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Is Computer Science a science?

Nowadays there are so many different fields in computer science. Some seem much more like engineering, some like “good practice collections“ and some like real science. But isn't the title “computer science“ very confusing? So many people have different perceptions (understandings) of these words. When i started my studies, i thought everything would be about programming, but surprise: I was wrong, also programming is only a small part of computer science. Isn't it a misleading title?

11/12/2017 9:07:27 PM

Robert Paulson

36 Answers

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There was an interesting back and forth on this subject awhile ago on Reddit. Opinions vary greatly.


Mostly understood as an applied side of the business, computer science has also a lot of theoretical background underneath. Shortly speaking, it is a science of information -- what it is, how it generated, represented, processed and... computed. Computer science deals with computation -- its methods, algorithms, applications. And that last one alone is what most people see in this - actually *programming* those damned machines to do something useful for us. So yeah, I'd say it's still a pretty scientific part of human knowledge :)


The head of our computer science department of my university in the first lesson told us the many students became disappointed on finding out that wasn't required just to improve the programming skills but also to develop a good theorical knowledge on algorithms, computational complexity, computational models, applied and abstract mathematic... also for the approach used in my university I think that computer science is a science exactly like mathematic or physic.


No the title "computer science" is not confusing or misleading at all. It is a perfectly informative name for a branch of human knowledge. Now, let's go back to coding!🙎


I agree with Dennis Ritchie when he said: "Computer science research is different from these more traditional disciplines. Philosophically it differs from the physical sciences because it seeks not to discover, explain, or exploit the natural world, but instead to study the properties of machines of human creation. In this it as analogous to mathematics, and indeed the "science" part of computer science is, for the most part mathematical in spirit. But an inevitable aspect of computer science is the creation of computer programs: objects that, though intangible, are subject to commercial exchange."


I do not think of it as misleading. Science is defined as exploring the world around us through application of the scientific method. Computer Science does exactly that. It allows us to use technology to explore any number of topics under a broad umbrella term with the same principles at the heart of it.


It is the universal science 👌☝️💪 stay in touch



The claim is that, because computers are artifacts, all the things we study about computers are artificial. The purists say that a true science deals with natural, not artificial, entities. They say that computer science is about programming, chips, networks, and other technologies, all of which are human inventions.


if i ask u what does Science mean? now we know wt u will answer i don't know exactly but your ans will relate to the common idea that science is something about practical, practice, theory and deep down to the specific subject to know how things work in it. now i think hardware AND software what make a computer a "COMPUTER" and in order to learn this thing you'r gonna go through every aspect of it and that's y u r right here "programming " is just a one part which u study in CS CS = how computer made and works since computers are not just about programming


look science has many streams. csc is one of them.


it is actually a science course


it can also be called science cause it all consist of scientific methods..... which are 1. question 2. testing of observation 3. conclusion 4. report i wont have enough time to explain everything, but make a research if needed


It is known as 'science'. But in my opinion they should call it 'math' instead.


yes.i think it is haha.


The word science means "the study of a subject" so CS counts, even though it is man made (I think that was bugging you, right?), because the subject is so vast it needs to be studied thoroughly to be understood. It is the same as geology, the study of the earth, or psychology, the study of the human psyche.


By the definition of what science is to begin with, yes, it's a science. Don't get me wrong though, I'm sure all of the brilliant geniuses that helped create all of what we're talking about probably just overlooked something simple like the name. lol :) @pardeep Science includes more than just the natural world. Although, there is a branch called natural science. ****DEFINITION**** sci·ence: the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. * a particular area of this. * a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.


I dont think you realise computer science and computer engineering are two different things....


yes i suppose it's a form of science


computer science is pretty good title , and if there were any more suitable name for this field than it would renamed long before your realization .