Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Article Source: ACM TechNews; Monday, November 19, 2007
Article Author: David Chisnall in InformIT (November 9, 2007)
A gradual fall-off in the number of people applying to earn degrees in Computer Science since the implosion of the first dot-com bubble has fostered a perception that the field is expiring, but David Chisnall questions this assertion.
The idea that Computer Science is dying is muddled by the fact that few people know what truly constitutes computer science, with most people viewing it as a vocational course that focuses on programming. "A computer scientist may not fabricate her own ICs, and may not write her own compiler and operating system ... But the computer scientist definitely will understand what's happening in the compiler, operating system, and CPU when a program is compiled and run," Chisnall writes.
From his perspective, Computer Science lies at the convergence of Mathematics, Engineering, and Psychology, and the third discipline is critical to the instruction of computers by humans. Psychology plays a part not only in human/computer interaction, but also in the development and assessment of computer intelligence, according to Chisnall. He maintains that a lot of unhappiness with Computer Science stems from the mistaken assumption that Computer Science graduates will also be expert programmers, and notes that a lot of people appear to confuse Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Chisnall points out that "Computer Science is first and foremost a branch of Applied Mathematics, so a computer scientist should be expected to understand the principles of mathematical reasoning" However, he notes that Computer Science has the added distinction of its concentration on efficiency and concurrent thinking at different levels of abstraction.
Read the full article of David Chisnall's thoughts at http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1083188