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Is computer Science really a Science?
12 Replies - 2774 Views - Last Post: 13 January 2008 - 01:08 PM
Posted 06 January 2008 - 08:58 PM
With the advent of the new computer science forum I felt compelled to ask a question about Comp Sci.
I have just finished my Diploma in Computer Information Technology and I am now pursuing a degree in Computer Science. I started looking on the web to find out what Comp. Sci. "really is" and if it is an accepted member of the science community.
The question: is computer science a science?
The studys that I have done at College and the courses at University are very similar, so much so that I have transferd all of my two year college diploma to the university. My rational behind writing this is to find
a) the distinction between college and university at a scolastic,
Is a computer to computer science mearly what a telescope is to astronomy.
Replies To: Science?
Posted 06 January 2008 - 09:28 PM
1) You come up with hypothesis for solving a problem. (Does 2 + 2 = 4?)
2) You formulate tests to test your hypothesis. (Write a function with expected inputs and outputs... test cases)
3) You observe the results (output of a function is compared to the expected results)
4) You formulate a conclusion based on the results. (Yes it appears to be 4)
It has many things that are included in science including...
2) Quantum Physics (in the way of how electrons can be used to represent state... every heard of quantum computing?)
3) Logic (I have even studied logic in classes and it has helped me become a better problem solver)
4) Imagination and creativity... Some of the greatest scientific break throughs
have been those scientists who had a little imagination (aka atomic bomb).
I have a degree in science and I use many of the theories, equations, topics and ideas of science when programming and I know they use them extensively in networking... just look at the study of degradation in electronic signals as they pass through wires and the study of light... leading to the advancement of fiber optics etc.
It is no doubt a science but like snoj pointed out, it is probably a very cool science because it uses so many of the other sciences. I have certainly been able to extrapolate many scientific theories through the use of studies in computer science. It is a mix of many sciences.
This post has been edited by Martyr2: 06 January 2008 - 09:30 PM
Posted 07 January 2008 - 12:36 AM
Science (Latin scientia, from scire, “to know”), term used in its broadest meaning to denote systematized knowledge in any field, but applied usually to the organization of objectively verifiable sense experience. The pursuit of knowledge in this context is known as pure science, to distinguish it from applied science, which is the search for practical uses of scientific knowledge, and from technology, through which applications are realized.
Therefore, science is a body of knowledge in a strict sense, now how to qualify “computer science” is as science?
It is a science because computer science is the study of computers, including their design, operation, and use in processing information. Computer science combines both theoretical and practical aspects of engineering, electronics, information theory, mathematics, logic, and human behavior. Aspects of computer science range from programming and computer architecture to artificial intelligence and robotics.
With this definition, it is implied that computer science is a body of knowledge in the field of computers.
Posted 07 January 2008 - 04:53 PM
Carry on.....we need more voices.
p.s. should comp sci be called dataology or should astronomy be called telescope science?
Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:00 PM
A further question would be is Software Engineering a real Eng discipline?
The standing right now is that since you can't hold software it isn't eng worthy, but without it the hardware engineers really have nothing.
Posted 10 January 2008 - 06:55 PM
Posted 10 January 2008 - 09:09 PM
SE is 4 years incl compulsory honours (if you meet the grade)
SE forces students to take 'Tech' maths papers (with the rest of the Engineering students), widely regarded as the hardest math papers available at 2nd year level (Comp Sci students can't take them, you have be doing engineering).
SE includes a compulsory summer work placement programme which involves writing a detailed report on the organisation you worked for as well as what your role was (for 3 summers).
But then again superior depends on what your goal is. Engineering seems very geared at working for companies developing solutions, not so much research/other scientific disciplines so it really depends on what you want to do
Note: I'm not biased, I'm just doing Electronics (BE of course )
This post has been edited by scalt: 11 January 2008 - 02:35 AM
Posted 11 January 2008 - 03:40 AM
I can't speak for all American universities, but it's not that way at mine. In fact, I'd say that, if anything, the CS degree is more highly regarded for its rigor than the SE degree at my school. The SE degree is very similar to the CS degree. Both contain lots of math and theory classes in the first two years, but they diverge in many of the upper-division classes (3rd year +) as SE focuses on the software development process and management and CS continues to focus on more theory and other more traditional CS topics like advanced discrete math, Automata theory, digital logic/computer design, algorithm design/analysis, artificial intelligence, etc.
Posted 13 January 2008 - 12:27 PM
Posted 13 January 2008 - 01:08 PM