Computer science is the study of computers and computing, which includes the theoretical and algorithmic foundations, software and hardware, and applications for information processing. The area of computer science encompasses the study of algorithms, networks, modelling of data and information processes, data structures, artificial intelligence, network and computer design (Tucker, 2022).
It integrates ideas from those fields as well as queueing theory, electrical circuit design, testing of hypotheses and experiments, probability and statistics are also extensively used in computer science for the evaluation, design, conceptualization, and improvement of information structures, computer networks, and new algorithms. Mathematics and engineering provide some of the foundation for computer science. Some people believe that computer science and mathematics are far more closely related than they are with other scientific fields, and some people even believe that computer science is a mathematical science.
Two fundamental ideas that helped shape the evolution of the computer come from mathematics: the assumption that all data may be represented as a series of zeros and ones, as well as the imprecise idea of a “stored program.” Similar to how numbers in the well-known decimal system are represented using the digits 0 through 9, in the binary number system, numbers are represented by a series of the binary digits 0 and 1. The binary digit, or bit, naturally evolved into the fundamental unit of data storage and transmission in a computer system due to the relative simplicity with which two attributes can be realized in electrical and electronic equipment.
Even though the electronic digital computer which is the subject of computer science was created about twenty years earlier, the field of computer science only became an independent one in the early 1960s. Computer science’s foundations are primarily found in the allied disciplines of physics, management information systems, mathematics, and electrical engineering.
The origins of mathematics and engineering are deeply ingrained in computer science. Postsecondary academic institutions frequently provide computer science bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree programs, and depending on their area of specialization, these programs demand that students finish the relevant mathematics and engineering courses. For instance, discrete mathematics is required for all undergraduate computer science majors. Numerous schools additionally demand that students finish their Statistics, Numerical analysis, Physics, calculus, and engineering concepts courses before they graduate (Denning, 2005)
Computer science is viewed as a science by some people. This is thus because computer science has multiple diverse areas of study. Critical thinking is emphasized, which is crucial in science. The capacity to create, generate, and analyses data are further components of computer science. These are additional crucial components of science. Some contend that computer science isn’t a science, nevertheless. This is so because it has to do with things like algebra and programming. Additionally, it isn’t always related to the physical or natural world, and this is where the majority of science focuses its attention. Instead, it concentrates on the computer’s hardware and software.
It is essential to analyze the factors why computer science could be regarded as a science because some people think it is a science and others don’t.
You could claim that computer science is a field of science since it fits the definition of a formal science, for example. Theoretical formal systems are the main subject of formal science. Mathematics is an illustration of formal science. Other examples include statistics and linguistics Math is frequently used in computer science to create algorithms. You may consider computer science to be a formal science because it is essentially a branch of mathematics. as a result, it is science. Additionally, it’s important to note that some people can assert that applying computer science is a form of engineering. Even though this is the case, formal science is still being used. Science still applies (Team, 2021)
It is a Unique Branch of Natural Science
Since it doesn’t relate with the natural world, computer science might not seem like science to you. Although not in the same sense as chemistry or biology, one could claim that this would engage with the natural world to some level. In biology, the researcher is effectively looking at a natural algorithm. The same process is being done by a computer scientist, but their context is software rather than the natural world.
It is comparable to understanding gravity by utilizing calculus. Computer scientists examine numerous facets of programming and other issues relating to software using their own techniques.
Debugging is another aspect of computer science that makes it a science:
Since it doesn’t apply the scientific method, the field of computer science has a solid reason for not being a science. No theory or hypothesis has been thoroughly investigated and tested. Actually, that is untrue.
This procedure is known as debugging in computer science. A computer scientist who debugs is essentially testing a piece of code to determine if it produces the desired outcome. The hypothesis or code, is altered to a different one if it doesn’t. The hypothesis or code, is then put to the test to see if it produces the desired outcome. If so, the code is verified or validated. A computer scientist could put a lot of effort into crafting the ideal code or creating one on the spot. They are evaluating what is working and what is not working. They are thereby applying the scientific method, although in a unique way (Butterworth, 2019).
Why computer science is not a science?
Even while there are valid reasons both for and against field of computer science as a true science, there are equally valid reasons against it. Here are a few explanations as to why computer science isn’t a true science.
Engineering as main focus:
The fact that some people consider computer science to be more related to engineering may be one of the main reasons that some people do not consider it to be a true science. For instance, computer science usually contains the discipline of software engineering. You may also claim that depending on how computer science is used, it may appear to be engineering rather than science. Because it resembles engineering more, computer science is not a true science.
Design and art:
The fact that computer science also emphasizes design and art is another factor that some people can use to argue that it isn’t a true science.
For instance, a great deal of effort is put into creating user interfaces and webpages. That entails creating and modifying images as well as making sure the user interface is simple to understand and operate.
These are design and artistic components, not scientific ones. You may say that a person studying computer science is learning art and design rather than science if they are concentrating on user interfaces and website design.
Not dealing with Natural and Physical world:
The fact that field of computer science doesn’t include or deal with the natural or physical world is a final argument against it being considered a true science.
For instance, science focuses on examining the physical and natural world and attempting to make sense of it all.
For instance, biology is utilized to understand how living things function in an effort to treat illnesses or perhaps lengthen lifespans.
In order to create novel materials that benefit the world, chemistry works on how specific elements interact with one another. Hardware as well as software are where computer science begins and ends.
It’s not chemistry or biology in and of itself, then you may be capable to use it to build models that relate with those subjects. It is not a true science because it does not include or deal with the natural or physical world.
Understanding what computer science is can help you decide if it qualifies as a legitimate science or not. At its core, computer science aspires to teach individuals how to develop new technologies, not merely how to utilize them.
Computer science frequently covers a variety of topics, including:
- Computing data
- Creating graphics
- Computing data
- Web design
- Data analysis
Clearly, computer science encompasses a wide range of subjects. One can even contend that you can earn a unique degree for each one. All of the above are covered in classes that are typically part of computer science degrees. Even better, you can decide to earn a master’s degree to further your studies. Make sure you concentrate on the appropriate field of computer science depending on the kind of career you wish to have. If not, you might be good at one area but lack the abilities required to complete your job.
Computer science has a propensity to resemble real science. There are, however, counterarguments that it is not a true science. Across any case, the use of computer science in a variety of industries is quite beneficial. Computer science is definitely a scientific discipline. However, the vast majority of those with degrees in computer science work as software engineers rather than as computer scientists. Instead, then advancing our knowledge of the universe, they are creating practical technologies based on what is already known.
Butterworth, A. W. (2019). Is Computer Science A Science. The cold wire.
Denning, P. J. (2005). Is computer science science. ACM Digital Library.
Team, I. E. (2021). 15 Computer Science Fields. Indeed.
Tucker, A. (2022). Computer science. Britannica.