# Mathematics for the DBA

 0 I have recently started reading Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals by Lex de Haan, and it is so far a very interesting book, but despite the title seems more theoretical than applied so far. But is there a real need for a DBA to have a deep understanding of mathematics? If there is, what other good resources are there for this? more ▼ asked Jul 09, 2010 at 02:13 PM in Default TimothyAWiseman 15.6k ● 21 ● 23 ● 32 add new comment (comments are locked) 10|1200 characters needed characters left ▼ Viewable by all users

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 0 I'd say it's essential. An understanding of set theory, an particularly algorithmic maths is absolutely invaluable. For example, understanding how hash tables work, how indexes really work - they're not things that come naturally without an understanding of the basics. more ▼ answered Jul 09, 2010 at 04:37 PM Matt Whitfield ♦♦ 29.5k ● 61 ● 65 ● 87 Absolutely, I agree you need to understand the basics. I haven't read the book Timothy cites but figured he was wondering about higher mathematics Jul 09, 2010 at 04:54 PM Scot Hauder @Scot - well, when I did A-levels I took 3 pure maths modules, 2 statistics modules and 1 decision maths module. I have used the pure maths twice (once to solve a quadratic equation that makes the tooltips in my apps appear as close to the golden ratio as possible, and once for my as-yet-unreleased data exploration app). However, decision maths I use all the time. Stats - well, I haven't used that very much that's for sure! Jul 09, 2010 at 04:56 PM Matt Whitfield ♦♦ @Matt from a developer perspective, which I know you do a lot of, we definitely run into these problems. If you want to do more statistics get into data-mining algorithms. Lots of probability and integrals! Jul 09, 2010 at 05:21 PM Scot Hauder add new comment (comments are locked) 10|1200 characters needed characters left ▼ Viewable by all users
 0 I would say yes. Set theory (obviously), and an understanding of probability is necessary. For example, how do you know how many database restores from your thousand databases do you need to do in order to be, say, 95% confident that they all work? See Thomas "Rockstar" LaRock's article [Statistical Sampling for Verifying Database Backups][1] and if you fully understand the maths behind it, then you're a better man than me. [1]: http://thomaslarock.com/2010/05/statistical-sampling-for-verifying-database-backups/ more ▼ answered Jul 10, 2010 at 01:55 AM ThomasRushton ♦ 34.2k ● 18 ● 20 ● 44 Thanks for the link,, it was very enlightening. Sometime soon I need to learn more statistics. Jul 14, 2010 at 10:12 AM TimothyAWiseman add new comment (comments are locked) 10|1200 characters needed characters left ▼ Viewable by all users
 0 I've read the book and it is theory laden. Some of it takes second readings to wrap your head around the authors' mindset. The title, Applied Mathematics for Database Professionals, sums it up - dB PROFESSIONALS.In this case I choose to view professionals as individuals determined to know their craft and focused on continuous improvement. de Haan and Koppelaars provide an excellent treatise on Set Theory with a goal of using it to perform dB design and, as it says on the cover, "communicate precisely about those designs with other stakeholders.".This is the sort of book that can take an accidental DBA from thinking of SQL as merely a series of Excel rows and columns to seeing just how complicated - yet simple - the reality is.As for the average dB Pro requiring Hawkins-level mathematics skill... generally - no. more ▼ answered Jul 12, 2010 at 05:48 AM Blackhawk-17 11.9k ● 28 ● 31 ● 37 add new comment (comments are locked) 10|1200 characters needed characters left ▼ Viewable by all users
 0 Yes. Relational database design is based in logic and mathematics. So are the building blocks of database queries. So those mathematical concepts are the toolkit you can use to solve database problems.Knowledge of the underlying principles is particularly relevant to SQL because SQL is a rather flawed attempt to imitate a relational database language. If you truly understand the relational foundations on which SQL was supposed to be based then you'll be more likely to avoid some of the pitfalls of working with SQL. more ▼ answered Jul 10, 2010 at 07:29 AM David 1 1.8k ● 1 ● 3 I'm sorry - but I have to ask - How come you've only voted 14 times, with 5 of those times to vote someone down? Jul 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM Matt Whitfield ♦♦ Maybe because voting down bad answers is more important than voting up good ones. And there just aren't that many really bad answers on here. Jul 10, 2010 at 12:11 PM David 1 Interesting, do you short all of your investments too? Jul 10, 2010 at 12:20 PM Scot Hauder add new comment (comments are locked) 10|1200 characters needed characters left ▼ Viewable by all users

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