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Watch the Introduction to Databases video (https://www

Computer Science

Watch the Introduction to Databases video ( ) by Dr. Jennifer Widom of Stanford University and respond to the items in Part 1.   Feel free to pause the video to respond to the items and re-watch segments as necessary.  Alternatively, you may prefer to view the presentation once through and then again to complete the assignment.  The presentation is 13 minutes long.

Part 2 of the assignment is not specifically related to the video, but will require some additional investigation and research.

Part 1: Terminology

In your own words, define/describe what each of these terms means in a database context.  Do not attempt to copy specific sentences from the video word for word.    Examples to support definitions and descriptions are welcome, but are insufficient on their own.  You should establish that you understand the significance of each term.

 1. Database Functionality:


a. Massive




b. Persistent




c. Safe




d. Multi-user




e. Convenient




f. Efficient




g. Reliable





2. database concepts:


a. data model





b. schema vs. data






3. purpose of languages associated with a database:


a. data definition language





b. data manipulation language





c. query language






4. database-related jobs:


a. DBMS implementer





b. designer





c. application developer





d. database administrator







Part 2: Investigation

In this question, you’ll need to look up some information and do some computations.   You may use a calculator or Excel for the calculations in (d) and (e).

 1. How many megabytes (MB) in


 a. a gigabyte (GB)?


 b. a terabyte (TB)?


 c. a petabyte (PB)?



An uncompressed, high quality photograph is about 5MB.  An audio book requires about 30MB per hour.

The audiobook of The Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling is about 27 hours long.

Fill in the table below using The Order of the Phoenix as an example of the size of an audio book and the 5MB uncompressed high quality photo as an example of a typical photo.

d. How many photos can be stored in a GB/TB/PB?  

e. How many audio books can be stored in a GB/TB/PB?





(d) Photos





(e) Audio Books






2. In the video, Dr. Widom states that you have probably used a database in the last hour.  She is essentially speculating that most students use a database in every waking hour without even realizing it. Think about the last 24/48/72 hours or the last week... what software systems, apps, or embedded hardware/software systems have you used?  Narrow it down to those that use some form of stored data.  List as many as you can think of, but you should list at least 3 for the next part of the assignment.

Software systems, apps, embedded hardware/software systems used/accessed in the last 24 hours:





















a. Choose three of them to analyze and fill in the top row of the table below (1)-(3).

b. Predict what data they store in the second row.

c. Predict what kinds of queries or requests for data are made by the system in the third row.  We’re not looking for a specific SQL query or command.  It’s important here to have a specific system/database in mind (a), with specific types of data (b).  Think about the system (a) and the data (b) and various users (or applications) that access that data.   For example, as an online bank customer, what kinds of data queries/requests might I want to know about my account with that bank?  As an HR manager in a large company, what kinds of data (b) might be interesting to retain about employees in an employee database (a) and what kinds of data queries/request might be common on that data?  OK, now that you’ve been given two examples (an online banking example and an employee database example), you may use ONE of these examples in your table below but not BOTH.  Please develop at least two additional, different examples.  A Banking example and an Employee Database example should NOT both appear in your table below.

Data Table


Systems (sites/apps) Accessed









Types of data stored








Kinds of data queries/ requests









3. Using the systems identified as (1)-(3) in the previous question, fill in the table below evaluating which features you think the database supports and why? Some cells may be blank, but only if the feature is not relevant to the example system.  Your analysis offered within the table should be specific to each feature in the first column.

Features Analysis Table







































































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