ASSIGNMENTS and Project(s): TENTATIVE (details handed out separately)

    H1 - Semantics of an ER Diagram(3%). H2 - Extending an ER Diagram(5%). H3 - Normalization(5%)

      H4, H5, H6 - mini ORM design problems

      P1 - Learning and using a database design tool on a "simple" problem.

  20% Periodic QUIZZES during the term, completed online within a time limit.

  20% FINAL EXAMINATION 

             * comprehensive, on class lectures, text (portions covered in class), readings, and assignments.

-----      * failure to write an exam as scheduled without prior arrangements results in a score of 0.

100%   Final Grades are posted on the course website, and by the Registrar.

Feel free to ask about how any score was assigned or the interpretation of an exam question.

      Any score or grade is open to appeal in writing within two weeks after you receive it.

 

MY GRADING PHILOSOPHY

 

* grades are given for performance or results (which is consistent with the "real working world")

      - NOT for time spent or effort expended.

* grades are set by the overall score for the course: 85% and up = A, 80% = A-, 75% = B+, 70% = B, 65% = B-, 60% = C+, 55% = C, 50% = C-, below 50% = D, below 40% = F.

- Depending on the overall performance of the class and the grading scale on the assignments, these boundaries may be lowered thus producing more higher grades.

- With this grading scheme, students are not competing with one another. Therefore, you are encouraged even expected to collaborate, to help one another, to learn together, to post questions and comments on the online forums so everyone can benefit from the answers. However, individual submissions must be your own work.

* In cases of academic misconduct, if sufficient evidence warrants, the instructor reserves the right to assign a grade of  ‘F’  for the course. At a minimum, the work involved will receive a score of  ‘0' .

 

WORKLOAD

      For every credit hour spent in lecture, it is expected that the student will devote about 2+ hours outside of class on reading, reviewing, studying, doing assignments, and preparing for quizzes and the final exam. This time commitment is for the averageundergrad student to receive an average grade, and assumes efficient use of time. To excel requires a greater time commitment.


Student Mental Health and Stress Management. As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via www.mentalhealth.umn.edu

 

MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY

 

* a balance of both: KNOWING (lecture, reading)  &  DOING (assignments, skills development).

 

* both FRAMEWORKS (a top down presentation of course material)  &  experiences, examples, cases.

 

* to be consistent with the "real working world":

- In the Conduct of the course: not expect perfection, but we learn as we go, with constructive feedback.

- In doing assignments in the workplace you are not always given complete information and told exactly what you must do or read to complete the task. You are expected to search out resource materials useful to the task. You must be selective, and you risk missing something. You are not always told exactly what it takes to 'get and A,' in fact, you may not even get a grade, you just don’t get that promotion or that big raise. In a classroom setting, we assume you need more guidance than this since you are just learning. We suggest and make available some appropriate materials. You must still be selective in using them, and you may still wish to supplement with additional materials.

- A Context for each assignment: with sometimes fuzzy and incomplete information and stated requirements, the context enables you to answer some of your own questions and make reasonable assumptions. Assignments are graded in light of the given/assumed context.

 

READINGS, HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS, and PROJECTS

 

      Information relating to homework assignments and class projects will be made available in separate handouts. Readings listed for each lecture in the class schedule should be done in conjunction with viewing the lecture in preparation for class discussion. Submit written homework assignments by the due date listed on the assignment to receive full credit -- online by midnight with a copy to the TA. If you are unable to complete a project or assignment on time, submit whatever product you have completed by the due date to ensure partial credit.  If homework assignments are not submitted according to these rules, any credit will be given at the discretion of the instructor considering the circumstances. Unless the due date is specifically extended for an assignment, a late penalty of ~2% per day will be applied. NO points will be given for an assignment once it has been reviewed in class. In any event, all submitted assignments will be graded.

 

Guidelines for submitting assignments online: * All pieces combined into a single file, not zipped.

* in Word, WordPerfect, PDF, rtf, or text format - if in doubt, ask, or send me a trial file.

* don't send files specific to the data modeling tool, unless you want me to look at something specific.

* both the file name and the first printed page clearly identified with your name and assignment ID.

 

WATCHING LECTURES, TAKING QUIZZES, and ATTENDING CLASS

 

      This class is now "flipped." Announcements are given online, all materials and handouts are available online, all lectures will be viewed online, all quizzes and the final exam are taken online, and the class is supported with online discussion forums.  Thus, the face-to-face class time (for local students) will be devoted to answering questions, engaging in discussion, reviewing selected parts of the online lectures, working on assignments, and reviewing the results of quizzes and assignments.  I will also be asking questions of you, by name, on the subject matter of the previous lecture(s).  To the extent that students don't know or are unsure of the answers, we will have additional discussion.  The degree to which you engage in discussion in class or online will contribute to your grade under Participation.  All classroom sessions will be recorded and available to the remote online students.  You can gain much from class discussions, interaction with other students, and raising your own questions in class or the online forums (see participation under GRADING).  Local students are urged to attend class regularly and on time.  Remote students (and those missing a class) will be able to view the classroom recordings and engage in  discussion through the online forums.

 

      Several quizzes will be given during the term (the goal is every week a major assignment is NOT due). They will be short, based on any material covered recently in lectures or assignments (with emphasis on the previous week or two), as well as on material which was assigned reading.  Failure to take a quiz during the open period results in a late penalty of ~2% per day and no credit after it is reviewed in class.