Being a researcher, I have many very analytical and accomplished computer scientist friends. In my academic circles, particularly with students, my friends usually ask: Where is computer science in it?
I find this question very amusing because Computer Science, like many other disciplines, is a growing area. Conservatives always try to define their discipline closer to the core that existed about 100 years ago and liberals try to take you to the so called fringes. So in computer science when my friends ask this question they are referring to questions that their discipline — say databases– was trying to address some time ago. On the other hand, my liberal friends consider disciplines like bio-informatics or web science as core computer science. So which CS are we taking about? Interestingly, many disciplines — the whole disciplines like Databases — were not considered respectable disciplines in their early stages by the then conservatives of the field.
To me more important question is — what problem are we trying to solve. And if it is a useful problem, then it does not matter whether it is computer science or cognitive science or chemical science. If it belongs to a particular specific current domain, then good; if it does not belong to any of those, so be it – we will help people and society by solving this any way. And who knows, in the process may create a completely new and useful discipline like the Web.
So young researchers should first select an important problem to solve and then only — secondarily — worry where it belongs.
Thanks for the post.It was nice reading it.I have taken a cue from this post.You are right..it is important to select a problem first and then try to analyze it.Look forward to more such useful posts from you.
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Computers aren’t even 100 years old. I can only imagine the number of new programming languages we will see in the future. We are getting closer to where we just snap widgets together and they all work seamlessly.