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Computer science , the study of computers and computing, including their theoretical and algorithmic foundations, hardware and software , and their uses for processing information. The discipline of computer science includes the study of algorithms and data structures, computer and network design, modeling data and information processes, and artificial intelligence. Computer science draws some of its foundations from mathematics and engineering and therefore incorporates techniques from areas such as queueing theory, probability and statistics , and electronic circuit design. Computer science also makes heavy use of hypothesis testing and experimentation during the conceptualization, design, measurement, and refinement of new algorithms, information structures, and computer architectures.
Computer science , the study of computers and computing, including their theoretical and algorithmic foundations, hardware and software , and their uses for processing information. The discipline of computer science includes the study of algorithms and data structures, computer and network design, modeling data and information processes, and artificial intelligence. Computer science draws some of its foundations from mathematics and engineering and therefore incorporates techniques from areas such as queueing theory, probability and statistics , and electronic circuit design.
Computer science also makes heavy use of hypothesis testing and experimentation during the conceptualization, design, measurement, and refinement of new algorithms, information structures, and computer architectures. Computer science is the study of computers and computing as well as their theoretical and practical applications.
Computer science applies the principles of mathematics , engineering , and logic to a plethora of functions, including algorithm formulation, software and hardware development, and artificial intelligence. Navy officer and a key figure in the development of early computers such as the UNIVAC I as well as the development of the computer language compiler.
Computer science is applied to a wide range of disciplines that include modeling simulations such as the impacts of climate change and the Ebola virus , creating art and visualization through graphics rendering, and simulating a human interface through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Video game development is grounded in the principles of computer science and programming. Modern graphics rendering in video games often employs advanced techniques such as ray tracing to provide realistic effects.
The development of augmented reality and virtual reality has also expanded the range of possibilities of video game development.
Many universities across the world offer degrees that teach students the basics of computer science theory and the applications of computer programming. Additionally, the prevalence of online resources and courses makes it possible for many people to self-learn the more practical aspects of computer science such as coding , video game development, and app design.
Computer science is considered as part of a family of five separate yet interrelated disciplines: computer engineering, computer science, information systems , information technology , and software engineering. This family has come to be known collectively as the discipline of computing. These five disciplines are interrelated in the sense that computing is their object of study, but they are separate since each has its own research perspective and curricular focus.
The major subfields of computer science include the traditional study of computer architecture , programming languages , and software development. However, they also include computational science the use of algorithmic techniques for modeling scientific data , graphics and visualization, human-computer interaction, databases and information systems, networks, and the social and professional issues that are unique to the practice of computer science.
As may be evident, some of these subfields overlap in their activities with other modern fields, such as bioinformatics and computational chemistry. Computer science emerged as an independent discipline in the early s, although the electronic digital computer that is the object of its study was invented some two decades earlier. The roots of computer science lie primarily in the related fields of mathematics , electrical engineering, physics , and management information systems.
The relative ease with which two states e. Electrical engineering provides the basics of circuit design—namely, the idea that electrical impulses input to a circuit can be combined using Boolean algebra to produce arbitrary outputs. The Boolean algebra developed in the 19th century supplied a formalism for designing a circuit with binary input values of zeros and ones [false or true, respectively, in the terminology of logic] to yield any desired combination of zeros and ones as output.
The invention of the transistor and the miniaturization of circuits, along with the invention of electronic, magnetic, and optical media for the storage and transmission of information, resulted from advances in electrical engineering and physics. Management information systems , originally called data processing systems, provided early ideas from which various computer science concepts such as sorting, searching, databases , information retrieval , and graphical user interfaces evolved.
Large corporations housed computers that stored information that was central to the activities of running a business—payroll, accounting, inventory management, production control, shipping, and receiving. Another breakthrough was the concept of the stored-program computer, usually credited to Hungarian American mathematician John von Neumann.
These are the origins of the computer science field that later became known as architecture and organization. In the s, most computer users worked either in scientific research labs or in large corporations. The former group used computers to help them make complex mathematical calculations e.
Both groups quickly learned that writing programs in the machine language of zeros and ones was not practical or reliable. This discovery led to the development of assembly language in the early s, which allows programmers to use symbols for instructions e. This was a first step in the development of the computer science field called software engineering.
Later in the s, assembly language was found to be so cumbersome that the development of high-level languages closer to natural languages began to support easier, faster programming. These languages carried with them the need for different software, called compilers , that translate high-level language programs into machine code.
As programming languages became more powerful and abstract, building compilers that create high-quality machine code and that are efficient in terms of execution speed and storage consumption became a challenging computer science problem. The design and implementation of high-level languages is at the heart of the computer science field called programming languages.
Computerized graphical devices were introduced in the early s with the display of crude images on paper plots and cathode-ray tube [CRT] screens. Expensive hardware and the limited availability of software kept the field from growing until the early s, when the computer memory required for bitmap graphics in which an image is made up of small rectangular pixels became more affordable.
Bitmap technology, together with high-resolution display screens and the development of graphics standards that make software less machine-dependent, has led to the explosive growth of the field. Support for all these activities evolved into the field of computer science known as graphics and visual computing. Closely related to this field is the design and analysis of systems that interact directly with users who are carrying out various computational tasks.
GUI design, which was pioneered by Xerox and was later picked up by Apple Macintosh and finally by Microsoft Windows , is important because it constitutes what people see and do when they interact with a computing device.
The design of appropriate user interfaces for all types of users has evolved into the computer science field known as human-computer interaction HCI.
The field of computer architecture and organization has also evolved dramatically since the first stored-program computers were developed in the s. So called time-sharing systems emerged in the s to allow several users to run programs at the same time from different terminals that were hard-wired to the computer.
The s saw the development of the first wide-area computer networks WANs and protocols for transferring information at high speeds between computers separated by large distances. As these activities evolved, they coalesced into the computer science field called networking and communications.
A major accomplishment of this field was the development of the Internet. These discoveries were the origin of the computer science field known as algorithms and complexity. A key part of this field is the study and application of data structures that are appropriate to different applications. Data structures , along with the development of optimal algorithms for inserting, deleting, and locating data in such structures, are a major concern of computer scientists because they are so heavily used in computer software, most notably in compilers, operating systems, file systems, and search engines.
In the s the invention of magnetic disk storage provided rapid access to data located at an arbitrary place on the disk. This invention led not only to more cleverly designed file systems but also to the development of database and information retrieval systems, which later became essential for storing, retrieving, and transmitting large amounts and wide varieties of data across the Internet.
This field of computer science is known as information management. Another long-term goal of computer science research is the creation of computing machines and robotic devices that can carry out tasks that are typically thought of as requiring human intelligence. Such tasks include moving, seeing, hearing, speaking, understanding natural language, thinking, and even exhibiting human emotions. The computer science field of intelligent systems, originally known as artificial intelligence AI , actually predates the first electronic computers in the s, although the term artificial intelligence was not coined until Three developments in computing in the early part of the 21st century—mobile computing, client-server computing , and computer hacking—contributed to the emergence of three new fields in computer science: platform-based development, parallel and distributed computing , and security and information assurance.
Platform-based development is the study of the special needs of mobile devices, their operating systems, and their applications. Parallel and distributed computing concerns the development of architectures and programming languages that support the development of algorithms whose components can run simultaneously and asynchronously rather than sequentially , in order to make better use of time and space.
Security and information assurance deals with the design of computing systems and software that protects the integrity and security of data, as well as the privacy of individuals who are characterized by that data.
Finally, a particular concern of computer science throughout its history is the unique societal impact that accompanies computer science research and technological advancements. With the emergence of the Internet in the s, for example, software developers needed to address important issues related to information security, personal privacy, and system reliability. These concerns and others form the basis of social and professional issues of computer science, and they appear in almost all the other fields identified above.
So, to summarize, the discipline of computer science has evolved into the following 15 distinct fields:. Computer science continues to have strong mathematical and engineering roots.
For example, all undergraduate computer science majors must study discrete mathematics logic, combinatorics , and elementary graph theory. Many programs also require students to complete courses in calculus , statistics , numerical analysis , physics, and principles of engineering early in their studies.
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The philosophy of computer science is concerned with the ontological and methodological issues arising from within the academic discipline of computer science, and from the practice of software development and its commercial and industrial deployment. More specifically, the philosophy of computer science considers the ontology and epistemology of computational systems, focusing on problems associated with their specification, programming, implementation, verification and testing. We shall provide an analysis of such topics that reflects the layered nature of the ontology of computational systems in Sections 1—5; we then discuss topics involved in their methodology in Sections 6—8.
Previously named A Dictionary of Computing , this bestselling dictionary has been fully revised by a team of computer specialists, making it the most up-to-date and authoritative guide to computing available. Including expanded coverage of multimedia, computer applications, networking, and personal computing, it encompasses all aspects of the subject. Terms are defined in a jargon-free and concise manner, with helpful examples where relevant, and the appendices include useful resources such as generic domain names, file extensions, and the Greek alphabet. This dictionary is suitable for anyone who uses computers, and is as valuable for home and office users as it is indispensable for students of computing. Access to the complete content on Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription. Please subscribe or login to access full text content.
It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. The Encyclopedia of Big Data Technologies provides researchers, educators, students and industry professionals with a comprehensive authority over the most relevant Big Data Technology concepts. With over articles written by worldwide subject matter experts from both industry and academia, the encyclopedia covers topics such as big data storage systems, NoSQL database, cloud computing, distributed systems, data processing, data management, machine learning and social technologies, data science. Each peer-reviewed, highly structured entry provides the reader with basic terminology, subject overviews, key research results, application examples, future directions, cross references and a bibliography. The entries are expository and tutorial, making this reference a practical resource for students, academics, or professionals. In addition, the distinguished, international editorial board of the encyclopedia consists of well-respected scholars, each developing topics based upon their expertise.
Computing technologies, like most other forms of technology, are not socially neutral. They affect and are themselves affected by society. Computers have changed the way people relate to one another and their living environment, as well as how humans organize their work, their communities, and their time. Society, in turn, has influenced the development of computers through the needs people have for processing information. The study of these relationships has come to be known as "social informatics.
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