Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the science of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. Computer science has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation of specific results (such as graphics), while others relate to properties of computational problems (such as computational complexity theory). Still others focus on the challenges in implementing computations. For example, programming language theory studies approaches to describing computations, while computer programming applies specific programming languages to solve specific computational problems. A further subfield, human-computer interaction, focuses on the challenges in making computers and computations useful, usable and universally accessible to people.
Relationship with other fields Edit
Despite its name, a significant amount of computer science does not involve the study of computers themselves. Because of this, several alternative names have been proposed. Danish scientist Peter Naur suggested the term datalogy, to reflect the fact that the scientific discipline revolves around data and data treatment, while not necessarily involving computers. The first scientific institution to use the term was the Department of Datalogy at the University of Copenhagen, founded in 1969, with Peter Naur being the first professor in datalogy. The term is used mainly in the Scandinavian countries. Also, in the early days of computing, a number of terms for the practitioners of the field of computing were suggested in the Communications of the ACM – turingineer, turologist, flow-charts-man, applied meta-mathematician, and applied epistemologist. Three months later in the same journal, comptologist was suggested, followed next year by hypologist. The term computics has also been suggested. Informatik was a term used in Europe with more frequency.
The renowned computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra stated, "Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." The design and deployment of computers and computer systems is generally considered the province of disciplines other than computer science. For example, the study of hardware is usually considered part of computer engineering, while the study of commercial computer systems and their deployment is often called information technology or information systems. Computer science is sometimes criticized as being insufficiently scientific, a view espoused in the statement "Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing", credited to Stan Kelly-Bootle and others. However, there has been much cross-fertilization of ideas between the various computer-related disciplines. Computer science research has also often crossed into other disciplines, such as cognitive science, economics, mathematics, physics (see quantum computing), and linguistics.
Computer science is considered by some to have a much closer relationship with mathematics than many scientific disciplines. Early computer science was strongly influenced by the work of mathematicians such as Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing, and there continues to be a useful interchange of ideas between the two fields in areas such as mathematical logic, category theory, domain theory, and algebra.
The relationship between computer science and software engineering is a contentious issue, which is further muddied by disputes over what the term "software engineering" means, and how computer science is defined. David Parnas, taking a cue from the relationship between other engineering and science disciplines, has claimed that the principal focus of computer science is studying the properties of computation in general, while the principal focus of software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals, making the two separate but complementary disciplines.
The academic, political, and funding aspects of computer science tend to depend on whether a department formed with a mathematical emphasis or with an engineering emphasis. Computer science departments with a mathematics emphasis and with a numerical orientation consider alignment computational science. Both types of departments tend to make efforts to bridge the field educationally if not across all research.
Computer science education Edit
Some universities teach computer science as a theoretical study of computation and algorithmic reasoning. These programs often feature the theory of computation, analysis of algorithms, formal methods, concurrency theory, databases, computer graphics and systems analysis, among others. They typically also teach computer programming, but treat it as a vessel for the support of other fields of computer science rather than a central focus of high-level study.
Other colleges and universities, as well as secondary schools and vocational programs that teach computer science, emphasize the practice of advanced [[computer programming rather than the theory of algorithms and computation in their computer science curricula. Such curricula tend to focus on those skills that are important to workers entering the software industry. The practical aspects of computer programming are often referred to as software engineering. However, there is a lot of disagreement over the meaning of the term, and whether or not it is the same thing as programming.
Further reading Edit
- Association for Computing Machinery. 1998 ACM Computing Classification System. 1998.
- IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery. Computing Curricula 2001: Computer Science. December 15, 2001.
- Peter J. Denning. Is computer science science?, Communications of the ACM, April 2005.
- Donald E. Knuth. Selected Papers on Computer Science, CSLI Publications, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996.
- Peter J. Denning, Great principles in computing curricula, Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2004.
- Directory of free university lectures in Computer Science
- bibliography/ Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies
- CS Directory and resources
- Industry analysis reports
- Photographs of computer scientists (Bertrand Meyer's gallery)
- UCLA Computer Science 1 Freshman Computer Science Seminar Section 1
- Berkeley Introduction to Computers
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