What is Computer Science?
Computer Science is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical processes (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information, whether such information is encoded in bits and bytes in a computer memory or transcribed in genes and protein structures in a human cell. The fundamental question underlying all of computing is: what computational processes can be efficiently automated and implemented? To tackle this seemingly simple question, computer scientists work in many complementary areas. They study the very nature of computing to determine which problems are (or are not) computable. They compare various algorithms to determine if they provide a correct and efficient solution to a concrete problem. They design programming languages to enable the specification and expression of such algorithms. They design, evaluate, and build computer systems that can efficiently execute such specifications. And, they apply such algorithms to important application domains.
What Computer Science Is Not…
Computer Science is not just about building computers or writing computer programs! Computer Science is no more about building computers and developing software than astronomy is about building telescopes, biology is about building microscopes, and music is about building musical instruments! Computer science is not about the tools we use to carry out computation. It is about how we use such tools, and what we find out when we do. The solution of many computer science problems may not even require the use of computers—just pencil and paper. As a matter of fact, problems in computer science have been tackled decades before computers were even built. That said, the design and implementation of computing system hardware and software is replete with formidable challenges and fundamental problems that keep computer...
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