What is Computer Science?

Computer Science is the study of the theoretical and practical foundations on which the aspects of computation rest. (Computation is the process whereby a problem is resolved to arrive at a solution.) Computer Science thus encompasses everything that involves finding solutions to problems.

Computer Science can be studied because it is interesting in its own right; or it can be studied because it leads to a better understanding of another area. E.g., Physicists may study Computer Science because they are interested in finding a better way of explaining the underlying activities of a certain process. (They may study computer science simply to learn how to program a computer to solve a particular problem in which they are interested; programming, however, is only one aspect of computer science.)

The sub-areas of Computer Science may be regarded as distinct fields; however, they share the main concepts of Computer Science both in their definition and implementation. These areas include:

  • Artificial Intelligence:  The study of computations which shed light on perception, reasoning, action, language, etc.
  • Computation Theory:  Analysis of fundamental processes underlying computations in general.
  • Computer Systems Organization:  Real and theoretical descriptions of hardware, and software emulations of hardware.
  • Scientific Computing:  Examination of the typical calculations that are useful in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
  • Software Engineering:  The cataloguing and systematic application of the tools and the techniques used in the construction of software systems.
  • Systems Programming:  Software Engineering as it applies to the large scale, viz., large and/or complex systems.