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Difference between Maths and Computer Science

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#1 jsgcdude   Members   

250

Posted 10 October 2004 - 03:08 AM

Another thread brought up the interesting question 'whats the differnce between maths and computer science?' Dijkstra said something like 'computer science is to computers what astronomy is to telescopes' implying the science of computation has little to do with the actual hardware it occurs on. So what's the difference between math and computer science?

#2 Sean T. McBeth   Members   

Posted 10 October 2004 - 03:09 AM

what's the difference between math and physics?

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#3 Matei   Members   

190

Posted 10 October 2004 - 04:07 AM

Math is more general and abstract. Computer Science is applied math.

BTW, I think Dijkstra said "Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes" - I could be wrong, but I think I looked it up once. What it means is that the computer is a way for you to see the stuff that makes up the science, but not an end in itself.

#4 Flarelocke   Members   

410

Posted 10 October 2004 - 06:21 AM

What's the difference between birds and ducks?

It's simply more specific. Computer science is a specific field of mathematics.

#5 Extrarius   Members   

Posted 10 October 2004 - 06:53 AM

Computer science is a cross between an area of math and an area of engineering, but it is more on the math side. IME, most schools teach the engineering side more though, and include lots of programming practice rather than teaching the theory of computation and having classes like lambda calculus.

#6 Promit   Senior Moderators   

Posted 10 October 2004 - 07:18 AM

Computer science (in its purest form) is merely a form of applied mathematics. Re: Turing.


Computer science (in reality) is a mix of applied mathematics, engineering, and its own flavor.

#7 Fibonacci One   Members   

284

Posted 10 October 2004 - 08:03 AM

Being a double major in computer science and math, I can say the only real similarity is that computer science classes *sometimes* require me to do some math. In theory it is supposed to draw almost entirely from math, but in practice I can say it's very rare that I do much math in my comp sci classes.

With that said, I would agree with Promit saying computer science is more of a mix of engineering and it's own delicious flavor.

#8 furby100   Members   

102

Posted 10 October 2004 - 11:30 AM

Computers arose from mathematics as a way for people to deal with certain mathematics problems.

#9 Conner McCloud   Members   

Posted 10 October 2004 - 02:40 PM

Quote:
Original post by Promit
Computer science (in its purest form) is merely a form of applied mathematics. Re: Turing.


Computer science (in reality) is a mix of applied mathematics, engineering, and its own flavor.

I second this. Schools need to adopt a standard that distinguishes computer science from computer engineering from software engineering. The first can be thought of as being a part of the math department, the second part of the electical engineering department, and the last its own thing.

CM




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