Exam Syllabus


Related Courses


  •    CS 503 Scientific Database Techniques
  •    CS 514 Database Theory and Implementation
  •    CS 615 Spatial Databases




  •    Oracle 10g Programming, by Sunderraman, Addison-Wesley 2007 (or the 11g update)
  •    Database Management Systems, by Ramakrishnan and Gehrke, McGraw-Hill, 2007, or An Intro to Database Systems, by C.J. Date, 8’th Ed., Addison-Wesley , 2004
  •    Pro Oracle Spatial, Kothuri, Godfrind and Beinat, Apress, 2004 (or the 11g update)
  •    Spatial Databases, Rigaux, Scholl and Voisard, Morgan Freeman, 2002



Note: for the first level, either cs503 or cs514 should provide an adequate grounding for the exam.
The topical syllabus should clarify. The exam covers ‘standard’ SQL, and Oracle or MySQL are
sample implementations. The exam will contain some topics common to CS503 and CS514, while
for other parts of the exam, a choice between 503 and 514 topics may be given.


CS514 level


  1. Database systems terminology, e.g. integrity, concurrency, persistence.   Relational database models: relational algebra and relational calculus. Database levels: internal, conceptual, external
  2. Basic SQL: including DDL, DML, DCL, types of joins (equi, self, outer, nonequi). Some Oracle specific issues, e.g.Oracle sqlplus interpreter
  3. ‘Advanced’ topics, like subselects, group by, creation of constraints, creation of views, Oracle supplied functions like TO_CHAR, NVL, INSTR, etc.
  4. Embedded SQL using PL/SQL including anonymous blocks, stored functions and procedures, packages, cursors and exceptions
  5. Embedded SQL using jdbc and appropriate drivers to communicate to a dbms, specifically Oracle
  6. Database design, including ER model, participation constraints, key constraints
  7. Implementation of ER in RDBMS
  8. Normalization, including 1NF, 2NF, 3NF and BCNF
  9. Triggers


CS615 level

     Note that all candidates must answer the questions at this level.    

  1. Basic topics in GIS, including types of maps, datums, coordinate systems (geodetic and UTM), projections, map scale, geodetic distance
  2. Intro to Oracle as an RDBMS, or as an ORDBMS
  3. Spatial models, including the nine intersection model
  4. Spatial algorithms, including algorithms for MBR, convex hull, and Voronoi diagrams
  5. Spatial query languages, i.e. SQL extensions for spatial databases, as found In Oracle Spatial
  6. Data structures and index strategies to accommodate spatial data, including B trees, R trees, and linear quadtrees. Review of 2-3 trees as example of balanced trees.
  7. Math employed for spatial issues, such as inner product spaces, norms and metrics, cross product and its application to determining angles and direction
  8. Existing GIS approaches, e.g. ESRI ArcView, shape file formats
  9. Oracle spatial formats, e.g. SDO_GEOMETRY, SDO-GEOM.   This topic is covered in some detail
  10. Format conversions: to include csv files, ESRI shapefiles, Oracle SDO geodatabase tables
  11. The Oracle network model, including sdondme
  12. Oracle mapviewer for visualizing Oracle spatial tables, and jdbc for accessing spatial tables