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 ...
30
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6answers
5k views

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 ...
7
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6answers
777 views

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 ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
5
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7answers
804 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
449 views

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 ...
82
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16answers
13k views

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 ...
6
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
522 views

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 ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
30k views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
395 views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
11k views

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 ...
14
votes
6answers
7k views

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?
10
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7answers
3k views

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(...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
17
votes
13answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

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 (...
15
votes
4answers
42k views

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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
32
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16answers
7k views

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 ...
12
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7answers
1k views

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....
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Advantages/Disadvantages of NFA over DFA and vice versa

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
717 views

Computational intensive application: loading vs. querying database

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
747 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
102 views

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 ...
4
votes
8answers
6k views

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 ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

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, ...
12
votes
5answers
12k views

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 ...
17
votes
18answers
16k views

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 ...
62
votes
29answers
11k views

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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
624 views

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 ...
43
votes
27answers
10k views

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 ...
8
votes
17answers
6k views

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 ...
10
votes
3answers
704 views

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 ...
17
votes
26answers
29k views

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?
29
votes
11answers
21k views

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 ...
10
votes
13answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

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 ...
10
votes
15answers
1k views

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"
7
votes
3answers
204 views

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 ...
13
votes
7answers
381 views

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 ...
26
votes
18answers
2k views

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 ...
28
votes
4answers
12k views

Upcoming Google interview, looking for some preparation advice [closed]

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 ...
7
votes
12answers
2k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Background & Research Methods section (Writing an Article)

It is my first time writing an article on a software project. I am supposed to use ACM UbiComp paper format. I already have a structure that I should follow and there is a Background & Research ...
14
votes
7answers
7k views

What discipline does Computer Science belong to? [closed]

Is Computer Science science, applied mathematics, engineering, art, philosophy? "Other"? To provide background, here is Steven Wartik's blog posting for Scientific American titled "I'm not a real ...