10 Myths for Computer Science

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In this presentation we present ten misconceptions that we have determined over the past ten years, as myths about Computer Science studies and profession

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  • Hullo Mr Thonos , this is Ninyesiga Allan in UGANDA makerere university offering computer science goinng to year 2. i have rely liked your slides about the ten myths for computer science . Sir i have a serious problem which i kindly request you to help me on . the problem of not having a personal computer i.e a laptop is disturbing me a lot as you well understand computer science needs practice (a serious one), to assure i love that course very much but that problem is letting me down . so kindly i request you to help and offer me one . thank you very much Mr Thanos God bless you ,and may he help you to achieve your needs . i have hope to hear from you on allantley@gmail.com or allan tley on facebook. good time.
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10 Myths for Computer Science

  1. 1. 10 MYTHS10 MYTHS FOR COMPUTER SCIENCEFOR COMPUTER SCIENCE Promoting Computer Science Programs toPromoting Computer Science Programs to PotentialPotential StudentsStudents Thanos Hatziapostolou Anna Sotiriadou Petros Kefalas
  2. 2. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 2 The Computer Science DisciplineThe Computer Science Discipline  Computer Science is an exciting and challenging field that has impact in most aspects of everyday life • For practically any area you can think of there is an application of computer technology  Computer Science is inherently interdisciplinary and studying this field requires creativity, problem solving skills and integration of theory and practice  Computer Science offers solid job prospects and many diverse career paths • As a matter of fact, Computer Science graduates are some of the most sought-after graduates.
  3. 3. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 3 The Computer Science DisciplineThe Computer Science Discipline  Unfortunately, Computer Science is misinterpreted by many people and by many students  Investigations have been conducted and a number of reasons were detected • some related with the public image and public understanding of the discipline that influence young people, parents, teachers and career advisors  In this presentation we present ten misconceptions that we have determined over the past ten years, as myths about Computer Science studies and profession.
  4. 4. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 4 Computer Science MYTH #1Computer Science MYTH #1 Computer Science is sending emails,Computer Science is sending emails, browsing the Internet, word processing andbrowsing the Internet, word processing and learning to use specific application programslearning to use specific application programs  Where does this myth come from? • Students limited encounter of simple applications (e.g. word processing) and Internet activities (e.g. sending email, browsing the web) in secondary education • Parents hear ads about career opportunities through ECDL
  5. 5. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 5 DROPPING MYTH No 1DROPPING MYTH No 1 Computer Science is sending emails,Computer Science is sending emails, browsing the Internet, word processing andbrowsing the Internet, word processing and learning to use specific application programslearning to use specific application programs  Anyone can do this!!!  Noone needs to enter a higher education program in Computer Science in order to perform such tasks. • in a similar way that none needs a HE degree in Mechanical Engineering or Electronics to drive their cars or use their TV sets  However, Computer Science is targeted towards developing such software, services and applications solutions so that other people can use them!
  6. 6. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 6 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #1COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #1 Anyone can send emails and browse the web.Anyone can send emails and browse the web. Computer Science is not concerned with the usageComputer Science is not concerned with the usage of software applications but with their development.of software applications but with their development.  Anyone can do this!!!  Noone needs to enter a higher education program in Computer Science in order to perform such tasks. • in a similar way that none needs a HE degree in Mechanical Engineering or Electronics to drive their cars or use their TV sets  However, Computer Science is targeted towards developing such software, services and applications solutions so that other people can use them!
  7. 7. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 7 Computer Science MYTH #2Computer Science MYTH #2 Computer Science is about programmingComputer Science is about programming  What are the sources for this myth? • Far too technical secondary education experience of computer science (algorithms, pseudocode etc) • Narrow view about the Computer Science field in general  Variation of the myth: • CS is about fixing PCs when they break
  8. 8. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 8 DROPPING MYTH #2DROPPING MYTH #2  Again, most people can do this with a bit of reading and practice!  Programming is a technical skill for which someone doesn’t need a degree to acquire • should you be an engineer to fix a leaking water pipe? Someone with an engineering degree knows everything about materials and hydraulics including perhaps hands-on practice with tools  Programming is just a tool for Computer Scientists. Current complex software systems require software engineering methods, methodologies and approaches. Computer Science is about programmingComputer Science is about programming
  9. 9. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 9 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #2COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #2  Again, most people can do this with a bit of reading and practice!  Programming is a technical skill for which someone doesn’t need a degree to acquire • should you be an engineer to fix a leaking water pipe? Someone with an engineering degree knows everything about materials and hydraulics including perhaps hands-on practice with tools  Programming is just a tool for Computer Scientists. Current complex software systems require software engineering methods, methodologies and approaches. Computer Science is NOT about writing code.Computer Science is NOT about writing code. Programming is just a tool.Programming is just a tool.
  10. 10. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 10 Computer Science MYTH #3Computer Science MYTH #3 Computer Science is maths, maths, maths!Computer Science is maths, maths, maths!  Where does this myth come from? • Students’ math-phobia primarily due to inadequate knowledge and understanding of what mathematics actually is and what it is good for • Intensive examination system of secondary education
  11. 11. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 11 DROPPING MYTH #3DROPPING MYTH #3 Computer Science is maths, maths, maths!Computer Science is maths, maths, maths!  Not really!  Maths in a Computer Science programme is specific to this discipline and is taught almost from point zero.  It is not just maths for maths. Yes, we do need maths, because we are required to establish correctness and soundness of the applications developed. • This is much alike the way that mathematics guarantees that a newly designed airplane is safe to fly without killing people before we spend millions in constructing it.  Maths is what makes it a Science!
  12. 12. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 12 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #3COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #3  Not really!  Maths in a Computer Science programme is specific to this discipline and is taught almost from point zero.  It is not just maths for maths. Yes, we do need maths, because we are required to establish correctness and soundness of the applications developed. • This is much alike the way that mathematics guarantees that a newly designed airplane is safe to fly without killing people before we spend millions in constructing it.  Maths is what makes it a Science! Computer Science is NOT all about maths.Computer Science is NOT all about maths. It just includes maths specific to the discipline.It just includes maths specific to the discipline.
  13. 13. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 13 Computer Science MYTH #4Computer Science MYTH #4 Computer Science undergraduate studiesComputer Science undergraduate studies restrict the choice for postgraduate studiesrestrict the choice for postgraduate studies  What is the source of this myth? • A misconception that a computer science graduate can only specialize in computer science areas (e.g. networking, security, artificial intelligence etc)
  14. 14. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 14 DROPPING MYTH #4DROPPING MYTH #4  To the contrary!!! A Computer Science degree opens a wide range of potential!  Actually, Computer Science graduates who follow Master's degrees in other, even unrelated, disciplines like Management, Music, Politics etc. are extremely successful because they possess the fundamental intellectual skills and long-life learning abilities that help them towards such an attempted conversion. Computer Science undergraduate studiesComputer Science undergraduate studies restrict the choice for postgraduate studiesrestrict the choice for postgraduate studies
  15. 15. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 15 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #4COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #4  To the contrary!!! A Computer Science degree opens a wide range of potential!  Actually, Computer Science graduates who follow Master's degrees in other, even unrelated, disciplines like Management, Music, Politics etc. are extremely successful because they possess the fundamental intellectual skills and long-life learning abilities that help them towards such an attempted conversion. Computer Science offers a wide range ofComputer Science offers a wide range of potential for postgraduate studies.potential for postgraduate studies.
  16. 16. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 16 Computer Science MYTH #5Computer Science MYTH #5 Computer Science jobs areComputer Science jobs are boring, lonely and are all takenboring, lonely and are all taken  What is the origin of this myth? • Boring/lonely misconception: • a computer science professional spends all day and all night in front of the computer • Jobs are taken: • wrong impression from general unemployment figures
  17. 17. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 17 DROPPING MYTH #5DROPPING MYTH #5 Computer Science jobs areComputer Science jobs are boring, lonely and are all takenboring, lonely and are all taken  Boring job? Think again! • New problems and new needs by the society and the business world never leave space for boredom because new solutions must be devised  Lonely job? Not quite! • The complexity of the problems addressed is such that none can manage alone • Computer Scientists more than any other related discipline need to work in well-structured teams  Jobs are all taken? On the contrary!! • The need is increasing because demands for automated solutions are increasing • During the last decade, Computer Scientists are highly employed. The demand is constantly high! • With the current trends of the market, it is predicted that Computer Scientists would be hard to find!
  18. 18. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 18 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #5COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #5  Boring job? Think again! • New problems and new needs by the society and the business world never leave space for boredom because new solutions must be devised  Lonely job? Not quite! • The complexity of the problems addressed is such that none can manage alone • Computer Scientists more than any other related discipline need to work in well-structured teams  Jobs are all taken? On the contrary!! • The need is increasing because demands for automated solutions are increasing • During the last decade, Computer Scientists are highly employed. The demand is constantly high! • With the current trends of the market, it is predicted that Computer Scientists would be hard to find! Computer Science jobs are exciting & team-oriented.Computer Science jobs are exciting & team-oriented. The field is booming creating new jobs every day.The field is booming creating new jobs every day.
  19. 19. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 19 Computer Science MYTH #6Computer Science MYTH #6 Computer Science graduates never reachComputer Science graduates never reach higher management positionshigher management positions  Where does this myth come from? • Stereotype of: • hard working developer • wearing t-shirt and jeans • working in a small dark room
  20. 20. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 20 DROPPING MYTH #6DROPPING MYTH #6 Computer Science graduates never reachComputer Science graduates never reach higher management positionshigher management positions  Computer Scientists acquire such organisational and communication skills that are highly suited for high management positions.  The disciplined ways in which they face problems and engineer solutions make them able to undertake and successfully cope with many managerial tasks.  In addition, IT has become so important for businesses that Computer Scientists are directly involved in decision making for the future development of businesses.
  21. 21. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 21 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #6COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #6 Computer Scientists are very well suitedComputer Scientists are very well suited for high management positions.for high management positions.  Computer Scientists acquire such organisational and communication skills that are highly suited for high management positions.  The disciplined ways in which they face problems and engineer solutions make them able to undertake and successfully cope with many managerial tasks.  In addition, IT has become so important for businesses that Computer Scientists are directly involved in decision making for the future development of businesses.
  22. 22. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 22 Computer Science MYTH #7Computer Science MYTH #7 Computer Science, Information Systems,Computer Science, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, are all the sameComputer Engineering, are all the same  What is the source of this myth? • There’s a tendency to confuse these • Especially in countries where: • “Computer Science” and “Informatics” basically mean the same thing • while “Science” and “Engineering” are used as synonyms
  23. 23. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 23 DROPPING MYTH #7DROPPING MYTH #7 Computer Science, Information Systems,Computer Science, Information Systems, Computer Engineering, are all the sameComputer Engineering, are all the same  Although they may share common grounds all three are distinct from each other!  Computer science: • spans a wide range, from its theoretical & algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, networking, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, etc.  Information systems: • focus on integrating information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of businesses, enabling them to achieve their objectives effectively and efficiently.  Computer engineering: • is concerned with the design and construction of computers and computer-based systems.
  24. 24. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 24 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #7COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #7  Although they may share common grounds all three are distinct from each other!  Computer science: • spans a wide range, from its theoretical & algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, networking, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, etc.  Information systems: • focus on integrating information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of businesses, enabling them to achieve their objectives effectively and efficiently.  Computer engineering: • is concerned with the design and construction of computers and computer-based systems. Although Computer Science, Information Systems andAlthough Computer Science, Information Systems and Computer Engineering share common grounds, all threeComputer Engineering share common grounds, all three are distinct from each other!are distinct from each other!
  25. 25. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 25 Computer Science MYTH #8Computer Science MYTH #8 Computer Science studies is only for menComputer Science studies is only for men  Where does this myth come from? • Computing career distorted image • Misconceptions: • solitary activities (programming), lonely and boring jobs • belief that software development does not require creativity
  26. 26. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 26 DROPPING MYTH #8DROPPING MYTH #8 Computer Science studies is only for menComputer Science studies is only for men  It’s true that men have outnumbered women in computer science in the past.  But this is changing!  Increasingly, women are becoming extremely successful professionals. On average they might even do better than men!  Computer Science is about helping others solve problems, learning about new technologies, facing challenges, coming up with new products and services.  Contemporary women contribute to all the above in an innovative way!
  27. 27. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 27 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #8COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #8  It’s true that men have outnumbered women in computer science in the past.  But this is changing!  Increasingly, women are becoming extremely successful professionals. On average they might even do better than men!  Computer Science is about helping others solve problems, learning about new technologies, facing challenges, coming up with new products and services.  Contemporary women contribute to all the above in an innovative way! Computer Science is NOT only for men. WomenComputer Science is NOT only for men. Women are innovative and successful CS professionals.are innovative and successful CS professionals.
  28. 28. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 28 Computer Science MYTH #9Computer Science MYTH #9  What are the origins of this myth? • Misconception that Computer Science is concerned with sending emails, browsing the web, word processing etc. • Lack of understanding of the Computer Science field Computer Science is not as important toComputer Science is not as important to society and business as other disciplinessociety and business as other disciplines
  29. 29. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 29 DROPPING MYTH #9DROPPING MYTH #9 Computer Science is not as important toComputer Science is not as important to society and business as other disciplinessociety and business as other disciplines  Are the following important for the society and business world? • Correctness and integrity of sensitive business and personal data? • Safety of bank accounts, anytime-anywhere access and management of knowledge? • Safe driving and flying? • Privacy in communications? • Reduction of cost in business operations? • Effective health services?  If so, then Computer Science is at least as important to society and businesses as other disciplines
  30. 30. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 30 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #9COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #9 Computer Science is as important toComputer Science is as important to society and business as other disciplinessociety and business as other disciplines  Are the following important for the society and business world? • Correctness and integrity of sensitive business and personal data? • Safety of bank accounts, anytime-anywhere access and management of knowledge? • Safe driving and flying? • Privacy in communications? • Reduction of cost in business operations? • Effective health services?  If so, then Computer Science is at least as important to society and businesses as other disciplines
  31. 31. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 31 Computer Science MYTH #10Computer Science MYTH #10 Computer Science is for “nerds/geeks”!Computer Science is for “nerds/geeks”!  Where does this myth come from? • Stereotype of a “nerd/geek” in: • Secondary education and relation of mathematics with Computer Science • Presented in many movies (as an awkward person, with no social life)
  32. 32. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 32 DROPPING MYTH #10DROPPING MYTH #10 Computer Science is for “nerds/geeks”!Computer Science is for “nerds/geeks”!  This is a distorted image that Hollywood films impose to the general public!  Computer Scientists seem to talk to each other with some undecipherable technology terms • no different from what Doctors or Engineers or Lawyers do  Computer Scientists are trained to acquire good communication skills and general knowledge that will help them to interact with people for whom they provide solutions
  33. 33. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 33 COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #10COMPUTER SCIENCE FACT #10  This is a distorted image that Hollywood films impose to the general public!  Computer Scientists seem to talk to each other with some undecipherable technology terms • no different from what Doctors or Engineers or Lawyers do  Computer Scientists are trained to acquire good communication skills and general knowledge that will help them to interact with people for whom they provide solutions The nerd stereotype is not fair at all. ComputerThe nerd stereotype is not fair at all. Computer Science is cool and requires creativity & imagination.Science is cool and requires creativity & imagination.
  34. 34. 10 Myths for Computer Science Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students 34 Paper presented in the 3rd Informatics Education Europe Conference, Venice, Italy, December 4-5, 2008 Hatziapostolou, T., Kefalas, P., Sotiriadou, A., Promoting Computer Science Programs to Potential Students: 10 Myths for Computer Science, in Proceedings of the Informatics Education Europe III Conference (IEEIII), Venice, Italy, December 4-5, 2008. FULL REFERENCE The paper contains statistics about what our final year students think about these myths before they started their studies and when they are about to graduate. The results demonstrate that most of these myths do exist. 10 MYTHS10 MYTHS FOR COMPUTER SCIENCEFOR COMPUTER SCIENCE

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