Motivation

Its amazing how much data is now being collected, stored, analyzed and acted on (e.g., http://www.data.gov ; http://data.worldbank.org/). In addition to the wealth of world-wide data being collected, data is being recorded and stored about individuals, including you. This includes patient and consumer data, each leading to significant concerns with data security and personal privacy. In some cases, at least, you can record, access, and analyze your own personal data (e.g., music listening, nutritional content of meals, exercise activities, physical travels,…).

In CS x265, you will learn to design databases for storing, accessing and analyzing large amounts data — to include conceptual and logical design. A small portion of the course will also study the implementation of database management systems (DBMSs), on which databases reside; a DBMS is complex system software that interfaces with hardware to physically store databases, as well as translating and coordinating user communications (e.g., user queries and updates) to databases (see Topic Overview).

We live in fascinating and challenging times, with revolutionary changes occurring. As computer scientists, you can be a central witnesses to and actors in these times. I hope you ask how you can best use the world’s resources that are now at our disposal, largely because of the technology that you are now studying, and how you can contribute to these resources.

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