B.S. in Computer Science with Concentration in Database Management


The unprecedented growth of generated and deployed data has triggered the overwhelming demand for data managers, predicted to expand further in the coming years. Computer science graduates with strong skills needed to manage, explore, and visualize data and produce forecasts are in high demand on the job market. Furthermore, many database-systems oriented jobs are not subject to offshoring, as the data can be highly sensitive and subject to strict security measures. Therefore, a steady and competent pool of local talent is needed to fill the job ranks.

The Database Management concentration at Fairleigh Dickinson University incorporates three required courses and three elective courses. The three required courses, Introduction to Computer Science (CSCI 2215), Data Structures (CSCI 2232) and Database Systems (CSCI 3268), are already included in the core requirements of the B.S. Computer Science curriculum.

CSCI 2215 Introduction to Computer Science explains all areas of computer science and lays the groundwork for more advanced courses. CSCI 2232 Data Structures teaches how to use the fundamental data structures, such as stacks, queues, trees, and linked lists, in program design.  Understanding the concepts of these data structures provides a basis for an understanding of more complex notions, such as principles of database systems.

The third requirement, CSCI 3268 Database Systems, is an essential class introducing the foundations of database management, e.g. schema design, normalization, entity and referential integrity, and indexing. Students not only learn the syntax of SQL, the language of all relational database management systems (DBMS), but also become proficient in business problem solving. In a course project, students obtain hands-on experience with ORACLE—a widely used DBMS.

In the Database Management concentration, a student must also choose three electives among four possible courses, Advanced Database (CSCI 3331), Distributed Database Systems (CSCI4373), Data Warehouse and Data Mining (CSCI 3460) and Enterprise Computing for the IBM zSeries (CSCI 3470). CSCI 3331 Advanced Database teaches the real-world duties of a database administrator (DBA) and the complete process of a database design, from interviews to implementation. After practicing with a number of sample schemas, students are encouraged to design a database in a team-oriented project.

Additionally, methods for backup, recovery, reorganization, space management, performance and tuning, locking and deadlock are studied, as well as the atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability, known as ACID properties.

CSCI4373 Distributed Database Systems class examines databases in networked environments and addresses the following complex issues: How are updates handled over several sites? How is locking performed when the data rows are at several sites and inconsistency may result? How is a distributed deadlock determined?

CSCI 3460 Data Warehouse and Data Mining provides students with a solid foundation of technologies and techniques relevant to the deployment of the “Big Data.” The case study of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is used to communicate data warehouse development to course participants. To solidify the foundation, the concepts of data mining are illustrated with other relevant examples ranging from fraud detection to marketing analysis.

CSCI 3470 Enterprise Computing for the IBM zSeries is a pace-changing class for many students.  Computing in the IBM mainframe environment is a rare skill, which makes a new graduate highly competitive in a job market. This course introduces a mainframe perspective on computer science and covers DB2— the IBM relational database, enabling students to learn data management for an enterprise environment.

 
Concentration Requirements (18 credits):
 
Required Courses (9 credits)
 
CSCI 2215 Introduction to Computer Science*
CSCI 2232 Data Structures*
CSCI 3268 Database Systems*
 
Elective Courses (9 credits)
Select three electives from the following courses:
 
CSCI 3331 Advanced Database
CSCI4373 Distributed Database Systems 
CSCI 3460 Data Warehouse and Data Mining 
CSCI 3470 Enterprise Computing for the IBM zSeries
 
* These courses are already included in the Computer Science Core Requirements.