Week 4 - Information Storage and Retrieval

Click on the title of each topic below to be linked to an article about that topic. Each student is responsible for reading every article.      

History of Paper

Paper has been the primary means for record keeping for most of recorded history


Johann Gutenberg is famous for inventing the movable type printing press. The printing press is regarded as one of the greatest advances in human history, rivaling fire and the wheel.

Domesday Book

The Domesday Book is one of the great historical treasure troves of information. It was compiled almost 1000 years ago.

Regular Expressions

Regular expressions are a mechanism to select text from a larger body of text. They are broadly used by programs when searching textual information.

Read the page linked above and the next page of the article. Although this article focuses on regular expressions in a web product called Dreamweaver, regular expressions are widely the same across implementations.

History of Magnetic Recording

Magnetic media became the primary replacement for paper recording.

Disk Drives

The hard disk became the dominant mechanism for holding information in the late 20th century.   

History of databases

Databases are the primary tool to hold information in the present time.   

Relational Algebra

Relational algebra is the background to most modern database work. Please read the following portions of this site:

Basic Structure
The Relational Algebra
Fundamental Operations
Formal Definition Of Relational Algebra

I will be explaining the last two of these portions in class. Do not worry if you do not fully understand the reading yet.