Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
What is Computer Science?
Computer Science spans a wide range, from its theoretical and algorithmic foundations to cutting-edge developments in robotics, computer vision, intelligent systems, bioinformatics, and other exciting areas. We can think of the work of computer scientists as falling into three categories:
- They design and implement software. Computer scientists take on challenging programming jobs. They also supervise other programmers, keeping them aware of new approaches.
- They devise new ways to use computers. Progress in the CS areas of networking, database, and human-computer-interface enabled the development of the World Wide Web. Now, researchers are working to make robots be practical aides that demonstrate intelligence, are using databases to create new knowledge, and are using computers to help decipher the secrets of our DNA.
- They develop effective ways to solve computing problems. For example, computer scientists develop the best possible ways to store information in databases, send data over networks, and display complex images. Their theoretical background allows them to determine the best performance possible, and their study of algorithms helps them develop new approaches that provide better performance.
--- Computing Curricula 2005
In summary, CS prepares students to create new technology infrastructure (the theory behind things, how things function, why things are the way they are, how you can make things better). If you are interested in learning computer-related skills, and not just satisfying how to do it but why it works, then a computer science major is for you.