Kongsberg, Norway

Master's

Language: English

Subject area: computer science

University website: www.usn.no/english/

A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks.

Computer science is the study of the theory, experimentation, and engineering that form the basis for the design and use of computers. It is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications and the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical procedures (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to, information. An alternate, more succinct definition of computer science is the study of automating algorithmic processes that scale. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems. See glossary of computer science.

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

During the last years of the 1950s, the terminology in the field of computing was discussed in the Communications of the ACM, and a number of terms for the practitioners of the field of computing were suggested: turingineer, turologist, flowcharts-man, applied meta-mathematician, applied epistemologist, comptologist, hypologist, and computologist. The corresponding names of the discipline were, for instance, comptology, hypology, and computology. Later Peter Naur suggested the terms datalogy, datamatics, and datamaton for the names of the field, its practitioners, and the machine, and recently George McKee suggested the term computics. None of these terms stuck...

Matti Tedre (2006). The Development of Computer Science: A Sociocultural Perspective. p. 260

Too often, this concern for the big picture is simply obscurantist and is put forward by people who prefer vagueness and mystery to (partial) answers. Vagueness is at times necessary and mystery is never in short supply, but I don’t think they’re anything to worship. Genuine science and mathematical precision are more intriguing than are the “facts” published in supermarket tabloids or a romantic innumeracy which fosters credulity, stunts skepticism, and dulls one to real imponderables.

John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences (1988), pp. 126-127

Without real experience in using the computer to get useful results the computer science major is apt to know all about the marvelous tool except how to use it. Such a person is a mere technician, skilled in manipulating the tool but with little sense of how and when to use it for its basic purposes.

Richard Hamming, 1968 Turing Award lecture, Journal of the ACM 16 (1), January 1969, p. 6