Computer science is the study of manipulating, managing, transforming and encoding information. There are many different areas in computer science. Some areas consider problems in an abstract manner, while some need special machinescalled computers.
A person who works with computers will often need mathematicsscienceand logic in order to design and work with computers.
This is so that they can find new and easier ways to do things, and the way to approach problems with this information. Computers can do some things easily for example: simple math, or sorting out a list of names from A-to-Z. But computers cannot answer questions when there is not enough information, or when there is no real answer.
Also, computers may take too much time to finish long tasks. Algorithms are a specific set of instructions or steps on how to complete a task. For example, a computer scientist wants to sort playing cards. There are many ways to sort them - by suits diamonds, clubs, hearts, and spades or by numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. By deciding on a set of steps to sort the cards, the scientist has created an algorithm. The scientist then needs to test whether this algorithm works.
This shows how well and how fast the algorithm sorts cards. A simple but slow algorithm is: drop the cards, pick them up, and check whether they are sorted. If they are not, do it again. This method will work, but it will take a very long time. A better algorithm is: find the first card with the smallest suit and smallest number 2 of diamondsand place it at the start. After this, look for the second card, and so on.
This algorithm is much faster, and does not need much space. This sorting algorithm is called selection sort. Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer algorithm infor a computer that was never finished. Computers began during World War II. Now, computer science has its own methods, and has its own technical terms. It is related to electrical engineeringmathematicsand language science. Computer science looks at the theoretical parts of computers. Computer engineering looks at the physical parts of computers hardware.
There are hundreds of schools offering computer science courses and degree programs. Find out which are the best. From healthcare to telecommunications to aerospace, today's fastest-growing careers are tech-driven.
Find out where a CS degree can take you. It's sort of like magic before you know how a trick is done—it's amazing! At first it seems like you could never understand how the magician performs the trick, but then when you're shown the process, it seems so simple.
Higher education has been a catalyst in my life. I want to help others have the same opportunities. Earn a Computer Science Degree. Search for Programs Undergraduate or graduate? Browse Top Ranked Programs There are hundreds of schools offering computer science courses and degree programs.
Explore Careers in Tech. Discover Women in CS.Computer science is the third most popular major amongst international students coming to the United States.
Therfe are many reasons that computer science is so popular, including exceptional job security, uncommonly high starting salaries, and diverse job opportunities across industries. However, an international student contemplating studying computer science needs to ask themself, "What is computer science?
So, what is computer science? Generally speaking, computer science is the study of computer technology, both hardware and software.
However, computer science is a diverse field; the required skills are both applicable and in-demand across practically every industry in today's technology-dependent world. As such, the field of computer science is divided amongst a range of sub-disciplines, most of which are full-fledged specialized disciplines in and of themselves.
The field of computer science spans several core areas: computer theory, hardware systems, software systems, and scientific computing. Students will choose credits from amongst these sub-disciplines with varying levels of specialization depending on the desired application of the computer science degree.
Though most strict specialization occurs at the graduate level, knowing exactly what computer science is and where a student's interests fall within this vast field is of paramount importance to knowing how to study computer science.
The disciplines encompassed by a computer science degree are incredibly vast, and an international student must know how to study computer science or, in other words, how to effectively navigate amongst this sea of sub-disciplines and specializations. Here are a few possible areas of specialization available to students pursuing computer science degrees:.
With so many available options, having a specific focus in mind while studying computer science in the United States is the best plan of action for any international student hoping to seriously prepare for their future on the job market. Knowing how to study computer science and effectively planning which type of degree to receive will depend on how well the student understands the discipline of computer science, and deciding which degree is right for a student is a move that will determine what sorts of computer science careers the student is eligible for upon graduating.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to plan a specific computer science degree that will enable you to pursue the career you want. Despite the seemingly endless variety of applications and sub-disciplines an international student studying computer science in the United States will have to navigate, asking important questions like, "What is computer science?
Moreover, there are plenty of free resources available for studying computer science. For instance, a great resource for international students trying to study computer science in the United States can be the websites of specific institutions. These websites will not only convey what sorts of computer science degrees are available at their institution as well as any specialtiesthey will also often have pages specifically to assist interested international students.
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Program course credit breakdowns, scholarship and internship opportunities, ongoing research, all these vital facts about an institution can be found on their computer science program's website. Another great resource for international students is the Study Computer Science guide. The guide is a wealth of information on topics ranging from questions about where to study computer science, to providing internship and career advice.
Over time we will be updating this section and including more information for those who want to study computer science in the USA and for other countries, but please feel free to post your thoughts and comments on our Facebook fan pageand also follow us and post questions through Twitter.
Sign in to Your Account Done. Sign in. Don't have an Account? Register Now! What is Computer Science? Learn more about studying computer science in the USA by reading our growing article collection. Study Computer Science in the US. Get the International Student Newsletter! I consent to the storage of my personal data so that International Student can deliver the monthly newsletter and other relevant emails to me.Computer science is the study of both computer hardware and software design.
It encompasses both the study of theoretical algorithms and the practical problems involved in implementing them through computer hardware and software. The study of computer science has many branches, including artificial intelligence, software engineering, programming and computer graphics. The need for computer science as a discipline has grown as computers become more integrated into our day-to-day lives and technology continues to advance.
The beginnings of computer science as a study go back to the s, when the first digital electronic computers were developed for use in in World War II. The field has since seen many major achievements including the digital revolution and establishment of the Internet, as well as the use of computers in science and math. The term computer science is often confused with information technology ITbut these are very different fields.
IT deals with the study of data and data processing, and may also apply to the management of computer systems, particularly in a business setting. Computer science, on the other hand, deals with the more theoretical, or academic, side of computing.
Toggle navigation Menu. Home Dictionary Tags Development. Computer Science Last Updated: August 18, Definition - What does Computer Science mean? Techopedia explains Computer Science The beginnings of computer science as a study go back to the s, when the first digital electronic computers were developed for use in in World War II.
Share this:. Related Terms. Related Articles. The Pioneers of Computer Programming. The Laws of Computing. Related Questions. What is the difference between little endian and big endian data formats? What circumstances led to the rise of the big data ecosystem? What considerations are most important when deciding which big data solutions to implement? More of your questions answered by our Experts. Related Tags. Development Concepts Computer Science. Machine Learning and Why It Matters:.Computer sciencethe study of computers and computing, including their theoretical and algorithmic foundations, hardware and softwareand 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 statisticsand 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 considered as part of a family of five separate yet interrelated disciplines: computer engineering, computer science, information systemsinformation technologyand 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 architectureprogramming languagesand software development. However, they also include computational science the use of algorithmic techniques for modeling scientific datagraphics 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 mathematicselectrical engineering, physicsand 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 systemsoriginally called data processing systems, provided early ideas from which various computer science concepts such as sorting, searching, databasesinformation retrievaland 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 compilersthat 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 Windowsis 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.If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.
Modern cryptography : Journey into cryptography Modular arithmetic : Journey into cryptography Primality test : Journey into cryptography Randomized algorithms : Journey into cryptography.
Journey into information theory. Ancient information theory : Journey into information theory Modern information theory : Journey into information theory. Computers and the Internet. Help requests Project evaluations Community questions. Get Started Intro to algorithms.
What are algorithms and why should you care? We'll start with an overview of algorithms and then discuss two games that you could use an algorithm to solve more efficiently - the number guessing game and a route-finding game. Community questions.Computer science is the study of processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs.
It enables the use of algorithms to manipulatestoreand communicate digital information. A computer scientist studies the theory of computation and the design of software systems.
Its fields can be divided into theoretical and practical disciplines. Computational complexity theory is highly abstract, while computer graphics emphasizes real-world applications. Programming language theory considers approaches to the description of computational processes, while software engineering involves the use of programming languages and complex systems.
Human—computer interaction considers the challenges in making computers useful, usable, and accessible. The earliest foundations of what would become computer science predate the invention of the modern digital computer. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks such as the abacus have existed since antiquity, aiding in computations such as multiplication and division. Algorithms for performing computations have existed since antiquity, even before the development of sophisticated computing equipment.
Wilhelm Schickard designed and constructed the first working mechanical calculator in InThomas de Colmar launched the mechanical calculator industry [note 1] when he invented his simplified arithmometerwhich was the first calculating machine strong enough and reliable enough to be used daily in an office environment. Charles Babbage started the design of the first automatic mechanical calculatorhis Difference Engineinwhich eventually gave him the idea of the first programmable mechanical calculatorhis Analytical Engine.
Following Babbage, although unaware of his earlier work, Percy Ludgate in published  the 2nd of the only two designs for mechanical analytical engines in history. When the machine was finished, some hailed it as "Babbage's dream come true". During the s, as new and more powerful computing machines such as the Atanasoff—Berry computer and ENIAC were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors.
The lab is the forerunner of IBM's Research Division, which today operates research facilities around the world. The first computer science department in the United States was formed at Purdue University in Although many initially believed it was impossible that computers themselves could actually be a scientific field of study, in the late fifties it gradually became accepted among the greater academic population.
The concept of a field-effect transistor was proposed by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in John Bardeen and Walter Brattainwhile working under William Shockley at Bell Labsbuilt the first working transistorthe point-contact transistorin Time has seen significant improvements in the usability and effectiveness of computing technology.
Initially, computers were quite costly, and some degree of humanitarian aid was needed for efficient use—in part from professional computer operators. As computer adoption became more widespread and affordable, less human assistance was needed for common usage.
Although first proposed in the term "computer science" appears in a article in Communications of the ACM in which Louis Fein argues for the creation of a Graduate School in Computer Sciences analogous to the creation of Harvard Business School in justifying the name by arguing that, like management sciencethe subject is applied and interdisciplinary in nature, while having the characteristics typical of an academic discipline.
Because of this, several alternative names have been proposed. Danish scientist Peter Naur suggested the term datalogy to reflect the fact that the scientific discipline revolves around data and data treatment, while not necessarily involving computers. The first scientific institution to use the term was the Department of Datalogy at the University of Copenhagen, founded inwith Peter Naur being the first professor in datalogy.