Written By DannyOn 03/05/13
We’ve all got an idea about what Computer Science is, whether you went to school for it or not. When some people hear the words “Computer Science”, they instantly think about programming applications. Others think about Discrete Mathematics, Boolean Algebra, and Graph Theory. While the later can be pasted together into a pretty loose definition about what the reality of Computer Science is – and the former completely dismissed as false – a more appropriate definition can be established. “The analysis of algorithms and processes”.
Computer Science is not about programming applications, in fact, Computer Science has nothing to do with Computers at all. This term was coined in the late 1950’s and it seems to have stuck with everyone since. To provide further emphasis, let me repeat, Computer Science has nothing to do with Computers.
Computer Science is a young field, and when I say young, I mean real young. The study of Computer Science is so influential to science and technology that it can be compared to the Enlightenment and Renaissance. This “age” of Computer Science really is a “rebirth” in the way we humans interprete the world around us, a true paradigm shift for the sciences. Take this into account, Donald Knuth is known as the “Father” of the analysis of algorithms – or directly the “Father” of Computer Science itself. Better yet, the man is still alive and is a Professor at Stanford University.
It brings to mind a lecture that I had heard before in which the professor compared those studying Computer Science today to Geometers living in the time of Euclid. Take a second to really absorb that last statement, Computer Science is in its infancy and in 5, 10, 20 years from now the field will change drastically. It will change the way we perceive computers, how we work with them, and our lives.
The future of Computer Science rests on the shoulders of those studying it, in which their insight – gained through Mathematical Theory – will shape the very future that we all will be living in. Computer Science is not a field like Biology or Classical Physics, where students study the theories and proofs of people that have long been passed. It evens seems as though the cure to most of humanities problems hold answers in this field of study: whether it be cancer, sustainability, space exploration, or really finding out what the heck gravity is in the first place, and what causes it.
If you’re a programmer that doesn’t have formal education, you should be ecstatic as well. Most likely you have developed the skills to think like a Computer Scientist and just lack the formal training and the deeper meaning behind it. The great thing is that most of the education is available for free in the forms of “Discrete Mathematics”, “Set Theory”, and “Algorithms” on the internet. Now although I most likely will not touch or discuss these topics on this site, I do want you all to realize that you possess the knowledge and skills to change the world. The future breakthroughs in science and technology will not be the new “social network”, or “web app”, it will be the insight that we get through the study of the theories discussed in Computer Science. The next big breakthrough won’t be formed from a couple thousand lines of code, but most likely, a very simple mathematical proof.
If you’re hungry for knowledge and crazy about tough puzzles here is a list of currently unsolved problems in the field of Computer Science. Knock yourself out – and stay away from P=NP. Trust me.
The innovator behind all of this madness. He started this blog to give back to the community, share his passion for programming, and help reinforce that passion in others. Read More →