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For the American corporation, see Computer Sciences Corporation. Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of computation and practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of mathematical algorithms and processes that interact with data and that can be represented as data in the form of programs. Its fields can be divided into theoretical and practical disciplines. Computational complexity theory is highly abstract, while computer graphics emphasizes real-world applications.
Charles Babbage, sometimes referred to as the «father of computing». Ada Lovelace is often credited with publishing the first algorithm intended for processing on a computer. The earliest foundations of what would become computer science predate the invention of the modern digital computer. Machines for calculating fixed numerical tasks such as the abacus have existed since antiquity, aiding in computations such as multiplication and division.
Wilhelm Schickard designed and science the first working mechanical calculator in 1623. During the 1940s, as new and more powerful computing machines were developed, the term computer came to refer to the machines rather than their study predecessors. Although many initially believed it was impossible that computers themselves could actually be a scientific field of study, in the late fifties it gradually became accepted among case greater academic population. Time has seen significant improvements in the usability and effectiveness of computing technology. Modern society has seen a significant shift in the users of computer technology, from usage only by experts and professionals, to a near-ubiquitous user base. World War II for communications they wanted kept secret.
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The large-scale decryption of Enigma traffic at Bletchley Park was an important factor that contributed to Allied victory in WWII. The start of the «Digital Revolution», which includes the current Information Age and the Internet. A formal definition of computation and computability, and proof that there are computationally unsolvable and intractable problems. The concept of a programming language, a tool for the precise expression of methodological information at various levels of abstraction. In cryptography, breaking the Enigma code was an important factor contributing to the Allied victory in World War II.
Scientific computing enabled practical evaluation of processes and situations of great complexity, as well as experimentation entirely by software. It also enabled advanced study of the mind, and mapping of the human genome became possible with the Human Genome Project. Computer graphics and computer-generated imagery have become ubiquitous in modern entertainment, particularly in television, cinema, advertising, animation and video games. Modern computers enable optimization of such designs as complete aircraft. Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important as it gets more efficient and complex. There are many applications of AI, some of which can be seen at home, such as robotic vacuum cleaners. Researchers use ethnographic observation and automated data collection to understand user needs, then conduct usability tests to refine designs.
Also, in the early days of computing, a number of terms for the practitioners of the field of computing were suggested in the Communications of the ACM—turingineer, turologist, flow-charts-man, applied meta-mathematician, and applied epistemologist. A folkloric quotation, often attributed to—but almost certainly not first formulated by—Edsger Dijkstra, states that «computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. The design and deployment of computers and computer systems is generally considered the province of disciplines other than computer science. The relationship between Computer Science and Software Engineering is a contentious issue, which is further muddied by disputes over what the term «Software Engineering» means, and how computer science is defined. The academic, political, and funding aspects of computer science tend to depend on whether a department formed with a mathematical emphasis or with an engineering emphasis. Computer science departments with a mathematics emphasis and with a numerical orientation consider alignment with computational science. Both types of departments tend to make efforts to bridge the field educationally if not across all research.
A number of computer scientists have argued for the distinction of three separate paradigms in computer science. Peter Wegner argued that those paradigms are science, technology, and mathematics. As a discipline, computer science spans a range of topics from theoretical studies of algorithms and the limits of computation to the practical issues of implementing computing systems in hardware and software. Theoretical Computer Science is mathematical and abstract in spirit, but it derives its motivation from practical and everyday computation. Its aim is to understand the nature of computation and, as a consequence of this understanding, provide more efficient methodologies. All studies related to mathematical, logic and formal concepts and methods could be considered as theoretical computer science, provided that the motivation is clearly drawn from the field of computing.
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