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Computer science
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Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of

information and computation and their implementation and application in computer
systems.[1][2][3] Computer science has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation
of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others (such as computational
complexity theory) relate to properties of computational problems. Still others focus on
the challenges in implementing computations. For example, programming language
theory studies approaches to describing computations, while computer programming
applies specific programming languages to solve specific computational problems.


• 1 History
• 2 Major achievements
• 3 Relationship with other fields
• 4 Fields of computer science
o 4.1 Mathematical foundations
o 4.2 Theory of computation
o 4.3 Algorithms and data structures
o 4.4 Programming languages and compilers
o 4.5 Databases
o 4.6 Concurrent, parallel, and distributed systems
o 4.7 Computer architecture
o 4.8 Software engineering
o 4.9 Artificial intelligence
o 4.10 Computer graphics
o 4.11 Scientific computing
• 5 Computer science education
• 6 See also
• 7 References

• 8 External links

Main article: History of computer science

The history of computer science predates the invention of the modern digital computer.
Prior to the 1920s, the term computer referred to a human clerk who performed
calculations. Early researchers in what came to be called computer science, such as Kurt
Gödel, Alonzo Church, and Alan Turing, were interested in the question of
computability: what things can be computed by a human clerk who simply follows a list
of instructions with paper and pencil, for as long as necessary, and without ingenuity or
insight? Part of the motivation for this work was the desire to develop computing
machines that could automate the often tedious and error-prone work of a human

During the 1940s, as newer and more powerful computing machines were developed, the
term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors. As it
became clear that computers could be used for more than just mathematical calculations,
the field of computer science broadened to study computation in general. Computer
science began to be established as a distinct academic discipline in the 1960s, with the
creation of the first computer science departments and degree programs.[4]


Major achievements

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Despite its relatively short history as a formal academic discipline, computer science has
made a number of fundamental contributions to science and society. These include:

• A formal definition of computation and computability, and proof that there are
computationally unsolvable and intractable problems[5].
• The concept of a programming language, a tool for the precise expression of
methodological information at various levels of abstraction[6]
• Revolutionary technologies such as general-purpose computers, the Internet,
digital signatures, electronic commerce, and search engines;
• The enabling of new types of scientific research, such as computational physics
and computational chemistry[7].


Relationship with other fields

Main article: Diversity of computer science

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Edsger Dijkstra

Despite its name, computer science rarely involves the study of computers themselves. In
fact, the renowned computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra is often quoted as saying,
"Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." The
design and deployment of computers and computer systems is generally considered the
province of disciplines other than computer science. For example, the study of computer
hardware is usually considered part of computer engineering, while the study of
commercial computer systems and their deployment is often called information
technology or information systems. Computer science is sometimes criticized as being
insufficiently scientific, a view espoused in the statement "Science is to computer science
as hydrodynamics is to plumbing" credited to Stan Kelly-Bootle[8] and others. However,
there has been much cross-fertilization of ideas between the various computer-related
disciplines. Computer science research has also often crossed into other disciplines, such
as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, physics (see quantum computing), and

Computer science is considered by some to have a much closer relationship with

mathematics than many scientific disciplines[9]. Early computer science was strongly
influenced by the work of mathematicians such as Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing, and there
continues to be a useful interchange of ideas between the two fields in areas such as
mathematical logic, category theory, domain theory, and algebra.

The relationship between computer science and software engineering is a contentious

issue, which is further muddied by disputes over what the term "software engineering"
means, and how computer science is defined. Some people believe that software
engineering is a subset of computer science. Others, taking a cue from the relationship
between other engineering and science disciplines, believe that the principle focus of
computer science is studying the properties of computation in general, while the principle
focus of software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical
goals, making them different disciplines. This view is promulgated by (among others)
David Parnas[10]. Still others maintain that software cannot be engineered at all.

Fields of computer science

This section is a stub. You can help by adding to it.


Mathematical foundations

Algorithms for protecting private data, including encryption.
Graph theory
Foundations for data structures and searching algorithms.
Mathematical logic
Boolean logic and other ways of modeling logical queries.
Type Theory
Formal analysis of the types of data, and the use of these types to understand
properties of programs -- especially program safety.

Theory of computation

Main article: Theory of computation

Automata theory
Different logical structures for solving problems.
Computability theory
What is calculable with the current models of computers. Proofs developed by
Alan Turing and others provide insight into the possibilities of what may be
computed and what may not.
Computational complexity theory
Fundamental bounds (especially time and storage space) on classes of

Algorithms and data structures

Analysis of algorithms
Time and space complexity of algorithms.
Formal logical processes used for computation, and the efficiency of these
Data structures
The organization of and rules for the manipulation of data.
Genetic algorithms
A genetic algorithm is a search technique to find approximate solutions to
optimization and search problems.

Programming languages and compilers

Ways of translating computer programs, usually from higher level languages to
lower level ones. Based heavily on mathematical logic.
Programming languages
Formal language paradigms for expressing algorithms, and the properties of these
languages (EG: what problems they are suited to solve).


Data mining
Study of algorithms for searching and processing information in documents and
databases; closely related to information retrieval.

Concurrent, parallel, and distributed systems

The theory and practice of simultaneous computation; data safety in any
multitasking or multithreaded environment.
Distributed computing
Computing using multiple computing devices over a network to accomplish a
common objective or task.
Algorithms and protocols for reliably communicating data across different shared
or dedicated media, often including error correction.
Parallel computing
Computing using multiple concurrent threads of execution.

Computer architecture

Computer architecture
The design, organization, optimization and verification of a computer system,
mostly about CPUs and Memory subsystem (and the bus connecting them).
Operating systems
Systems for managing computer programs and providing the basis of a useable

Software engineering
Computer programming
The act of writing algorithms in a programming language.
Formal methods
Mathematical approaches for describing and reasoning about software designs.
Software engineering
The principles and practice of designing, developing, and testing programs, as
well as proper engineering practices.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence
The implementation and study of systems that exhibit an autonomous intelligence
or behaviour of their own.
Automated reasoning
Solving engines, such as used in Prolog, which produce steps to a result given a
query on a fact and rule database.
Algorithms for controlling the behavior of robots.
Computer vision
Algorithms for identifying three dimensional objects from a two dimensional
Machine Learning
Automated creation of a set of rules and axioms based on input.

Computer graphics

Computer graphics
Algorithms both for generating visual images synthetically, and for integrating or
altering visual and spatial information sampled from the real world.
Image processing
Determining information from an image through computation.
Human computer interaction
The study and design of computer interfaces that people use.

Scientific computing

The use of computer science to maintain, analyse, store biological data and to
assist in solving biological problems such as protein folding.

Computer science education

Some universities teach computer science as a theoretical study of computation and
algorithmic reasoning. These programs often feature the theory of computation, analysis
of algorithms, formal methods, concurrency theory, databases, computer graphics and
systems analysis, among others. They typically also teach computer programming, but
treat it as a vessel for the support of other fields of computer science rather than a central
focus of high-level study.

Other colleges and universities, as well as secondary schools and vocational programs
that teach computer science, emphasize the practice of advanced computer programming
rather than the theory of algorithms and computation in their computer science curricula.
Such curricula tend to focus on those skills that are important to workers entering the
software industry. The practical aspects of computer programming are often referred to as
software engineering. However, there is a lot of disagreement over what the term
"software engineering" actually means, and whether it is the same thing as programming.


See also
• Computing
• Informatics
• List of basic computer science topics
• List of computer science conferences
• List of open problems in computer science
• List of publications in computer science
• List of prominent pioneers in computer science
• List of software engineering topics


1. ^ "Computer science is the study of information" Department of Computer and
Information Science, Guttenberg Information Technologies
2. ^ "Computer science is the study of computation." Computer Science Department,
College of Saint Benedict, Saint John's University
3. ^ "Computer Science is the study of all aspects of computer systems, from the
theoretical foundations to the very practical aspects of managing large software
projects." Massey University
4. ^ Denning, P.J. (2000). " Computer science:the discipline". Encyclopedia of
Computer Science.
5. ^ Constable, R.L. (March 2000). "Computer Science : Achievements and
Challenges circa 2000".
6. ^ Abelson, H. (1996). Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, 2nd
Ed., MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-01153-0. “The computer revolution is a revolution in
the way we think and in the way we express what we think. The essence of this
change is the emergence of what might best be called procedural epistemology —
the study of the structure of knowledge from an imperative point of view, as
opposed to the more declarative point of view taken by classical mathematical
7. ^ Constable, R.L. (1997). "Nature of the Information Sciences".
8. ^ Computer Language, Oct 1990
9. ^ Denning, P.J. (2000). " Computer science:the discipline". Encyclopedia of
Computer Science.
10. ^ Parnas, David L. (1998). " Software Engineering Programmes are not Computer
Science Programmes". Annals of Software Engineering 6: 19–37., p. 19: "Rather
than treat software engineering as a subfield of computer science, I treat it as an
element of the set, {Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical
Engineering, Electrical Engineering,....}."

• Association for Computing Machinery. 1998 ACM Computing Classification

System. 1998.
• IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery.
Computing Curricula 2001: Computer Science. December 15, 2001.

Computer engineering
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide
Please improve the article or discuss the issue on the talk page.

Computer engineering (also sometimes given the title 'Electronic and Computer
Engineering') is a discipline that combines elements of both electrical engineering and
computer science[1]. Computer engineers are electrical engineers that have additional
training in the areas of software design and hardware-software integration. In turn, they
focus less on power electronics and physics. Computer engineers are involved on all
aspects of computing, from the design of individual microprocessors, personal
computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design, as well as the integration of computer
systems into other kinds of systems (a motor vehicle, for example, has a number of
subsystems that are computer and digitally oriented)[2]. Common computer engineering
tasks include writing embedded software for real-time microcontrollers, designing VLSI
chips, working with analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing
operating systems. Computer engineers are also well-suited for research in the field of
robotics, which relies on using computers together with other electrical systems.


• 1 Computer engineering as an academic discipline

• 2 See also
• 3 References

• 4 External links

Computer engineering as an academic discipline

The first accredited computer engineering degree program in the United States was
established at Case Western Reserve University in 1971; as of October 2004 there were
170 ABET-accredited computer engineering programs in the US[3].

The high demand[citation needed] for engineers who are able to design and manage all forms of
computer systems in industry has led to tertiary institutions around the world to
implement a new bachelor’s degree generally called computer engineering. Both
computer engineering and electronic engineering programs include analog and digital
circuit design into their curriculums.

Besides having a sound knowledge of the mathematics and the sciences which form an
integral part of any engineering discipline, computer engineering encompasses topics that
are more unique to the discipline, such as [4]

• Algorithms
• Computer Architecture and Organization
• Computer Systems Engineering
• Database Systems
• Embedded Systems
• Human-Computer Interaction
• Operating Systems
• Software Engineering
• VLSI Design and Fabrication

Many of the areas of electronic engineering and computer engineering overlap, such as
electronics and digital systems which form the basis of electronic components.

See also
• List of electrical engineers
• Engineer
• Computer
• Computer science


1. ^ IEEE Computer Society; ACM (December 2004). Computer Engineering 2004:
Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer
Engineering, pg. iii. Retrieved on 2006-04-21. “Computer engineering has
traditionally been viewed as a combination of both computer science (CS) and
electrical engineering (EE).”
2. ^ Trinity College Dublin. What is Computer Engineering. Retrieved on 2006-04-
21., "Computer engineers need not only to understand how computer systems
themselves work, but also how they integrate into the larger picture. Consider the
car. A modern car contains many separate computer systems for controlling such
things as the engine timing, the brakes and the air bags. To be able to design and
implement such a car, the computer engineer needs a broad theoretical
understanding of all these various subsystems & how they interact."
3. ^ IEEE Computer Society; ACM (December 2004). Computer Engineering 2004:
Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer
Engineering, pg. 5. Retrieved on 2006-04-21. “In the United States, the first
computer engineering program accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation
Board for Engineering and Technology) was at Case Western Reserve University
in 1971. As of October 2004, ABET has accredited over 170 computer
engineering or similarly named programs.”
4. ^ IEEE Computer Society; ACM (December 2004). Computer Engineering 2004:
Curriculum Guidelines for Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer
Engineering, pg. 12. Retrieved on 2006-04-21.