Is Computer Science Dying?

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


Anonymous Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:50:00 PM  

Computer Science is not dying, it's just moving to India and China where the "markets" have determined it belongs. We're keeping the higher value jobs here like barber, dog groomer and party planner.

The Editor Saturday, November 24, 2007 4:38:00 PM  

As They say it was a moment in time. Just a snapshot. Not dying but sowing it's seeds. Eliminating the weak. Like any technology it's birth was overblown. Now the strong aspects of Computer science will remain and get better.

The Editor Saturday, November 24, 2007 4:40:00 PM  

I agree it is not dying just evolving

Villager Monday, November 26, 2007 1:56:00 PM  

Interesting article. We are working hard to ensure that young people of African descent here in the United States take advantage of opportunity to fill the real (or perceived) void in the IT industry.

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