What is Computer Science? Efficiently Implementing Automated Abstractions
February 2010 (perspective of a Ph.D. student)
This article elaborates on my four-word summary of the essence of Computer Science as a field of study: Efficiently Implementing Automated Abstractions. I also provide one-, two-, and three-word summaries for those who want to be more concise.
Many people who study Computer Science (myself included) have trouble explaining what exactly it is to people who are not in the field. This article is my attempt at defining what Computer Science is as a field of study, in four words or less.
Apologies in advance if this article sounds overly fluffy or bullshitty; I don't often get to pontificate about such lofty abstract ideas. Adults who have real jobs probably think that since I'm working towards my Ph.D. in Computer Science, I must spend all day sipping lattes and engaging in philosophical discussions with my colleagues in some Ivory Tower; in reality, I spend most of my time 'in the trenches' hacking on research prototypes and debugging memory errors in C code. So here comes my rare attempt at being 'scholarly' ... enjoy!