# Tagged Questions

Computer science or computing science (abbreviated CS or CompSci) is the scientific approach to computation and its applications.

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### Why is the formal definition of Big O notation formulated as such?

Consider the formal definition: f(n) = O(g(n)) Why is it not: f(n) = O(f(n)) or f(n) = O(c*f(n)) since for the Big O analysis, f(n)=2n and g(n)=n are identical? I am ...
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### What is the difference between 'layer of abstraction' and 'level of indirection'?

I am not sure if both terms can be used interchangeably. Maybe there is some academic distinction in computer science which is not relevant for day-to-day programming? Or can I use both term ...
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### What is the industry definition of an interpreter (as opposed to a compiler)?

In my compiler design courses, I have learned about and worked with a clear academic definition of an interpreter and a compiler, with an interpreter being a program Pi from a language M capable ...
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### Theta notation on constant time. Why we use the 1?

In asymptotic notation when it is stated that if the problem size is small enough (e.g. n<c for some constant c) the solution takes constant time and is writen as Theta(1). Why we write 1 inside ...
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### Computer Science and other advance topics taught in javascript [closed]

I'm an 'okay' Javascript developer working on browser javascript and node.js. However because I'm self taught, starting from copying and pasting jquery, there are a lot of holes in my programming/CS ...
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### Idea for a domain specific language or DLR port?

I have my undergraduate final year project coming up and am very interested in lexers, parsers, compilers and so on. I would like to use the DLR (.NET 4.0 dynamic language runtime) for my ...
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### Do the young minds need to learn the pointer concepts?

Why did the C master Dennis Ritchie introduce pointers in C? And why did the other programming languages like VB.NET or Java or C# eliminate them? I have found some points in Google, and I want to ...
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### How to brush up on general CS knowledge?

Just a heads up: this will be a repost from stackoverflow. As a person who's going to graduate very soon from the university (and who didn't always pay enough attention to what the teacher said) I ...
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### What are the most common algorithms in the field of computational geometry? [closed]

So far I've touched on various aspects of computational geometry including constructive planar geometry (locus intersections), algorithms for planar graph topologies, 3D DDA, and most recently a 2D ...
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### How can variables be created at runtime? [closed]

Is it possible to define variables dynamically? Last night I was writing some code (C and VB2010) and I ran into a problem related to defining variables in my program. The variables needed depend on ...
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### Masters vs. PhD - long [closed]

I'm 21 years old and a first year master's computer science student. Whether or not to continue with my PhD has been plaguing me for the past few months. I can't stop thinking about it and am ...
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### Why is the c family the standard CS study regiment for Mathematics/CS programs instead of the LISP family? [closed]

I have been familiarizing myself with LISP for self improvement purposes. One of the things I have noticed is that LISP is much more within the paradigm of Mathematics than say C. The syntax and ...
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### How is the actor model used?

I have read a bit about the actor model, but don't really understand how to use actors in a real world situation – how to model a problem with them. Can someone please explain? A simple example or ...
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### Math Major wants to become a Software Engineer [closed]

I am a math major, what would be the best field of computer science/computer engineering for me to go into, where I could apply my skills that I used as a math major (i.e. Linear Algebra, Real ...
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### Why is Perl so heavily used in Bioinformatics? [closed]

What is it about Perl that makes it so useful in Bioinformatics ? Why isn't C++ or Matlab or Python the big language?
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### Which computer science subjects are required to follow introductory course in compilers? [closed]

I am non computer science undergraduate and work as a web-developer(java, python, AS3 etc.) as a professional. I take 1 course per semester at my local university. I had taken Artificial Intelligence(...
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### Usefull skills from a computer science degree

I did my degree in physics and moved later into programming. I have two and a half years experience under my belt and like to think I write good code. I am, however, concerned that not doing a compsci ...
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### Good Programming Competitions for Highschool Students [closed]

What are good programming competitions (or web design competitions) available for highschool students in the Northeast (I am looking for a pretty long/comprehensive list)- of the USA? The competitions ...
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### Is the science of Computer Science dead? [closed]

Question : Is the science and art of CS dead? By that I mean, the real requirements to think, plan and efficiently solve problems seems to be falling away from CS these days. The field seems to be ...
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### Good introduction to artificial intelligence? [closed]

I have been told that as part of my degree year I will be learning about Artificial Intelligence. My lecturers have recommended a couple of books: Artificial Intelligence: A Systems Approach (...
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### Preparing for Interviews [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to prepare yourself for programming interview questions? Could someone give me pointers on how go to about preparing for a technical interview? As a CS graduate, I ...
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### What are Ruby's strengths? [closed]

Before I'd read this article, I never understood why anybody liked LISP. After reading it, I was able to give LISP a fair enough shot and have since grown to like it. It wasn't until I read this ...
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### Will a computer science college degree ever hurt my employability? [closed]

Too often, I can see that there are many viable programmers without college degrees in Computer Science, Informatics, etc. Now that I've been reading more articles about underperforming education ...
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### Can anyone suggest a project for me write to help me understand threading

I am currently a C# developer with a pretty shaky understanding of threading. Both of these links have been suggested in other posts: http://www.yoda.arachsys.com/csharp/threads/ http://www....
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What are the relative pro's and con's of both DFA's and NFA's when compared to each other? I know that DFA's are easier to implement than NFA's and that NFA's are slower to arrive at the accept state ...
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My company has a suite of mature (roots go back 15+ years), computationally intensive applications (simulations) which we use to do consulting work. I work on the simulation/consulting side of the ...
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### Bridging the gap between computer science research and software engineering [closed]

Do you believe there is a gap between computer science research and software engineering problems? For example, do software engineers ever have to worry about "factoring and graph isomorphism" or ...
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### focusing on a language itself VS focusing on language + CS

So, I've been working on Ruby with the goal of self-employment (I'm an impoverished philosopher (not even in university!) and can't get a normal low-paying job). But there is a quandary in my road of ...
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### What specific branches of Mathematics are useful for a programmer to learn? [closed]

I have less than 6 months to learn mathematics for my Master course in CS. (With no prior formal education in any computer/mathematics related area.) So I need to prepare my self to be tested on math ...
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### Can a CS degree benefit an older programmer? [closed]

Is there any benefit in getting a CS degree in ones mid 40's career wise? Would the increased likelihood of getting past the HR filter be worth it? It's something I might actually enjoy doing, ...
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### Recomendation for Math books related to computer science [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a canonical book on mathematics for programmers? I need your recommendation for math books related to computer science in these areas: Boolean Algebra (Boolean ...
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### Why is Software Engineering not the typical major for future software developers? [closed]

While most agree that a certain level of Computer Science is essential to being a good programmer, it seems to me that the principles of good software development is even more important, though not as ...
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### Why does a computer science degree matter to a professional programmer? [closed]

I have a degree in computer science. It has been great for opening doors, getting a job. As far as helping me in the professional field of C# .NET programming (the most popular platform and language ...
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### Switching to a career in Machine Learning [closed]

My day job is plain old software development. I am also doing my Masters in CS (part time, course based). I took a course on AI and found machine learning quite fascinating but like most courses it ...
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### Computer Science or Computer Engineering for Data Science and Machine Learning [closed]

I'm a 25 year old data consultant who is considering returning to school to get a second bachelors degree in computer science or engineering. My interest is data science and machine learning. I use ...
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### What is the biggest weakness of students graduating with degrees in Computer Science? [closed]

This question is directed more toward employers and graduate student advisors/professors but all opinions are welcome. What do you find is a common weakness of new hires and/or new grad students? Is ...
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### Do you count a Masters in CS as a negative? [closed]

In my experience interviewing developers I feel like candidates who've achieved a Masters in Comp Sci tend to be worse programmers on average that those who don't have a Masters. Is that just me, or ...
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### More code = more bugs

Back in college I remember a professor teaching the class one of the laws of computer science. He said something like "More code equals more bugs" and gave it a name (The Law Of Whatchamacallit) and ...
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### Most difficult subject/theory in Computer Science? [closed]

Which is the most difficult CS subject/theory that you studied but important to the field? And the reason please?
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### What to do when coding begins to feel boring, like it is all just more of the same? [closed]

I started programming at the age of 6 on a Commodore 64. Now I'm 28, and I have to complete 4 courses from a first degree in Computer Science. I'm starting to get bored with writing code after all ...
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### As a code monkey, how to discuss programming with a guy who almost has a doctorate in computer science [closed]

A friend of my wife's is coming over for dinner tonight and he is a lot smarter than me. What do we have in common, well... A Bachelor's in Computer Science, and that should be enough of a ...
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### Information Technology -> Specialization of Computer Science? [closed]

My friend said to me "IT is a specialization of Computer Science". I said it isn't. Is he correct? Can someone clarify the difference between IT and CS? I know they are related but according to me ...
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### is coding important? [closed]

Is coding important to be good at computer science? Should one implement the algorithm to know it well ? I remember one cs professor's idiom that "I never code"
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### Publishing: Hows and Whos of Peer Reviews

So, I'm sitting here, chewing on a couple of novel data structures. I'm thinking of coding them up, but I'ven't got any professional use for them at the moment. Nonetheless, they solve interesting ...
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### If someone offers you an unverified statement regarding software development practices, do you respond with “citation needed”? [closed]

Recently I attended a lecture given by Greg Wilson (Chief Scientist of Software Carpentry). From the abstract: The idea that claims about software development practices should be based on evidence ...
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### What is the one bit of computer science theory I should know? [closed]

Speaking as someone with an Electronic Engineering rather than Computer Science degree, what is the one bit of computer science I should know to make me a better real world programmer? (By real world ...
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Well I've been hitting the books wherever I can. I have an interview coming up, first one via phone, for a software engineer position. I've read all the blog posts, I've read all the accounts of ...
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### Was getting a computing science degree easier 10 years ago [closed]

I am currently a 3rd year computing science student at a Canadian University. I find it quite challenging, and extremely interesting. One thing that i have noticed is that each person i speak to that ...