The Evolution of Computers

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As computers have become less expensive, they have been purchased by more and more families for their homes. As a result, more youths and children have started to use computers at earlier ages. Even if there is not a computer available at home, it’s guaranteed that the youth will come into contact with a computer somewhere else, such as school. This may have not been the case a couple decades ago and with that said, computers have been evolving (and still are). The evolution of computers is all possible due to computer science. Computer science is defined to be “the study of ideas of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems.”[1] Computer science has many interesting topics, some still being discussed today, including environmental stewardship / sustainability, research areas related to computer science, postsecondary opportunities, as well as positive effects.

Environmental stewardship and sustainability has always been a concern for computer science. One of the most compelling arguments of environmental stewardship is the impact of overexposure. The risk of getting a repetitive motion disorder, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, is even greater for children, as they have not fully developed their musculature and skeletal systems. Other possible risks of overexposure include eyestrain (can cause blurriness and headaches) and exposure to electromagnetic radiation (a hidden danger emitted from the monitor). Through electromagnetic radiation can potentially be “…destructive to humans,”[2] there is, however, a lack of proof to state that the risk is real, and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the risk of getting exposed to electromagnetic radiation is low anyway (if the user is positioned properly in relation to the monitor). With that said, overexposure can be a deadly factor in the environmental stewardship and sustainability of computer science, but keep in mind; it is not the only one. With today’s importance on the environment, people are always looking for ways to live a “greener” lifestyle. Through computers can spread awareness of environmental problems, they cause a lot of environmental problems as themselves. Pollution is caused by computer production, and dangerous chemicals such as mercury are required as well (so by buying a computer, people are essentially encouraging these chemicals to be created). The average PC requires ten times the weight of the product in chemicals and fossil fuels. An additional environmental hazard is the fact that people often leave their computers on for entire days, never turning them off (consuming mass electricity). This is especially seen in areas such as computer labs, internet cafés, and libraries. Keeping all this in mind, it is no mystery why many conclude that computers cause an enormous amount of environmental problems; however, many argue back that working digitally can also help make many small contributions to save the environment. Asides from obviously saving paper while working digitally, a person can save gasoline by doing errands online (instead of getting inside his/her car). Without even knowing it, a person can help the less fortunate by simply going online. “Ad-clicking” is sometimes used by charities to raise funds (e.g. Free Rice), so simply creating an account on a charity site can actually help your favourite environmental cause(s). Not to mention, more and more organizations are launching computer recycling programs to help save the environment. These organizations include Free Geek, the Nonprofit Technology Resources (NTR), and TechSoup.

Since it began, computer science has spawned a large range of emerging areas of research such as cryptography. Cryptography is defined to be the practice and studying of hiding. Due to computer science, it is now much more complex, as not only does it allow encryption, it allows for encryption in any binary form (unlike...
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