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Computer science

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

Computer science makes use of electric machines (computers for example). A computer scientist will need math, science, and know-how to make and use computers.

Contents

[edit] Common questions a computer scientist may ask

[edit] How do I best specify a question to answer?

A computer is a device which takes orders as fast as you can give them to it & works as fast as it can to solve the orders.

[edit] Can a computer help answer this question?

Computers can do some things easily (for example, simple math, or sorting a list of names from A-to-Z). Computers cannot do some things, though. Computers cannot answer questions that do not have enough details, or questions that have no answer. Computers can answer some questions, but may take too much time. As an example, it may take too long to find the shortest way through all the towns in the USA, so every so often a computer scientist will look for a nearly full answer (an approximation). A computer will answer these kind of questions much faster.

[edit] How do I best answer this question?

Algorithms have to do with the way computers answer questions. Take playing cards, for example. A computer scientist may want to sort the cards, first by color, and then by order (like 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace). The computer scientist may see different ways to sort the playing cards. If the way has a detailed account of how to sort the cards, the scientist has made an algorithm. The scientist first needs to test if the algorithm does what it should in all events. The scientist can then see how well it sorts the cards.

A simple, but poor, algorithm would: drop the cards, group them up, and see if they look sorted. If not, do it again. This will work, but will probably take a very long time.

A person may better do this by looking through all the cards, finding the one that goes in the first position (2 of diamonds), and putting it at the start. After this, he looks for the second position, and so on. This works much faster, and does not need as much space.

Computer science left the other sciences near the end of the 20th century and made its own ways of doing things and its own group of word uses. It has to do with electrical engineering, mathematics, and language science.

Computer science looks at the theoretical (not real) parts of computers. Computer engineering looks at the real parts of computers (those that a person could touch), and software engineering looks at the use of computer programs and how to make them.

[edit] Parts of computer science

[edit] Central math

  • Boolean algebra (when something can only be true or false)
  • Computer numbering formats (how computers count)
  • Discrete mathematics (math with numbers a person can count)
  • Symbolic logic (clear ways of talking about math)

[edit] How an ideal computer works

  • Algorithmic information theory (how easily a computer can answer a question?)
  • Complexity theory (how much time and memory does a computer need to answer a question?)
  • Computability theory (can a computer do something?)
  • Information theory (math that looks at data and how to process data)
  • Theory of computation (how to answer questions on a computer using algorithms)
  • Graph theory (math that looks for directions from one point to another)
  • Type theory (what kinds of data should computers work with?)
  • Denotational semantics (math for computer languages)
  • Algorithms (looks at how to answer a question)
  • Compilers (turning words to computer programs)
  • Lexical analysis (how to turn words to data)
  • Microprogramming (how to control the most important part of a computer)
  • Operating systems (simple computer programs to control different kinds of other programs in computer systems)
  • Cryptography (making data safer)

[edit] Computer science at work

programmer uses to make computer programs)

  • Program specification (how a programmer makes a computer program)
  • Program verification (testing computer programs, see debugging)
  • Robots
  • Software engineering (making computer programs)

we can program many designs

[edit] What computer science does

  • Benchmark (testing a computer's power)
  • Computer vision (how computers "see" things)
  • Collision detection (how computers (controlling robots) do not smash against things)
  • Data compression (making data smaller)
  • Data structures (how computers group and sort data)
  • Data acquisition (getting data)
  • Design patterns
  • Digital signal processing (cleaning and "looking" at data)
  • File formats (how computers store and group data in a file)
  • Human-computer interaction (how humans use computers)
  • Information security (keeping data safe from other people)
  • Internet (a large network that hooks up nearly all computers)
  • Online computations and algorithms
  • Optimization (making computer programs work faster)
  • Software metrics
  • VLSI design (the making of a very large and complex computer system)

[edit] See also