My Math Forum  

Go Back   My Math Forum > Science Forums > Computer Science

Computer Science Computer Science Forum


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
November 28th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Joined: Apr 2007

Posts: 2,140
Thanks: 0

Computer Science

Is "computer science" science? Or is it computer science itself?
johnny is offline  
 
November 28th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #2
Global Moderator
 
CRGreathouse's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
From: UTC -5

Posts: 16,046
Thanks: 937

Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms
I would not describe computer science as a science, just as I would not describe mathematics or philosophy as science.
CRGreathouse is offline  
November 28th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2007
From: Chicago

Posts: 1,701
Thanks: 3

You could certainly take the Knuthian approach and call it art... I would not be adverse to that... then again, I call math art, and not science, so my opinion may not be valid...


Anyway, it depends on how you define science. Is it mathematical inquiry into the universe? Is it empirical data collection? Is it just the pursuit of knowledge (Latin scientia)?

Come to think of it, I'm not quite sure how I would define science. Engineering is straight forward; math philosophy and art are "straight forward" (by which I mean I can define them, if not comprehensively and precisely), but I really don't know if I can define science. I guess I tend to lump it in with engineering, as my dissolution with engineering and "math as a tool" has drifted my interest from science as well.

Hmm... Now I'm thinking.

On that note, many scientists use math to help explain their own discipline; Computer scientists, on the other foot, actually research many of the same problems (at least stochastic and discrete topics)

Donald Knuth and Eric S Raymond (Among many others) are good people to read about to start looking into the philosophy of computer science, the "hacker ethos" if you will.

Cheers

(define time (spend Cory Scheme)) ;;Lisp joke... pay no mind.
cknapp is offline  
November 29th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #4
Global Moderator
 
CRGreathouse's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
From: UTC -5

Posts: 16,046
Thanks: 937

Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms
Quote:
Originally Posted by cknapp
Come to think of it, I'm not quite sure how I would define science. Engineering is straight forward; math philosophy and art are "straight forward" (by which I mean I can define them, if not comprehensively and precisely), but I really don't know if I can define science.
I'd love to see what definitions you can put together for those, especially for art.

For me, science is experimentalism and knowledge-building based on observable and repeatable occurrences. Philosophy is the abstract study of knowledge without reference to the observable world, and math is a branch of philosophy that deals with... well, all this.
CRGreathouse is offline  
November 29th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2007
From: Chicago

Posts: 1,701
Thanks: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
I'd love to see what definitions you can put together for those, especially for art.
I'm slowly working on an essay defining art. Actually, my definition is one sentence: "That which contains an inherent aesthetic." It's defining the "inherent aesthetic" that gets difficult.

I like your definition of science. I'll have to think more to decide if I agree with it, but it is "elegant."

I would add onto your definition of philosophy, that it as an attempt to concretely define the abstract.

Math is the branch of philosophy that deals with the converse of typical philosophers: An attempt to abstract from the concrete.
cknapp is offline  
November 29th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #6
Global Moderator
 
CRGreathouse's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
From: UTC -5

Posts: 16,046
Thanks: 937

Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms
Quote:
Originally Posted by cknapp
I'm slowly working on an essay defining art. Actually, my definition is one sentence: "That which contains an inherent aesthetic." It's defining the "inherent aesthetic" that gets difficult.
I took a whole college course on aesthetics and I couldn't tell you.

As for math, I don't define it in terms of anything concrete -- though at this point I don't actually have a definition at all. It's an abstract field that works "unreasonably well" with science and other real-world topics.
CRGreathouse is offline  
November 29th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Joined: Oct 2007
From: Chicago

Posts: 1,701
Thanks: 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
I took a whole college course on aesthetics and I couldn't tell you.
I never said my definition would be comprehensive or final, just something strong enough to understand the world around me a bit... Sort of "naive art theory" so to speak. (Forgive the bad math pun)

Quote:
As for math, I don't define it in terms of anything concrete -- though at this point I don't actually have a definition at all. It's an abstract field that works "unreasonably well" with science and other real-world topics.
Hmm... perhaps my use of language was inaccurate; Math takes things we know and understand (a discrete quantity of something), and generalizes it to a concept, which can then be re-appropriated to something we do not understand. This nature is what makes it so useful as a knowledge gathering technique: We can model new things based on math similar to old things. We assign meaning and value to things based on their relation to things already understood; using a model that fits something we know, we can grasp something new.

Not sure how redundant that last half paragraph was, but c'est la vie.

Sorry for hijacking your thread, Johnny. Feel free to contribute
cknapp is offline  
November 29th, 2007, 08:53 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Joined: Apr 2007

Posts: 2,140
Thanks: 0

It is interesting to discuss what certain subject is all about. Personally, I would describe science as the study of the things surrounded in the universe (physics, astronomy, etc).
johnny is offline  
December 2nd, 2007, 12:16 PM   #9
Newbie
 
Joined: Dec 2007
From: San Diego

Posts: 1
Thanks: 0

Math is art?

The language of mathematics is universal and cultureless. Art is the expression of culture.
kazmaslanka is offline  
Reply

  My Math Forum > Science Forums > Computer Science

Tags
computer, science



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Computer Science Question Shamieh Computer Science 6 September 27th, 2013 05:34 PM
Math or Computer Science? dbayraktar28 Computer Science 8 September 14th, 2013 04:03 PM
Computer Science Engineering GgiPunjab Computer Science 0 April 10th, 2013 02:20 AM
Career in Computer Science MadSoulz Computer Science 4 September 7th, 2012 02:03 AM
Computer science curriculum johnny Computer Science 1 August 20th, 2008 11:30 AM





Copyright © 2018 My Math Forum. All rights reserved.