What is Computer Science?
A short answer.

(A longer answer is here.)
(What do computer scientists do?)
The long-term future of CS???


The physical sciences study all the forms of matter and energy in our universe, and their interactions.

The life sciences study all the forms of life, including individual organisms, societies and ecosystems, and their interactions with living and non-living matter.

The science of computation studies the bridge between the two:
-- information, and the ways in which it can be represented, derived, transformed, combined, created, transmitted and above all used -- whether in the simplest organisms as they reproduce or the most complex organisms as they perceive, learn and act, or in advanced, increasingly intelligent, forms of technology that now dominate our industries, our social interactions, the latest medical advances, and powerful tools of thought.

This vision of computation was already clear to one of the founders of computer science, Alan Turing, in the early 1950s, when computers were still in their infancy.

Teaching and research in Computing in this university straddles all those aspects of computer science, including their philosophical and mathematical as well as scientific and practical implications.

Picture from Wikipedia

  • A. M. Turing,
    Computing machinery and intelligence,
    Mind, 59, 433--460, 1950,
  • A. M. Turing,
    The Chemical Basis Of Morphogenesis,
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
    B 237, 237, 37--72, 1952

  • Margaret Boden, interviewed on the BBC's "The Life Scientific" (28 mins)
    Maggie Boden is a world authority in the field of artificial intelligence - she even has a robot named in her honour. Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex, Maggie has spent a lifetime attempting to answer philosophical questions about the nature of the human mind, but from a computational viewpoint. "Tin cans", as she sometimes calls computers, are information processing systems, the perfect vehicle, she believes, to help us understand, explore and analyse the mind. But questions about the human mind and the human person could never be answered within one single academic subject. So the long career of Maggie Boden is the very epitome of cross-disciplinary working. From medicine, to psychology, to cognitive and computer science, to technology and philosophy, Professor Boden has spent decades straddling multiple academic subjects, helping to create brand new disciplines along the way.


Some useful links: