computer scientist
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A computer scientist is a person who is trained in the academic study of
computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to practical disciplines (inclu ...
. Computer scientists typically work on the theoretical side of computation, as opposed to the hardware side on which computer engineers mainly focus (although there is overlap). Although computer scientists can also focus their work and research on specific areas (such as
algorithm In mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represen ...
and
data structure In computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to pr ...
development and design,
software engineering Software engineering is a systematic engineering approach to software development. A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate software, computer software. Th ...
,
information theory Information theory is the scientific study of the quantification, storage, and communication of information. The field was originally established by the works of Harry Nyquist and Ralph Hartley, in the 1920s, and Claude Shannon in the 194 ...
, database theory,
computational complexity theory In theoretical computer science and mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. ...
, numerical analysis, programming language theory, computer graphics, and
computer vision Computer vision is an interdisciplinary scientific field that deals with how computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations ( computation) automatically. Modern digita ...
), their foundation is the theoretical study of computing from which these other fields derive. A primary goal of computer scientists is to develop or validate models, often mathematical, to describe the properties of computational systems ( processors, programs, computers interacting with people, computers interacting with other computers, etc.) with an overall objective of discovering designs that yield useful benefits (faster, smaller, cheaper, more precise, etc.).


Education

Most computer scientists are required to possess a
PhD PHD or PhD may refer to: * Doctor of Philosophy A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD, Ph.D., or DPhil; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was orig ...
, M.S., or B.S. in computer science, or other similar fields like Information and Computer Science (CIS), or a closely related discipline such as
mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics ...
or
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which ...
.


Areas of specialization

*
Theoretical computer science Theoretical computer science (TCS) is a subset of general computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of com ...
– including data structures and algorithms, theory of computation,
information theory Information theory is the scientific study of the quantification, storage, and communication of information. The field was originally established by the works of Harry Nyquist and Ralph Hartley, in the 1920s, and Claude Shannon in the 194 ...
and coding theory, programming language theory, and formal methods *Computer systems – including
computer architecture In computer engineering, computer architecture is a description of the structure of a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations ( computation) automatically. Moder ...
and
computer engineering Computer engineering (CoE or CpE) is a branch of electrical engineering and computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algor ...
, computer performance analysis, concurrency, and
distributed computing A distributed system is a system whose components are located on different networked computers, which communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages to one another from any system. Distributed computing is a field of computer sci ...
,
computer network A computer network is a set of computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations ( computation) automatically. Modern digital electronic computers can perform generi ...
s,
computer security Computer security, cybersecurity (cyber security), or information technology security (IT security) is the protection of computer systems and networks from attack by malicious actors that may result in unauthorized information disclosure, t ...
and
cryptography Cryptography, or cryptology (from grc, , translit=kryptós "hidden, secret"; and ''graphein'', "to write", or ''-logia ''-logy'' is a suffix in the English language, used with words originally adapted from Ancient Greek A ...
, and
database In computing, a database is an organized collection of data stored and accessed electronically. Small databases can be stored on a file system, while large databases are hosted on computer clusters or cloud storage. The design of databases ...
s. *Computer applications – including computer graphics and visualization, human–computer interaction, scientific computing, and
artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence—perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information—demonstrated by machines, as opposed to intelligence displayed by animals and humans. Example tasks in which this is done include speec ...
. *
Software engineering Software engineering is a systematic engineering approach to software development. A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate software, computer software. Th ...
– the application of engineering to software development in a systematic method


Employment

Computer scientists are often hired by software publishing firms, scientific research and development organizations where they develop the theories that allow new technologies to be developed. Computer scientists are also employed by educational institutions such as
universities A university () is an institution of higher (or tertiary) education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may incl ...
. Computer scientists can follow more practical applications of their knowledge, doing things such as software engineering. They can also be found in the field of information technology consulting, and may be seen as a type of mathematician, given how much of the field depends on mathematics. Computer scientists employed in industry may eventually advance into managerial or project leadership positions. Employment prospects for computer scientists are said to be excellent. Such prospects seem to be attributed, in part, to very rapid growth in computer systems design and related services industry, and the software publishing industry, which are projected to be among the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy.


See also

* Computational scientist *
Software engineering Software engineering is a systematic engineering approach to software development. A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to design, develop, maintain, test, and evaluate software, computer software. Th ...
* List of computer scientists * List of computing people * List of pioneers in computer science


References

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