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computer science is the study of how computers work and how to make them do things. It covers everything from programming video games to making software that runs ultrasounds and other medical equipment, to working on the complex systems in most modern cars. Bascially, it's awesome stuff.
so have u taken that class b4
which class? I'm a computer science major, I've taken lots of classes on the subject.
oh ok well i mean r u a teacher or a student that um tlkn to
I'm a college student at Northeastern University, studying Computer Science. However, I also teach classes to elementary and middle school students about the different things that can be done with computers, though mainly in the areas of designing web pages and making simple computer games.
oh ok i am a 8th grader bout to go to high school n um jus tryna learn sum things nw go off to high school
Ummmm, actually computer science isn't about computers. Sure it's the medium we work in, but it's more about logic design and algorithms than it is about computers. Although most computer science majors go into programming, a programmer isn't necessarily a computer scientist. A programmer is one that writes computer programmers and can come from a variety of fields, especially CIS. A programmer learns computer languages in order to program. A computer scientist on the other hand should be able to write their own computer programming language. Computer science is a bit more in depth than a computer programmer. Whereas a computer programmers knows specific computer programming languages well, a computer scientist is more like a mathematician working to understand algorithms to do things more effectively. For example, a non-programmer will program small programs to make things work, say an excell spreadsheet script, a basic program to calculate mortgages, etc. A computer programmer will understand how to make more complicated program and work within maybe 30,000 lines of code or more to make a complete running program, whereas a computer scientist is the one that works on 30 lines of code for a month to optimize it so that it runs faster. Thus hiring a "real" computer scientist to write a computer program would be like hiring a theoretical mathematician to do your accounting. Think of the difference as being that of a mechanic that fixes cars to the mechanical engineer that designs cars. That being said, in general, most people treat computer science as programmers, but really the skills of a computer scientist are much more in depth. And a decent programmer should be able to program as well as a computer scientist if not better. A computer scientist on the other hand should be able to work with a lot more languages that a programmer, because they are working with understanding how the logic of programming works, not necessarily any one language.
@lando That's an excellent post. You really frustrated me in that debate on the whole compression thing, but fairs fair, this was a very good post. "Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." - Edsger Dijkstra Anyone interested in this question should read lando's above post and reflect on the points being made. Whilst most people use 'computer science' and 'programming' as synonyms, and there's generally no harm in that, fundamentally there's an enormous difference between a serious computational scientist and a guy who makes a living writing code. @gailbear Can I ask which languages and software you use to teach the kids with? I'm really interested in the subject. Do they pick it up well? I'm starting to find, you have more trouble explaining stuff like what a path or a directory is than actually teaching language basics, but I'm basing that on other people's stuff. I don't have any experience of teaching. I'm not personally qualified to teach, I just have a deep interest in the whole area. I'm big on home schooling and think computer literacy is central to a mastery of IT and of managing information in general.
For teaching children, I think scratch or logo is a good programming language. They give visual feedback and are in a form that are easier for kids to understand. Once they reach approximately 6th grade, I would go with python to help understand the basics of computer programming. In my class, I am focusing on the importance of having clean code, commenting and indentation because, in my opinion, that is more important than anything else in computer programming. I rank the goal of programming in the following order. 1. Clean code, easy to read and understand 2. Does the program work. 3. Efficiency of the program. For a computer programming language, you only require a couple of things to make it Turing Complete and therefore able to do what any other programming language can do. Loops Branching Input/Output Variables Expressions and one more thing, I'll have to check my notes. In my university, they tend to focus more on language features than teaching the fundamentals of programming, so I have set out to give a good solid introduction to programming using python to help enforce indenting and as an interpreted language, to give instant feedback. I'm going to be tracking the grades of my students and see how well they do in their coursework after finishing my class. Hopefully the class helps and I can eventually get it added to the curriculum.
I have seen your post lando and I'm hoping to get a chance to chat to you more about the whole subject. I just wanted to say here that I do appreciate your input and have read it a couple of times.