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Computer science is not a science!


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#41 KipIngram

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 06:28 PM

It is a mess, and the software industry is as well.  A large fraction of working programers don't, in fact, have familiarity with what's really going on under the hood of the systems they work on and also don't have familiarity with those "core" things I mentioned, like algorithm theory, basic data structure concepts, and so on.  A lot of programming these days involves relying heavily on software libraries that hide all of that, and which have their own bugs and quirks which the programmer is likely unfamiliar with.  On top of that, a lot of the day to day work involves either modifying software written by someone else, or working in a very small niche of some large system in collaboration with hundreds or even thousands of other programmers.  These hoards of programmers will generally have no idea what one another is doing and wind up creating pieces that, when brought together, lead to more bugs or security vulnerabilities.

 

When evaluating the performance of programmers, management usually rewards speed of execution (which may later turn out to have led to bugs or vulnerabilities) rather than taking the time to develop the deep understanding required to do a better job.  Said managers are often in no way technical themselves, and yet they are expected to lead and evaluate technical staff.

 

It's no wonder we wind up with a world full of buggy, sloppy products that make very poor use of the underlying power of the hardware.


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#42 Trurl

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 08:27 PM

I don’t know that you guys are helping hipmatt, other than giving him the debate he needs to answer.

 

First, which class is this for? Is it a computer science class?

 

Second, he needs to define using academic sources the criteria that define science. And then he needs to explain his position and defend it in an essay.

 

My approach would be to find sources that label histories, such as the stone age, atomic age, and find all you can about if modern computer science defines science. But remember computer science is not new. I’m not sure exactly where it starts, but computer science is probably as old as math.

 

I’m not sure where to find a journal entry that tries to disprove that computer science is not a science. I would start with a search within your school’s library. But is the purpose of the essay to argue a position or is it to do research? Obviously, there really isn’t a correct answer? At least not that anyone can agree.

 

My tip is to search for “Is computer science a science?” in an Education Journal. That is where you might find some peer reviewed “opinions”. I can’t imagine a computer scientist debating that he is not a scientist in a journal. Remember do what the assignment says. Use the criteria of a scientist, you have found by research to support your belief that it is a true science. This is an English and not a science class essay correct?

 

I could be wrong, of course. But I have had to write so many papers for academic writing that I learned they care that your writing is clear, meets the requirements, and is structured academically. If you are like me, you approach this problem thinking good and creative content will get you the grade. I learned the hard way that this is not how academic educators think. I’m just sharing what I learned and don’t like to write.

 

BTW, if your teacher is not a scientist, it is easy to confuse her. Education academics don’t like it when the laymen can’t understand. Write the paper so your “audience” understands it. Also there may be a deference between what a college defines as computer science and what the profession stands for.


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#43 studiot

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 10:42 PM

+1 to Trurl for bringing focus back to the thread.

 

I particularly liked the bits about Education academics adn the invocation to define Science (though I would use the word explore).

 

Hands up all those who studied Domestic Science at school.

 

How about Agricultural Science?

 

You can get a Phd in that.

 

Is Science only about discovering new things ?

 

Or does it include cataloguing and classifying existing knowledge and practice and establishing relationships between elements of this knowledge?


Edited by studiot, 18 June 2017 - 10:43 PM.

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#44 imatfaal

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:02 AM

Science is based upon empirical experimentation.

 

Maths is based on axiomatic logic.

 

Computer Science is - to my limited knowledge - axiomatic; therefore mathematical not scientific


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#45 studiot

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 11:30 AM

 

hipmatt

I am writing an essay on why it is considered a science.

 

I agree with Trurl, arguing that CS is not a science is not helpful to the OP, particularly in a homework thread, and also with his offered outline plan for the essay.

 

@hipmatt

 

You say you have found lots of articles to say why it is a science, but none to say why it is not.

 

Do you have no ideas of your own or are you just going to copy what others have said ?

 

If so are you going to pass these ideas off as your own or are you going to acknowledge the sources?


Edited by studiot, 19 June 2017 - 11:31 AM.

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#46 Endy0816

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:25 PM

He's arguing the opposite of the thread title. Is more than a bit confusing and inviting of debate.
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#47 studiot

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 12:58 PM

He's arguing the opposite of the thread title. Is more than a bit confusing and inviting of debate.

 

According to post#1 CS is defined as a Science, for the purposes of the homework.

 

Users of homework help often seen to write a confusing account of what they might actually mean.


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#48 hipmatt

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 02:57 AM

 

I agree with Trurl, arguing that CS is not a science is not helpful to the OP, particularly in a homework thread, and also with his offered outline plan for the essay.

 

@hipmatt

 

You say you have found lots of articles to say why it is a science, but none to say why it is not.

 

Do you have no ideas of your own or are you just going to copy what others have said ?

 

If so are you going to pass these ideas off as your own or are you going to acknowledge the sources?

 

 

I don’t know that you guys are helping hipmatt, other than giving him the debate he needs to answer.

 

First, which class is this for? Is it a computer science class?

 

 

 

 

Thank you guys so much for all your Wisdom! 

First i would like to explain a little more. It is for an English class and i had to pick an article in my field of study. I was going through a program for Network admin, But then realized i need a full on degree to get anywhere so i started school for BS of CS. (wish me luck)

 

I have read through all the posts and would like to thank everyone who replied!

 

So I came across an article by the name of  “the science in Computer science” by Peter Denning. I read the whole article and it argues the view point computer science is science. 

       Some people say that any field of study that calls themselves a science is not a science. 

He states this

 

“Computing’s original focal phenomenon was information processes generated by hardware and software. As computing discovered more and more natural information processes, the focus broadened to include “natural computation.” We can now say “computing is the study of information processes, artificial and natural.”

 

That is fine and dandy, but i have not been able to find articles that debate this viewpoint. 

I do have my own opinions but i will use what i find in peer reviewed articles.

All my work will be cited.

 

I really appreciate you guys posting! I think I found my home. I look forward to reading your guys topics and posts as well!


For my introduction paragraph I have this. (so far)

 

What is your profession? Computer science. Oh? Is that a science? Sure, it is the science of information processes and their interactions with the world. I’ll accept that what you do is technology; but not science. Science deals with fundamental laws of nature. Computers are manmade…” [1] A misconception brought on by the lack of familiarity of computer science usually can be found to be the encouragement to such conversations as these. If we can take the time to look deeper of the field of computer science we will find more than just a keyboard and a mouse. “Computer science studies information processes both artificial and natural”, [2] best put in the words of Peter Denning. What makes a field of study a science? How did computation started? Computers are, in fact, not just a tool used by other types of fields but also a science within itself because computer science study information both artificial and natural.

 

I am arguing the claim that computer science is a science even though some of you guys made very good points to why it is not.  

Science I could not find much about arguing against the claim i did find a letter from Fred Brooks jr. called "The computer scientist as a toolsmith"

Here he states "I submit that by any reasonable criterion the discipline we call “computer science” is in fact not a science but a synthetic, an engineering, discipline." 

 

Which then i argue criteria for credibility as science


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#49 studiot

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:26 AM

I'm glad to hear you have some ideas of your own, particularly when you are making a point I hadn't though of.  +1

 

( I must admit I have always cleaved to the notion that CS should really be Computer Engineering or Computer Technology - it is at best an applied science)

 

This is a good topic for you, although posting the actual essay title here would be useful.

It encourages you to read widely and broadens your horizons.

There will be plenty of time for immersion in the gory details of CS within your course. Good fortune.

 

Talking of reading, perhaps I can offer an idea or two.

 

The growth in computer technology has prompted the deveopment of a new branch of Mathematics - Discrete Mathematics (you will study much of this)

and even

 

Concrete Mathematics: A Foundation for Computer Science  (note their use of the terminology)

 

Graham, Knuth and Patashnik. 

 

Addison Wesley.

 

Another line of enquirey develops what I said about Science being a repository of knowledge.

 

No one would classify that unfortunately famous textbook Physics by REsnick and Halliday as anything other than a Science text.

 

Yet Archimedes theorem is over 2000 years old and only used by engineers today.

 

Hopefully this has planted a seed; it is your job to develop this.

 

Remember that Cs cannot claim patent on information theory so don't rely on that principle alone (although it is a good one).

 

Many Sciences and even other disciplines have an input to information theory.

 

Hope this helps


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#50 bimbo36

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 10:49 AM

Isn't Computer science  part of electronics ?

 

 

I still don't have any clue about how programming languages are made , even though there are plenty of programming languages .


Edited by bimbo36, 20 June 2017 - 10:59 AM.

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#51 Thorham

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 02:11 PM

I still don't have any clue about how programming languages are made , even though there are plenty of programming languages .

 

They're written in other programming languages.


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#52 Sensei

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Posted 21 June 2017 - 07:46 AM

I think so computer science, is science on it's own.

It has not encountered in mathematics things, like loops, infinite loops, recursion, infinite recursion, overflow, stacks, arrays, dynamic arrays, sorting of arrays, IEEE floating points (and optimizations basing on it), compilation, linking, pre-processing, virtualization, OOP classes, virtual and non-virtual methods and functions, returning objects (with "infinite" dimensions), taking "infinite" amount of parameters, and so on, so on.

Some of these things were researched by mathematicians, just because it was needed for computers.

 

Old computers, just computed, get input data, processed them, returned final result. One and not variable.

Modern computers don't work the same way (or rarely work this way).

They receive inputs all the time from human, sensors, detectors, cameras, from internet, and so on, so on.

Before they manage to process old data, there is even more new data to process. It can/is infinite.

Bots scanning Internet can go on, and on, and on. Never finding the end of their program.


Edited by Sensei, 21 June 2017 - 07:46 AM.

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