Spring 2021

January 6 Announcement: Welcome to COP5725

New semester starts, and welcome to COP5725 Advanced Database Systems.

COP 5725-0001 Advanced Databases (Syllabus, Project)

Course Information

COP 5725 Advanced Databases
Date: Jan 6-Apr 23, 2021
Time: M/W
Venue: Classes via Youtube

Instructor Information

Instructor: Jiawei Zhang
Email: jzhang [AT] cs.fsu.edu
Office: Link to Join
Office Hours: 11:30-12:30PM (Monday)

TA: Haopeng Zhang
Email: hz19e@my.fsu.edu
Office Hours: 2:00-3:00PM (Wednesday)
Online Office: Link to Join
Meeting ID: 733 062 3325
Password: 123

Course Description

Do you know how many Turing Awards were given to the database field? For what contributions? The dominating relational database system, which we take for granted now, was deemed impossible to implement and difficult to use in its early days. What breakthroughs turned the rather mathematical idea into reality? What are the classic milestones that pioneered and shaped the landscape of the data management field? Do you know that, although relational database systems are almost commodity software now, researchers are even more fascinated by general data management issues? The new challenges naturally arise in the junction of databases vs. information retrieval, structured vs. unstructured data, querying vs. searching, the Web, and many more novel contexts. What are the current topics and future agenda? To build the essential foundation as a stepping-stone to data management research, this course exposes students to advanced database system design principles and concepts. We will broadly explore the classic as well as more recent research work.

Topics Covered

  • database fundamentals
  • data storage and representation
  • advanced indexing
  • query processing
  • query optimization
  • data mining
  • misc.


Required textbook.

  • Database Systems: The Complete Book 2nd edition, by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeff Ullman and Jennifer Widom. ISBN: 978-0131873254, Prentice Hall, 2008.

Recommended textbook.

  • Database Management Systems 3rd edition, by Raghu Ramakrishnan and Johannes Gehrke. ISBN: 978-0072465631, McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  • Database System Concepts 6th edition, by Avi Silberschatz, Henry Korth and S. Sudarshan. ISBN: 978-0073523321, McGraw-Hill, 2010.
  • Fundamentals of Database Systems 7th edition, by Ramez Elmasri, and Shamkant Navathe. ISBN: 978-0133970777, Pearson, 2016.


COP4710: Database Systems and COP4530: Data Structures and Algorithms or equivalents courses are required. Furthermore, students should come with good programming skills. If you are not sure whether you have the right background, please contact the instructor.

Course Format

The course is lecture-based with one examination (final), several paper review and some in-class presentations. There are two individual assignments and a group-level programming project. In order to encourage attending classes and participating in discussions, there will be several occasionally quizzes for students.

  • Lectures and reading: we encourage (and appreciate!) students to attend classes, because effective lectures rely on students' participation to raise questions and contribute in discussions. We will provide lecture notes and related papers before class, which will be posted on the schedule page. Read the textbook and papers for the required reading before lectures, and study them more carefully after class. Please note that all the required readings are fair materials for exams. These materials may not be fully covered in lectures. Our lectures are intended to motivate as well as provide a road map for your reading-- with the limited lecture time we may not be able to cover everything in the readings.
  • Questions: We encourage students discussing their questions and problems first with peers and classmates. This way, you can get immediate help and also learn to communicated "professionally" with your classmates. In any case for more thorough discussion, come to the office hours of TA's and the instructor's. Any announcement will be posted on the announcement page. Make sure to check it frequently enough to stay informed.
  • Assignment: There will be two written assignments spaced out over the course of the semester. All the assignments should be done individually by the students. Assignments should be submitted before the due dates.
  • Exam: There will be a final exam held at the end of the semester.
  • Paper summaries: There will be a series of papers for careful studying, which represent our selection from both classic and state-of-the-art literature in database and data management areas. Each student will submit a one-or-two page summary for each paper in the due date during the class.
  • Paper presentation: To enrich our channels of learning, we ask our students to choose one paper related to her/his project and present it in the class. The paper should be chosen from the designated conferences/journals and published no earlier than 2008. Each student will sign up and present in the second half of the semester. Each group/student will spend 20 minutes for presentation and Q&A, and will lead and moderate discussions in the class.
  • Project: There will be a semester-long project, which involves significant database application programming. The project will be structured with several milestones due in the course of the semester, leading to a demo and write-up near the end of the semester.

Course Schedule and Progress

Schedule Sheet Link

Youtube Channel


16/16 Weeks


2/2 Assignments

Paper Summary

6/6 Paper Summary


5/5 Project Stages

Grading Policy

The course grade will break down as follows

  • Assignment: 10%
  • Project: 30%
  • Paper summary: 15%
  • Paper presentation: 5%
  • Final exam: 35%
  • Quizzes: 5%
Any regrading request should be submitted to the instructor or the TA(s) within one week since the graded deliverables are handed out to the students. Final Grade
  • A: [100-90], A-: (90-85];
  • B+ (85-80], B: (80-75], B-: (75-70];
  • C: (70-60];
  • F: (60-0].
This table indicates minimum guaranteed grades. Under certain limited circumstances (e.g., an unreasonably hard exam), we may select more generous ranges or scale the scores to adjust.

Late Submission Policy

  • Late assignments will not ordinarily be accepted. If, for some compelling reason, you cannot hand in an assignment on time, please contact the TA or instructor as far in advance as possible. Written assignments or project deliverables are due at the beginning of a class, you should hand them in at the beginning of the class
  • No credit will be given to late programming projects
  • No make-up exams (except under extremely unusual circumstances)

Other Issues

Gemeral Policy

  • University Attendance Policy: Excused absences include documented illness, deaths in the family and other documented crises, call to active military duty or jury duty, religious holy days, and official University activities. These absences will be accommodated in a way that does not arbitrarily penalize students who have a valid excuse. Consideration will also be given to students whose dependent children experience serious illness.
  • Academic Honor Policy: The Florida State University Academic Honor Policy outlines the University's expectations for the integrity of students' academic work, the procedures for resolving alleged violations of those expectations, and the rights and responsibilities of students and faculty members throughout the process. Students are responsible for reading the Academic Honor Policy and for living up to their pledge to "...be honest and truthful and... [to] strive for personal and institutional integrity at Florida State University."
  • Syllabus Change Policy: Except for changes that substantially affect implementation of the evaluation (grading) statement, this syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advance notice.
Collaboration/Academic Honesty: All course participants must adhere to the academic honor code of FSU which is available in the student handbook. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the university. Every student must write his/her own assignment/code. Showing your code or assignment to others is a violation of academic honesty. It is your responsibility to ensure that others cannot access your code or assignment. Consulting related textbooks, papers and information available on Internet for your assignment and homework is fine. However, copying a large portion of such information will be considered as academic dishonesty. If you borrow a small piece of any such information, please acknowledge that in your assignment. Please see the following web site for a complete explanation of the Academic Honor Code.
Student Disabilities: Americans With Disabilities Act: Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should: (1) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center; (2) bring a letter to the instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type. This syllabus and other class materials are available in alternative format upon request. For more information about services available to FSU students with disabilities, contact the: Student Disability Resource Center: 874 Traditions Way, 108 Student Services Building, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-4167. (850) 644-9566 (voice), (850) 644-8504 (TDD), sdrc@admin.fsu.edu, http://www.disabilitycenter.fsu.edu/.