What is Computer Science?

The misconception

Probably the most common misconception about computer science is that people thought that the “computer” word in it is for “computer machines”, it’s NOT!

I think the more appropriate name for the degree should be Computing Science.

Why? Because although the field heavily uses computer machines as tools, at it’s core, it deals with calculation and computation, in short, mathematics.

Computer science already existed before IBM created what we call computers nowadays. In fact, the abacus can be considered as one of computer science tools.

So, Computer scientists are not Programmers?

They are able to program, and they should. But.. they’re not necessarily programmers, and programmers are not necessarily computer scientists.

Programmers are people who know how to write software codes that will be translated to programs (software, or apps), and in the process it involves logic and calculations, but even elementary students can do that. Why? Because it’s just some common sense.

The field of computer science is more than that, it includes how to analyze real-world problems, translate them to mathematical notation, calculate them, and calculate them fast.

It connects to all other fields

The most exciting things about computer science is, it connects to all other fields to increase efficiency and explore new possibilities. Fields such as financial and business, medical and health, social, security and military, graphics, engineering, and media.

It is the challenge for computer scientists to model the requirements in these fields to calculable mathematics because the computer machines cannot think abstractly as humans do, but they’re incredibly fast in computing numbers. Once the model is created and tested, then these machines can “think” like humans.

I hope this post can clear up some questions about what computer / computing science is.


Author: Trijito Santoso

I’m Trijito Santoso, a Seventh-Day Adventist, a medical technology graduate, and a software developer. The reason why I shifted from medical technology to computer science is because I love to create things (design, software, articles, anything), and being a software developer allows me to create things everyday. I’m currently studying Master of Science in Computer Science at Northeastern University, Boston. My Google Profile+

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