Csc343 Assignment 1

CSC343 Syllabus, Winter 2018


Sections L0101/L2001/2003 L0201/L2201 L5101/L2501
Lectures1 MW 12-13 (OI 2212) MW 9-10 (MP 102) T 6-8pm (BA 1130))
Tutorial1 F 12-13 (OI 2212) F 9-10 (MP 102) T 8-9pm (BA 1130))
Renée Miller
Renée Miller
Sina Meraji
M 10 - 11
T 1-2pm
(BA 7270)
W 1:30 - 2:30
Except March 7th moved to 3-4pm
Extra A2 Office Hour March 8th 3-4pm
(BA 7270)

1All three hours of class are required, and will be used for active-learning lectures.
2You are welcome to attend the office hours of any of the lecturers regardless of your section.

Communication: Website, Email, Discussion Board

Information from us: The course website is required reading. It contains assignment handouts and other essential material. The course discussion board is on Piazza To save you time and ensure that you don't miss any critical information, we will create a short FAQ post for each assignment that summarizes key things that have come up in other threads, and we will pin this and any other essential threads at the top of the board. You are responsible for reading all of these pinned posts at least once a week. You can set up Piazza to send you a digest of recent posts at your desired frequency: Click the gear icon in the upper right corner, then "Account/Email Settings" in the drop-down.

Questions from you: Please use Piazza to ask questions about assignments and course lecture material so that everyone can benefit. For personal questions, email us from your UofT address. Please include "343" in the subject line and include your full name and UTORid in the body of the message.

Civility. We will not tolerate any uncivil or disrespectful posts. Everyone benefits from a respectful discussion about the course material, but if posts become uncivil are not conducive to the welfare of the class, we will instruct the staff to stop answering posts.

We will try to respond to email and Piazza postings within 4 business days (often sooner). However, it may take longer, especially near due dates. Try to start assignments early in case you have questions. If you do not hear back, we are always available during office hours to help.


Arts and Science students: If you don't have the course prerequisites listed in the calendar entry, contact Professor Miller 3 immediately to see whether you may remain in the course. Include your name, student number, full academic history from Acorn, and why you feel you are well prepared to take the course. If we don't issue a waiver, the registrar will remove you from the course.

Engineering students: Please contact your undergraduate office for permission.

3 Even if you are in the section of another instructor, please contact Professor Miller about any prerequisite waivers.

Active Classes, and Preparation for Them

During class time in this course, we will present material and demonstrate problem solving for part of the time. There will also regularly be activities that you participate in. Be prepared to get your gears turning in class! There is good evidence, and our experience also shows, that active learning works better than passively listening to a lecture. We also think it's a lot more fun. We will use all three hours (lecture and tutorial times) for these kinds of classes, led by your professor.

During some in-class activities, students will see and discuss each other's solutions to problems. This is your official notice (per the University's privacy regulations) that your personal information will be used in this way. If you wish to opt out of these particular activities, please notify your professor at the beginning of the term. Opting out will not directly impact your mark in the course, but you will lose a valuable learning opportunity.

To prepare for these active classes, you will be doing weekly activities outside of class. These will involve learning some material on your own, through readings or videos, and practising things we've learned in class. They will always culminate in some exercises that you hand in. These weekly activities are not intended to be greatly time consuming.

Course Marking Scheme

This is the final marking scheme for lectures L0101/L2001/2003/L0201/L2201 (MWF 9am and noon). Marking scheme for the evening section will be posted by Sina.

Due to reduced staff, the lecture preps are recommended, but will not be marked.

Component Weight Description Due
Lecture Preparation 0% Weekly lecture preparation activities Highly recommended but not marked.
Assignment 1 13% Relational Algebra Friday, Feb 2
Assignment 2 13% SQL Friday, Mar 9
Assignment 3 13% Design & Normalization and XML Thursday, Mar 29
Midterm Test 16% Monday Feb 12th.
evening lecture exam time Feb 13th.
Final exam 45% Cumulative (all topics covered)
Note: In order to pass this course, you must earn at least 50% on the final exam.
During the exam period


These two resources are suggested to support your learning in the course:

  • The textbook "A First Course in Database Systems" by Jeffrey D. Ullman and Jennifer Widom, 2008 (3rd Edition), available new and used at the UofT bookstore, and online from the publisher, Chapters, or Amazon. We also have 6 copies on short-term loan in the Math library in BA 6141, and 3 copies on short-term loan at the Engineering and Computer Science Library in the Sandford Fleming Building, room 2402.

  • The online mini-courses by Jennifer Widom at Stanford University.

Working with a Partner

You have the option of partnering with one other CSC343 student for your assignments, and we encourage you to do so. You may choose your own partner, from any section of the course on the St George campus, and it need not be the same person for each assignment. Once you begin working on an assignment, you may not dissolve your partnership without my permission. Both partners will receive the same mark for joint assignments.

Working with a partner has the potential to lighten your workload and enhance your learning or to increase your workload and impair your learning, depending on how you work together. Remember that you are responsible for learning the course material underlying all parts of the assignments. You will have the most success if you truly work together.

Assignment Policies

Assignments are due on Fridays 5:00 pm sharp (except A3 due Thursday 5:00pm). Assignments must be submitted electronically, using the MarkUs online system. Log in with your CS Teaching Labs username and password. Be sure to confirm that you have submitted all the required files and the correct version of each; we cannot accept missing files or a different version of an already-submitted file after the due date. Code that you submit to us for grading must work on the CS Teaching Labs machines in order to earn credit.

Late Assignments

We recognize that unexpected problems sometimes make it difficult to submit assignments on time. For this reason, we will be using grace tokens to give you flexibility with assignment deadlines.

Each student will receive six grace tokens; each grace token can be used for a two-hour extension for an assignment. For example, you may choose to use all six grace tokens on the first assignment, extending its deadline by twelve hours. Or, you may wish to use two tokens for each assignment, extending each deadline by four hours.

MarkUs automatically deducts grace tokens when you submit an assignment late - you do not need to explicitly say you are using a grace token. If you work with a partner on an assignment, grace tokens are deducted from every team member, not just one of you. For example, if Melissa and Iqbal are working together, and wish to submit an assignment 3 hours late, they must both have at least two grace tokens remaining.

You may not use grace tokens to extend the deadline of the weekly lecture prep activities.

If you are unable to complete homework or if you miss a test due to major illness or other circumstances completely outside of your control, get in touch with us immediately if you want to receive special consideration.

In order to receive special consideration, you must fill out a Request for Special Consideration Form. Bring the form to your Professor before attending another class.

IMPORTANT: Notify us as soon as possible if you find yourself in such a situation. You can contact us even before you have the documentation; we won't be able to tell you at that point what accommodation you may receive, but can answer other questions and offer advice. It is always easier to resolve situations earlier rather than later.

If you feel there was an error in the marking of an assignment or midterm, you may request that it be remarked. Print, fill out and submit a Remark Request form. You must submit through Markus. For Midterm, your submission must include a scan of your midterm and you must give your original midterm to Prof. Miller before the deadline (and you may slip it under her office door BA 7270).
You must give a specific reason for the request, referring to a possible error or omission by the marker. You must submit any remark request within one week of when the item was returned.

Academic Integrity

The work you submit must be your own. It is an academic offence to copy someone else's work. This includes their code, their words, and even their ideas. Whether you copy or let someone else copy, it is an offence. Academic offences are taken very seriously.

At the same time, we want you to benefit from working with other students. Obviously, work done with your partner is a joint effort. You are also welcome to work appropriately with students other than your partner. It is appropriate to discuss course material and technology related to assignments, and we encourage you to do so. For example, you may work through examples that help you understand course material or a new technology, or help each other configure your system to run a supporting piece of software. You may also discuss assignment requirements.

However, other than between partners, collaboration on assignment solutions is strictly forbidden. The most certain way to protect yourself is not to discuss assignment solutions or the ideas behind them with students other than your partner. Certainly you must not let others see your assignment solutions, even in draft form. Please don't cheat. We want you to succeed and are here to help if you are having difficulty.

We are committed to creating a respectful learning environment in CSC courses for all students and expect that you will adhere to the University of Toronto Code of Student Conduct. Please be mindful of how your behaviour influences the atmosphere in our learning community, not just in classes, but also in computer labs, in online forums, and anywhere that you interact with other students and members of the department.

Accessibility Needs

The University of Toronto is committed to accessibility. If you require accommodations or have any accessibility concerns, please visit Accessibility Services as soon as possible.


We will post the assignment handouts here as they become available.

Late Policy

Make sure you are familiar with the lateness policy, as well as the other assignment policies set out in the course syllabus.

Assignment submission

All assignments will be submitted electronically, using MarkUs. Log in using your login and password for the CS Teaching Labs. When working in a pair, which is allowed for assignments but not lecture prep exercises, only one person should submit the assignment.

Declaring a partnership

You are encouraged to work in a pair for your assignments. Prior to submitting your work, you must declare on MarkUs whether you are working alone or with a partner. You must make this declaration before the due date, even if you will be using grace points to submit late.

To declare your partnership, one of you needs to invite the other to be a partner, and then the invited person needs to accept the invitation. To invite a partner, navigate to the appropriate MarkUs page for that assignment, find "Group Information", and click on "Invite". You will be prompted for the other student's CS Teaching Labs user name (which is the same as their UTORid); enter it. To accept an invitation, find "Group Information" on the appropriate Assignment page, find the invitation listed there, and click on "Join".

Although only one partner should submit the assignment, because you declared your partnership, we will know that both of you should get credit for the work -- no matter which of you submits it.

Submitting your work (tip: use Chrome or Firefox)

To submit your work, navigate to the MarkUs page for the particular exercise or assignment, then click on the "Submissions" tab near the top. Click "Add a New File" and either type a file name or use the "Browse" button to choose one. Then click "Submit". You can submit a new version of a file later (before the deadline, of course); look in the "Replace" column.

Once you have submitted, click on the file's name to check that you submitted the correct version; remember that spelling of filenames, including case, counts. If your file is not named correctly, your code will receive zero for correctness.

Working successfully in a pair

If you are working with a partner, make sure that you are actually working together. Your goal should be for the two of you to help each other learn the material and to avoid getting stuck with frustrating errors. If you split up the assignment and work separately, you are not getting practice on all aspects of the assignment.

Sometimes a student who is working with a partner drops the course in the middle of an assignment. If this happens, the other partner is still responsible for completing the assignment on time. If he or she has been actively engaged in the entire assignment, this should not be a problem; the assignments are designed so that an individual student can complete them. However, if the remaining partner has not been actively involved or does not have copies of all of the work, they will have serious difficulty completing the assignment. Make sure you don't find yourself in this situation: Be active in all parts of the assignment, and make sure that at the end of each meeting, both partners have a copy of all of the work.

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