Importances of computer science/ict

ICTWhat Is ICT Education and Why Is It Important?

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) education is basically our society’s efforts to teach its current and emerging citizens valuable knowledge and skills around computing and communications devices, software that operates them, applications that run on them and systems that are built with them.What are these things? How do they work? How do you use them productively? How are they deployed, assembled, managed and maintained to create productive systems? How they are used in specific business and industry settings? What are the underlying science and technologies behind them and how might those be developed to advance ICT fields?ICT is complex and quickly changing, and it is confusing for many people. It is so pervasive in the modern world that everyone has some understanding of it, but those understandings are often wildly divergent.

There are many important dimensions to ICT education, including:

  • ICT/Digital Literacy – Today, everyone needs a basic understanding of ICT and how to make productive use of it, just to be good students, workers and citizens. Teaching people how to be competent basic users of ICT technologies is an important role of ICT education, so they will be successful in their academic and work careers, and so they can efficiently participate in modern technical society. As part of its study validating U.S. Department of Labor IT Competency model content in California, MPICT determined with 99% confidence California employer agreement with the following statements regarding Digital Literacy:
    • “Information and communication technologies (ICT) competencies are increasingly important for most of our employers, regardless of role. If there was an agreed-upon standard for “digital literacy”, or ICT competencies expected of all workers, regardless of workplace role, my organization would value a credential based on that standard as a way of validating ICT skills for non-ICT workers.” (70.5% agree or very much agree)
    • “In the 21st century, an ability to work with information and communication technologies is becoming as essential to education, life and workplace success as “reading, writing and arithmetic”.” ICT Digital Literacy should be considered a basic skill by educational systems, something taught to and assessed for all students. (85.2% agree or very much agree)
    • This study details 49 competencies for ICT User level knowledge and skills, as an actionable, teachable and assessable definition of what people need to know and be able to do to be “digitally literate.”
  • ICT Infrastructure and Support Applied Technologists – Beyond a basic user competency, our society also needs more knowledgeable and capable technical people to deploy, manage and maintain ICT equipment, software and systems, so they work well for users. In all industries, these people manage computer and communications hardware, software and applications; networked systems; online information sharing, communication and commerce systems; business processes making use of these systems; and user support.
  • Specialized Business and Industry Uses of ICT – As enabling technologies, ICT is used strategically in almost all businesses and industries. Many have developed specialized systems and uses of ICT, and many have specialized legal and regulatory requirements; quality control systems; integrations with production and research equipment and systems; security requirements; and software applications. For example:
    • Bioscience industries rely on specialized ICT systems and applications to conduct research, analyze organic materials, produce biotech products and do required reporting;
    • Financial services industries rely on ICT to maintain customer records, do business, conduct trades, do financial reporting, secure proprietary information and comply with regulations;
    • Manufacturing industries use specialized computer controlled systems and robotics to design, produce and test products.
    • Property management operations use ICT to network and control heating and cooling, lighting and building access systems.
    • Electric utilities use ICT to monitor and manage electricity distribution, customer billing and smart metering systems.
    • Telecommunications, cable TV and other entertainment industries use ICT to store content, manage customers and deliver their services.

    We need to develop a competent workforce that understands not only relevant technologies, but also specialized business and industry environments and operations, to meet these specialized needs.

     

  • ICT Research and Development Scientists – ICT fields themselves are under constant pressure to evolve and improve. We need people who deeply understand the science and technologies underlying ICT and who can work to advance the fields.

In virtually all modern businesses and industries, and in modern society in general, ICT has key strategic roles. It is strategically important to develop citizens and workers who can competently and efficiently operate and add value in these systems and environments.

ICT Logo2What is Computer Science?

Computer science is a discipline that spans theory and practice. It requires thinking both in abstract terms and in concrete terms. The practical side of computing can be seen everywhere. Nowadays, practically everyone is a computer user, and many people are even computer programmers. Getting computers to do what you want them to do requires intensive hands-on experience. But computer science can be seen on a higher level, as a science of problem solving. Computer scientists must be adept at modeling and analyzing problems. They must also be able to design solutions and verify that they are correct. Problem solving requires precision, creativity, and careful reasoning.

  • Computer science also has strong connections to other disciplines. Many problems in science, engineering, health care, business, and other areas can be solved effectively with computers, but finding a solution requires both computer science expertise and knowledge of the particular application domain. Thus, computer scientists often become proficient in other subjects.Finally, computer science has a wide range of specialties. These include computer architecture, software systems, graphics, artifical intelligence, computational science, and software engineering. Drawing from a common core of computer science knowledge, each specialty area focuses on particular challenges.
  • Computer Science is practiced by mathematicians, scientists and engineers. Mathematics, the origins of Computer Science, provides reason and logic. Science provides the methodology for learning and refinement. Engineering provides the techniques for building hardware and software.Finally, and most importantly, computer scientists are computer scientists because it is fun. (Not to mention lucrative career opportunities!)
  • Another definition from http://www.csab.org/comp_sci_profession.htmlComputer Science: The Profession
    Computer science is a discipline that involves the understanding and design of computers and computational processes. In its most general form it is concerned with the understanding of information transfer and transformation. Particular interest is placed on making processes efficient and endowing them with some form of intelligence. The discipline ranges from theoretical studies of algorithms to practical problems of implementation in terms of computational hardware and software.A central focus is on processes for handling and manipulating information. Thus, the discipline spans both advancing the fundamental understanding of algorithms and information processes in general as well as the practical design of efficient reliable software and hardware to meet given specifications. Computer science is a young discipline that is evolving rapidly from its beginnings in the 1940’s. As such it includes theoretical studies, experimental methods, and engineering design all in one discipline. This differs radically from most physical sciences that separate the understanding and advancement of the science from the applications of the science in fields of engineering design and implementation. In computer science there is an inherent intermingling of the theoretical concepts of computability and algorithmic efficiency with the modern practical advancements in electronics that continue to stimulate advances in the discipline. It is this close interaction of the theoretical and design aspects of the field that binds them together into a single discipline.Because of the rapid evolution it is difficult to provide a complete list of computer science areas. Yet it is clear that some of the crucial areas are theory, algorithms and data structures, programming methodology and languages, and computer elements and architecture. Other areas include software engineering, artificial intelligence, computer networking and communication, database systems, parallel computation, distributed computation, computer-human interaction, computer graphics, operating systems, and numerical and symbolic computation.A professional computer scientist must have a firm foundation in the crucial areas of the field and will most likely have an in-depth knowledge in one or more of the other areas of the discipline, depending upon the person’s particular area of practice. Thus, a well educated computer scientist should be able to apply the fundamental concepts and techniques of computation, algorithms, and computer design to a specific design problem. The work includes detailing of specifications, analysis of the problem, and provides a design that functions as desired, has satisfactory performance, is reliable and maintainable, and meets desired cost criteria. Clearly, the computer scientist must not only have sufficient training in the computer science areas to be able to accomplish such tasks, but must also have a firm understanding in areas of mathematics and science, as well as a broad education in liberal studies to provide a basis for understanding the societal implications of the work being performed.

     

  • From Mississippi State UniversityComputer Science is the study of principles, applications, and technologies of computing and computers. It involves the study of data and data structures and the algorithms to process these structures; of principles of computer architecture-both hardware and software; of problem-solving and design methodologies; of computer-related topics such as numerical analysis, operations research, and artificial intelligence; and of language design, structure, and translation technique. Computer Science provides a foundation of knowledge for students with career objectives in a wide range of computing and computer-related professions.
  • From http://www2.cs.unb.ca/ Problem solving.The study of efficient and effective software development techniques.Team work and communication skills.An interest in applying technology to problems in a wide variety of disciplines. 
  • From the University of Missouri – Rolla http://www.cs.umr.edu/csdept/career/what_is_cs.htmlComputer Science is concerned with information in much the same sense that physics is concerned with energy; it is devoted to the representation, storage, manipulation and presentation of information.Computer Science is concerned with “the study of symbol-manipulating machines, with communication between man and machine and with the application of these machines”.Major areas of Computer Science include:1. Operating Systems–concerned with the development and structure of complex programs which facilitate man-machine communications.

    2. Computational Science–the analysis of numerical methods for solving mathematical problems with a computer.

    3. Programming Languages–the study of the design and properties of languages by which humans communicate with computers.

    4. Architecture–the study and use of mathematical logic to design electronic circuits.

    5. Intelligent Systems–concerned with means by which computers may perform tasks which might be characterized as “intelligent” if performed by humans.

    6. Automata Theory–an abstract study of computers and their capabilities.

    7. Information Storage and Retrieval–the study of methods for storing a vast amount of data in a computer and methods for searching and retrieving this data.

    8. Software Engineering–the study of tools and techniques for software design, development, testing and maintenance.

     

  • Another way to view any science is to look at the methods used within that science. In some sense these methods are similar in many (most?) sciences, but they can take on different characteristics in each discipline. Four important methods used in the study of computer science are:
    • invention — formulation of new algorithmic and new architectural paradigms
    • design — software engineering uses design principles to build complex systems to solve computational problems
    • analysis — certainly a major focus within computer science is the analysis and evaluation of software, algorithms and architecture.
    • experimentation — use of experiments to reveal computing principles is an important method of scientific investigation within computer science.
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