CMPSCI 345: Practice and Applications of Data Management

This course will provide a comprehensive introduction to the use of data management systems within the context of various applications. Some of the covered topics include data models, basic and advanced SQL, design and tuning of relational schemas, implementation of basic transactions, and data visualization tools.

This is the first offering of this course in a flipped classroom setting. This means that the students need to study resources, watch videos, and process other provided material in preparation for each class. The material relevant for the topic of each week will be posted on Moodle. During class time, the students will engage in group work, some of it guided, and some less structured. The group work will include exercises, active practice of the week's topics on real applications, and other activities.

In this blended instruction model, students guide their own learning and are in charge of their preparation and learning experience. Studying the preparation materials before each class is crucial in ensuring a productive experience for each student and their working group. Note that the study materials and course participation are both necessary to succeed in the class.

Prerequisites: CS 187 (grade C or greater). 3 credits.

Course Time:

Mo 10:10 am - 12:05 pm, ILC S220


Alexandra Meliou
Contact: ameli [at] cs [dot] umass [dot] edu
Office Hours: Tuesday 9-10am, CS 330 By appointment
David Wemhoener
Contact: wem [at] cs [dot] umass [dot] edu
Office Hours: Monday 3-4pm, LGRC A343 By appointment

Teaching Assistants:

Jacob Downs
Contact: jdowns [at] umass [dot] edu
Office Hours: Wednesday 1-2pm, CS 207 (cube 1) By appointment
Assan Toleuov
Contact: atoleuov [at] cs [dot] umass [dot] edu
Office Hours: Friday 11am-12pm, CS 207 (cube 1) By appointment

Note: Since no one has been taking advantage of regular office hours, we decided to replace them with organized review sessions before the midterm and final exams. We are still happy to see you for office hours by appointment whenever you need to; just email any of us to set this up.


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 highly recommended. A student who studies all the provided materials and who remains actively engaged in the class activities will 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. All students are likely to find the textbook a useful resource to prepare for exams.


Our aim is to complete most activities in the classroom. The course is taught in a TBL classroom, and every team of 3 students will have access to a laptop with all the necessary software. While not necessary, we encourage students to practice outside of class to review their work or make progress on aspects they may have missed. We have some instructions on setting up a database system on personal computers here.