INFX 141 / CS 121 • DAVID G. KAY • UC IRVINE • WINTER 2015

Assignment #1
Quantifying Big Data

You may do this assignment alone, or with one partner.

The Task:
Similar to the activity we did on the first day of class, write two statements that express large quantities of storage in everyday terms:

Both statements express equalities, so in some sense they're equivalent in form. But the first one expresses the peta-exa-zetta-yotta term in a round quantity (one exabyte; 10 zettabytes); the second expresses the real-world quantity as a round number (all the images saved in one month; the audio generated by 1000 DJs).

Give a short synopsis of how you reached your figure. (For example: A typical student laptop holds 500 GB or half a terabyte. Our classroom seats about 130. There are 10 "periods" on MWF (starting hourly 8:00 to 5:00) and 7 on TuTh for a total of 17, assuming that the classes are full each period. That comes out to 1105 terabytes or about one Petabyte.)

Try to be accurate, and cite where you got quantities that aren't obvous. But this isn't a research project; just find a plausible figure on the web and go with it.

· 1 Bit = Binary Digit
· 8 Bits = 1 Byte
· 1000 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
· 1000 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
· 1000 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
· 1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
· 1000 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
· 1000 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte
· 1000 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte
· 1000 Zettabytes = 1 Yottabyte

Why not 1024 instead of 1000? Probably the best answer is that 2% difference isn't significant for this purpose. But while processor and memory designers work in units of 1024, the secondary storage (hard disk and solid-state disk) industry has long used 1000.

Submitting Your Assignment
Submit your assignment via Checkmate ( If you worked with a partner, only one of you should submit, and the document must have both partners' names and student ID numbers at the top. The non-submitting partner should probably be present when the work is submitted, just to verify that both names are present and the submission was successful.

David G. Kay,
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 12:20 PM