What does mean in Computer Science?

December 19, 2016


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What exactly is Computer Science?
Computer Science is the science of using computers to solve problems. Mostly, this involves designing software (computer programs) and addressing fundamental scientific questions about the nature of computation but also involves many aspects of hardware and architecting the large computer systems that form the infrastructure of commercial and government enterprises. Computer scientists work in many different ways: pen-and-paper theoretical work on the foundations and fundamentals, programming work at the computer and collaborative teamwork in doing research and solving problems. What Computer Science is not ...
Computer Science is not about using software, such as spreadsheets (like Excel), word processors (like Word) or image tools (like Photoshop). Many software packages are complicated to master (such as Photoshop or Excel) and it is true that many jobs depend on expertise in using such tools, but computer science is not about using the tools. It is not about expertise in computer games, it is not about about writing content in websites, and it is not about not about assembling computers or knowing which computers are best buys. Edsger Dijkstra, a famous award-winning computer scientist once said, "Computer Science is no more about computers than Astronomy is about telescopes". Computer Science is about the principles behind building the above software packages, about the algorithms used in computer games, about the technology behind the internet and about the architecture of computing devices. What is Information Technology, and how is it different from Computer Science?
While computer science has become a somewhat precise term as a field of study (like geology), information technology (IT) is a somewhat more vague term. The commercial world uses the term IT in a variety of contexts, generally, to mean "anything to do with computers". Many business uses of this term refer specifically to the combination of databases, information processing systems and communication systems (email, web browsing) they have been installing in the 80's and 90's. Thus, an IT job could mean a sales job in a computer company, or a business manager overseeing the installation of software, or it could mean a network technician who installs fiber-optic cable, or of course a software engineer. However, computer science generally denotes a professional with computer science training, one who is involved in the creation of software and software systems. Most educational programs are in computer science, which has a long tradition of accredition, standardized testing (such as the GRE subject test in computer science), prestigious research journals and well-defined curricula. In contrast, while some schools offer IT curricula, these are less well-defined, and probably not as rigorous as computer science curricula and degrees. What is software?
Computer science is not about building keyboards or monitors or the cables that connect your PC to your printer. While these are important to the functioning of a computer, as is electricity, computer software consists of interacting programs each of which is a collection of instructions capable of being executed on a computer. So, first we need to think of a computer as a "dumb" machine that knows how to execute elementary "instructions" (add this, multiply that). Then, software programs are collections of instructions that achieve higher-level end objectives. In a sense, the "intelligence" lies in the software and it is the difficulty of creating reliable, intelligent software that has made the young discipline of computer science into the large, diverse field it is today. Software systems now pervade almost all aspects of life, including high-end entertainment (such as the computer-generated dinosaurs in Jurassic Park), mission-critical control systems (factories, robots, aircrafts, space-travel), information systems (banks, websites, medical databases, government systems) and research tools (earthquake simulators, drug-design software, astronomy databases). What is programming?
Source: www.seas.gwu.edu
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