Computer Science

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Computer Science Fundamentals

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Computer Science

  1. 1. Since 2009 to 2014 Manuela Aparicio Carlos Costa Computer Science is a Science!
  2. 2. Computing as Discipline/ Definition “The discipline of computing is the systematic study of algorithmic processes that describe and transform information: • their theory, • analysis, • design, • efficiency, • implementation, • and application. The fundamental question underlying all of computing is, ‘What can be (efficiently) automated?’” (Denning, 1989) Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 3
  3. 3. Scientific Paradigm “The scientific paradigm, which dates back to Francis Bacon, is the process of forming hypotheses and testing them through experiments; successful hypotheses become models that explain and predict phenomena in the world.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 4 (Denning, 2005)
  4. 4. Computer Science Vs Informatics “The European synonym for computer science— informatics— more clearly suggests the field is about information processes, not computers.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 5 (Denning, 2005)
  5. 5. Pure Science & Applied Science “Pure science focuses on knowledge for its own sake and applied focuses on knowledge of demonstrable utility.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 6 • “is between inexact (qualitative) and exact (quantitative) science; exact science deals with prediction and verification by observation, measurement, and experiment.” (Denning, 2005)
  6. 6. Computer Science (1/3) “Software engineering researchers hypothesize models for how programming is done and how defects arise; through testing they seek to understand which models work well and how to use them to create better programs with fewer defects.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 7 (Denning, 2005)
  7. 7. Computer Science (2/3) • “Experimental algorithmicists study the performance of real algorithms on real data sets and formulate models to predict their time and storage requirements; they may one day produce a more accurate theory” • “Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) field is examining the ways in which human information processes interact with automated processes.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 8
  8. 8. Computer Science (3/3) “Computing qualifies as an exact science. It studies information processes, which occur naturally in the physical world; computer scientists work with an accepted, systematized body of knowledge; much computer science is applied; and computer science is used for prediction and verification.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 9 (Denning, 2005)
  9. 9. Computing is a Natural Science “Nobel Physics Laureate Ken Wilson was among the first to say that computation had become a third leg of science, joining the traditions of theory and experiment. He and others coined the term “computational science” to refer to the search for new discoveries using computation as the main method.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 10 (Denning, 2007)
  10. 10. Computing is a Natural Science • “The old definition of computer science—the study of phenomena surrounding computers— is now obsolete. • Computing is the study of natural and artificial information processes. Computing includes computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information technology, information science, and information systems.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 11 (Denning, 2007)
  11. 11. Computer Science a Language of Technology • “Besides being a science in its own right, computer science serves as a platform for applying scientific and other knowledge to practical tasks, a designation that is compatible with the notion of technology. We believe that these arguments are a basis for recognizing computer science as a language of technology. The language describes structures, processes, relationships, and communications. It supports abstraction, formalization, and knowledge representation.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 12 (Cohen & Haberman, 2007)
  12. 12. Principles Framework (1/2) The fundamental questions addressed by a principles framework are: – What is information? – What is computation? – How does computation expand? – What do we know? – How does computation limit? – What we can know? Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 13 (Denning, 2007)
  13. 13. Principles Framework (2/2) “Computation (meaning and limits of computation); • Communication (reliable data transmission); • Coordination (cooperation among networked entities); • Recollection (storage and retrieval of information); • Automation (meaning and limits of automation); • Evaluation (performance prediction and capacity planning); • Design (building reliable software systems)” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 14 (Denning, 2007)
  14. 14. Conclusions “Information and computation are being discovered as fundamental processes in many fields. Computing is no longer a science of just the artificial. It is the study of information processes, natural and artificial.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 15 (Denning, 2007)
  15. 15. Conclusions “Computing is an infinite game. The revolution can give heart to those concerned about the current enrollment crisis, and to those worried that computer science is dying. The current crisis will strengthen us because it will stimulate much curriculum innovation and is likely to draw many bright people into the field.” Manuela Aparicio & Carlos J. Costa 16 (Denning, 2007)

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