- Great Painters
- Accounting
- Fundamentals of Law
- Marketing
- Shorthand
- Concept Cars
- Videogames
- The World of Sports

- Blogs
- Free Software
- Google
- My Computer

- PHP Language and Applications
- Wikipedia
- Windows Vista

- Education
- Masterpieces of English Literature
- American English

- English Dictionaries
- The English Language

- Medical Emergencies
- The Theory of Memory
- The Beatles
- Dances
- Microphones
- Musical Notation
- Music Instruments
- Batteries
- Nanotechnology
- Cosmetics
- Diets
- Vegetarianism and Veganism
- Christmas Traditions
- Animals

- Fruits And Vegetables


  1. Adobe Reader
  2. Adware
  3. Altavista
  4. AOL
  5. Apple Macintosh
  6. Application software
  7. Arrow key
  8. Artificial Intelligence
  9. ASCII
  10. Assembly language
  11. Automatic translation
  12. Avatar
  13. Babylon
  14. Bandwidth
  15. Bit
  16. BitTorrent
  17. Black hat
  18. Blog
  19. Bluetooth
  20. Bulletin board system
  21. Byte
  22. Cache memory
  23. Celeron
  24. Central processing unit
  25. Chat room
  26. Client
  27. Command line interface
  28. Compiler
  29. Computer
  30. Computer bus
  31. Computer card
  32. Computer display
  33. Computer file
  34. Computer games
  35. Computer graphics
  36. Computer hardware
  37. Computer keyboard
  38. Computer networking
  39. Computer printer
  40. Computer program
  41. Computer programmer
  42. Computer science
  43. Computer security
  44. Computer software
  45. Computer storage
  46. Computer system
  47. Computer terminal
  48. Computer virus
  49. Computing
  50. Conference call
  51. Context menu
  52. Creative commons
  53. Creative Commons License
  54. Creative Technology
  55. Cursor
  56. Data
  57. Database
  58. Data storage device
  59. Debuggers
  60. Demo
  61. Desktop computer
  62. Digital divide
  63. Discussion groups
  64. DNS server
  65. Domain name
  66. DOS
  67. Download
  68. Download manager
  69. DVD-ROM
  70. DVD-RW
  71. E-mail
  72. E-mail spam
  73. File Transfer Protocol
  74. Firewall
  75. Firmware
  76. Flash memory
  77. Floppy disk drive
  78. GNU
  79. GNU General Public License
  80. GNU Project
  81. Google
  82. Google AdWords
  83. Google bomb
  84. Graphics
  85. Graphics card
  86. Hacker
  87. Hacker culture
  88. Hard disk
  89. High-level programming language
  90. Home computer
  91. HTML
  92. Hyperlink
  93. IBM
  94. Image processing
  95. Image scanner
  96. Instant messaging
  97. Instruction
  98. Intel
  99. Intel Core 2
  100. Interface
  101. Internet
  102. Internet bot
  103. Internet Explorer
  104. Internet protocols
  105. Internet service provider
  106. Interoperability
  107. IP addresses
  108. IPod
  109. Joystick
  110. JPEG
  111. Keyword
  112. Laptop computer
  113. Linux
  114. Linux kernel
  115. Liquid crystal display
  116. List of file formats
  117. List of Google products
  118. Local area network
  119. Logitech
  120. Machine language
  121. Mac OS X
  122. Macromedia Flash
  123. Mainframe computer
  124. Malware
  125. Media center
  126. Media player
  127. Megabyte
  128. Microsoft
  129. Microsoft Windows
  130. Microsoft Word
  131. Mirror site
  132. Modem
  133. Motherboard
  134. Mouse
  135. Mouse pad
  136. Mozilla Firefox
  137. Mp3
  138. MPEG
  139. MPEG-4
  140. Multimedia
  141. Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  142. Netscape
  143. Network card
  144. News ticker
  145. Office suite
  146. Online auction
  147. Online chat
  148. Open Directory Project
  149. Open source
  150. Open source software
  151. Opera
  152. Operating system
  153. Optical character recognition
  154. Optical disc
  155. output
  156. PageRank
  157. Password
  158. Pay-per-click
  159. PC speaker
  160. Peer-to-peer
  161. Pentium
  162. Peripheral
  163. Personal computer
  164. Personal digital assistant
  165. Phishing
  166. Pirated software
  167. Podcasting
  168. Pointing device
  169. POP3
  170. Programming language
  171. QuickTime
  172. Random access memory
  173. Routers
  174. Safari
  175. Scalability
  176. Scrollbar
  177. Scrolling
  178. Scroll wheel
  179. Search engine
  180. Security cracking
  181. Server
  182. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
  183. Skype
  184. Social software
  185. Software bug
  186. Software cracker
  187. Software library
  188. Software utility
  189. Solaris Operating Environment
  190. Sound Blaster
  191. Soundcard
  192. Spam
  193. Spamdexing
  194. Spam in blogs
  195. Speech recognition
  196. Spoofing attack
  197. Spreadsheet
  198. Spyware
  199. Streaming media
  200. Supercomputer
  201. Tablet computer
  202. Telecommunications
  203. Text messaging
  204. Trackball
  205. Trojan horse
  206. TV card
  207. Unicode
  208. Uniform Resource Identifier
  209. Unix
  210. URL redirection
  211. USB flash drive
  212. USB port
  213. User interface
  214. Vlog
  215. Voice over IP
  216. Warez
  217. Wearable computer
  218. Web application
  219. Web banner
  220. Web browser
  221. Web crawler
  222. Web directories
  223. Web indexing
  224. Webmail
  225. Web page
  226. Website
  227. Wiki
  228. Wikipedia
  229. WIMP
  230. Windows CE
  231. Windows key
  232. Windows Media Player
  233. Windows Vista
  234. Word processor
  235. World Wide Web
  236. Worm
  237. XML
  238. X Window System
  239. Yahoo
  240. Zombie computer

This article is from:

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License: 

Computer science

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Computer science, or computing science, is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems.[1][2][3] Computer science has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others (such as computational complexity theory) relate to properties of computational problems. Still others focus on the challenges in implementing computations. For example, programming language theory studies approaches to describing computations, while computer programming applies specific programming languages to solve specific computational problems with solutions.


Main article: History of computer science

The history of computer science predates the invention of the modern digital computer by many years. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks have existed since antiquity, such as the abacus. Wilhelm Schickard built the first mechanical calculator in 1623.[4] Charles Babbage designed a difference engine in Victorian times[5], and around 1900 the IBM corporation sold punch-card machines[6]. However all of these machines were constrained to perform a single task, or at best, some subset of all possible tasks.

Prior to the 1950s, the term computer referred to a human clerk who performed calculations. Early researchers in what came to be called computer science, such as Kurt Gödel, Alonzo Church, and Alan Turing, were interested in the question of computability: what things can be computed by a human clerk who simply follows a list of instructions with paper and pencil, for as long as necessary, and without ingenuity or insight?[citation needed] Part of the motivation for this work was the desire to develop computing machines that could automate the often tedious and error-prone work of a human computer. Their key insight was to construct universal computing systems capable (in theory) of performing all possible computable tasks, and thus generalising all previous dedicated-task machines into the single notion of the universal computer. The creation of the concept of a universal computer marked the birth of modern computer science.[citation needed]

During the 1940s, as newer and more powerful computing machines were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their human predecessors. As it became clear that computers could be used for more than just mathematical calculations, the field of computer science broadened to study computation in general. Computer science began to be established as a distinct academic discipline in the 1960s, with the creation of the first computer science departments and degree programs.[7] Since practical computers became available, many applications of computing have become distinct areas of study in their own right.

Major achievements

Despite its relatively short history as a formal academic discipline, computer science has made a number of fundamental contributions to science and society. These include:

  • A formal definition of computation and computability, and proof that there are computationally unsolvable and intractable problems[8].
  • The concept of a programming language, a tool for the precise expression of methodological information at various levels of abstraction[9]
  • The theory and practice of compilers for translating between programming languages[citation needed]
  • Practical applications: the PC, the internet, search engines, scientific computing [citation needed]

Relationship with other fields

Main article: Diversity of computer science
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Edsger Dijkstra

Despite its name, much of computer science does not involve the study of computers themselves. In fact, the renowned computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra is often quoted as saying, "Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." The design and deployment of computers and computer systems is generally considered the province of disciplines other than computer science. For example, the study of computer hardware is usually considered part of computer engineering, while the study of commercial computer systems and their deployment is often called information technology or information systems. Computer science is sometimes criticized as being insufficiently scientific, a view espoused in the statement "Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing" credited to Stan Kelly-Bootle[10] and others. However, there has been much cross-fertilization of ideas between the various computer-related disciplines. Computer science research has also often crossed into other disciplines, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science, physics (see quantum computing), and linguistics.

Computer science is considered by some to have a much closer relationship with mathematics than many scientific disciplines[7]. Early computer science was strongly influenced by the work of mathematicians such as Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing, and there continues to be a useful interchange of ideas between the two fields in areas such as mathematical logic, category theory, domain theory, and algebra.

The relationship between computer science and software engineering is a contentious issue, which is further muddied by disputes over what the term "software engineering" means, and how computer science is defined. Some people believe that software engineering is a subset of computer science[citation needed]. Others, taking a cue from the relationship between other engineering and science disciplines, believe that the principal focus of computer science is studying the properties of computation in general, while the principal focus of software engineering is the design of specific computations to achieve practical goals, making them different disciplines. This view is promulgated by (among others) David Parnas[11]. Still others maintain that software cannot be engineered at all[citation needed].

Fields of computer science

Computer science searches for concepts and proofs to explain and describe computational systems of interest. It is a science because given a system of interest it performs /analysis/ and seeks general principles to explain that system[citation needed]. As with all sciences, these theories can then be utilised to synthesize practical engineering applications, which in turn may suggest new systems to be studied and analysed. While the ACM Computing Classification System can be used to split computer science up into different topics of fields a more descriptive break down follows:

Mathematical foundations

Mathematical logic
Boolean logic and other ways of modeling logical queries; the uses and limitations of formal proof methods
Number theory
Theory of proofs and heuristics for finding proofs in the simple domain of integers. Used in cryptography as well as a test domain in artificial intelligence.
Graph theory
Foundations for data structures and searching algorithms.
Type Theory
Formal analysis of the types of data, and the use of these types to understand properties of programs — especially program safety.

Theory of computation

Main article: Theory of computation
Automata theory
Different logical structures for solving problems.
Computability theory
What is calculable with the current models of computers. Proofs developed by Alan Turing and others provide insight into the possibilities of what may be computed and what may not.
Computational complexity theory
Fundamental bounds (especially time and storage space) on classes of computations.
Quantum computing theory

Algorithms and data structures

Analysis of algorithms
Time and space complexity of algorithms.
Formal logical processes used for computation, and the efficiency of these processes.
Data structures
The organization of and rules for the manipulation of data.

Programming languages and compilers

Ways of translating computer programs, usually from higher level languages to lower level ones.
Programming languages
Formal language paradigms for expressing algorithms, and the properties of these languages (e.g. what problems they are suited to solve).

Concurrent, parallel, and distributed systems

The theory and practice of simultaneous computation; data safety in any multitasking or multithreaded environment.
Distributed computing
Computing using multiple computing devices over a network to accomplish a common objective or task and there by reducing the latency involved in single processor contributions for any task.
Parallel computing
Computing using multiple concurrent threads of execution.

Software engineering

Formal methods
Mathematical approaches for describing and reasoning about software designs.
Software engineering
The principles and practice of designing, developing, and testing programs, as well as proper engineering practices.
Reverse engineering
The application of the scientific method to the understanding of arbitrary existing software
Algorithm design
Using ideas from algorithm theory to creatively design solutions to real tasks
Computer programming
The practice of using a programming language to implement algorithms

Computer architecture

Computer architecture
The design, organization, optimization and verification of a computer system, mostly about CPUs and Memory subsystem (and the bus connecting them).
Computer organization
The implementation of computer architectures, in terms of descriptions of their specific electrical circuitry
Operating systems
Systems for managing computer programs and providing the basis of a useable system.


Game theory
Recently game theory has drawn attention from computer scientists because of its use in artificial intelligence and cybernetics.
Algorithms and protocols for reliably communicating data across different shared or dedicated media, often including error correction.
Applies results from complexity, probability and number theory to invent and break codes.


Relational databases
Data mining
Study of algorithms for searching and processing information in documents and databases; closely related to information retrieval.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence
The implementation and study of systems that exhibit an autonomous intelligence or behaviour of their own.
Automated reasoning
Solving engines, such as used in Prolog, which produce steps to a result given a query on a fact and rule database.
Algorithms for controlling the behavior of robots.
Computer vision
Algorithms for identifying three dimensional objects from a two dimensional picture.
Machine learning
Automated creation of a set of rules and axioms based on input.

Soft computing

Main article: Soft computing

A collective term for techniques used in solving specific problems. See the main article.

Computer graphics

Computer graphics
Algorithms both for generating visual images synthetically, and for integrating or altering visual and spatial information sampled from the real world.
Image processing
Determining information from an image through computation.
Human computer interaction
The study and design of computer interfaces that people use.

Scientific computing

Numerical algorithms
Numerical solution of mathematical problems such as root-finding, integration, the solution of ordinary differential equations and the approximation of special functions.
Symbolic mathematics
Manipulation and solution of expressions in symbolic form, also known as Computer algebra.
Computational physics
Numerical simulations of large non-analytic systems
Computational chemistry
Computational modelling of theoretical chemistry in order to determine chemical structures and properties
The use of computer science to maintain, analyse, store biological data and to assist in solving biological problems such as Protein folding, function prediction and Phylogeny.
Computational neuroscience
Computational modelling of real brains
Cognitive Science
Computational modelling of real minds

Computer science education

Some universities teach computer science as a theoretical study of computation and algorithmic reasoning. These programs often feature the theory of computation, analysis of algorithms, formal methods, concurrency theory, databases, computer graphics and systems analysis, among others. They typically also teach computer programming, but treat it as a vessel for the support of other fields of computer science rather than a central focus of high-level study.

Other colleges and universities, as well as secondary schools and vocational programs that teach computer science, emphasize the practice of advanced computer programming rather than the theory of algorithms and computation in their computer science curricula. Such curricula tend to focus on those skills that are important to workers entering the software industry. The practical aspects of computer programming are often referred to as software engineering. However, there is a lot of disagreement over what the term "software engineering" actually means, and whether it is the same thing as programming.

See Peter J. Denning, Great principles in computing curricula, Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, 2004.

See also

  • Career domains in computer science
  • Computing
  • Informatics
  • List of basic computer science topics
  • List of computer science conferences
  • List of open problems in computer science
  • List of prominent pioneers in computer science
  • List of publications in computer science
  • List of software engineering topics


  1. ^ "Computer science is the study of information" Department of Computer and Information Science, Guttenberg Information Technologies
  2. ^ "Computer science is the study of computation." Computer Science Department, College of Saint Benedict, Saint John's University
  3. ^ "Computer Science is the study of all aspectss of computer systems, from the theoretical foundations to the very practical aspects of managing large software projects." Massey University
  4. ^ Nigel Tout (2006). Calculator Timeline. Vintage Calculator Web Museum. Retrieved on 2006-09-18.
  5. ^ Science Museum - Introduction to Babbage. Retrieved on 2006-09-24.
  6. ^ IBM Punch Cards in the U.S. Army. Retrieved on 2006-09-24.
  7. ^ a b Denning, P.J. (2000). "Computer science:the discipline". Encyclopedia of Computer Science.
  8. ^ Constable, R.L. (March 2000). "Computer Science: Achievements and Challenges circa 2000".
  9. ^ Abelson, H.; G.J. Sussman with J.Sussman (1996). Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, 2nd Ed., MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-01153-0. “The computer revolution is a revolution in the way we think and in the way we express what we think. The essence of this change is the emergence of what might best be called procedural epistemology — the study of the structure of knowledge from an imperative point of view, as opposed to the more declarative point of view taken by classical mathematical subjects.”
  10. ^ Computer Language, Oct 1990
  11. ^ Parnas, David L. (1998). "Software Engineering Programmes are not Computer Science Programmes". Annals of Software Engineering 6: 19–37., p. 19: "Rather than treat software engineering as a subfield of computer science, I treat it as an element of the set, {Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering,....}."
  • Association for Computing Machinery. 1998 ACM Computing Classification System. 1998.
  • IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery. Computing Curricula 2001: Computer Science. December 15, 2001.
  • Peter J. Denning. Is computer science science?, Communications of the ACM, April 2005.

External links

Wikibooks has more on the topic of
Computer science
At Wikiversity you can learn about:
Portal:Computer Science
  • Computer science at the Open Directory Project
  • Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies
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