5 Replies - 7485 Views - Last Post: 23 February 2011 - 10:59 AM

#1 Patrunjel  Icon User is offline

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What it takes for a Ph.D in Computer Science?

Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:41 AM

Yeah, my curiosity again.I have seen that Linus Torvalds has a Ph.D in Computer Science.How do you get it? I mean, i know what a Ph.D is, but as i know, you have to discover something unique.In physics and chemistry is possible, but in computer science...I mean, you can create as many unique languages as you want, once you understood the concepts.It can't be that simple.So, because programming, as math, is what i call a man-made science, you can't really discover new things, except on the hardware part of computers.
So, what do you know about it? What do you have to do to get a Ph.D in computer science?

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#2 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: What it takes for a Ph.D in Computer Science?

Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:41 AM

Moved to Student Campus
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#3 JackOfAllTrades  Icon User is offline

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Re: What it takes for a Ph.D in Computer Science?

Posted 18 February 2011 - 03:58 PM

Pile it higher and deeper :)
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: What it takes for a Ph.D in Computer Science?

Posted 18 February 2011 - 06:50 PM

Quote

So, because programming, as math, is what i call a man-made science, you can't really discover new things

Not true. Calculus was discovered. The relationships between a function, its derivatives, and integrals were all utilized and later proven. Cryptography solutions were discovered, invented, and innovated in math. The same goes for computer science. Sure, languages were invented. But so were sorting algorithms, data structures, the study of AI, computer graphics, etc. Computer science is a really broad field, and you have to get a couple theory classes (or equivelant experience) beyond intro to programming to appreciate the field. :)
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#5 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: What it takes for a Ph.D in Computer Science?

Posted 23 February 2011 - 09:43 AM

ditto w/ macosxnerd101

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... because programming, as math, is what i call a man-made science, you can't really discover new things ...


This here is your breaking point. You need to sever this opinion of yours or you won't understand how discovery in these fields occurs.

Math though invented, doesn't necessarily mean it can do what ever it wants to do. Math merely communicates real world data in a system that we can comprehend. And we invent new parts of math to explain new structures that need explaining, or simplify existing structures into a more useful form. This can allow us to 'discover' new ways of doing things with math that before was difficult or even impossible. Just like language you don't just invent new words unless there is a need for them. And you don't just jam words together for no one would understand what you're saying. (speaking of, you can get a phd in language... to which what new discoveries are we getting there? Should Colbert have a doctorate of English for inventing the word 'truthiness'?)

Consider ancient times when we had no idea how to sum fractions in accurate methods (this wasn't that long ago), or before we understood the relationship between the sides of a triangle, or the relationship of the triangle with the circle. These fairly simple concepts which we use every day with out even realizing we use them were mind blowing discoveries in the centuries past.

Just because it's a man-made concept doesn't mean you can't discover more about it. Physics, time, etc are all man-made concepts to explain the world around us. And the evolve, change, and alter to meet the demands of our ever changing understanding of the world.

Computer science and math though have an even more expansive scope. They are tools, they are used to solve problems. Problems are abundant, and new ones appear every day. Our tools must keep changing to meet the demands of new problems appearing every day. Or get better at solving existing problems. Calculus did what earlier forms of math could do, but it did it with ease and opened new understanding about continuous math that why would you not use it?

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 23 February 2011 - 09:47 AM

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#6 hookiethe1  Icon User is offline

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Re: What it takes for a Ph.D in Computer Science?

Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:59 AM

^ Those 2 beat me to it. I can't stand it when people say we invented math, it's just our method of measuring everything we can measure. When math doesn't fit the world, math is changed, not the world.

Now that you've had enough responses to your view on mathematics, I would suggest you do what everyone else does when they have a question like that and google it. I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think there are any computer science Ph.D's on here, so nobody is qualified to answer your question.

This post has been edited by hookiethe1: 23 February 2011 - 11:04 AM

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