Philosophy of Computer Science

What Is Engineering?

And Is Computer Science an Engineering Discipline?

Last Update: 4 October 2011

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted

Significant items are in boldface; items are listed in chronological order.

  1. Some interesting websites that attempt to define "engineering":

    1. National Academy of Engineering FAQ
    2. ASEE K12 Center
    3. Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering
    4. University of Washington College of Engineering
    5. UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
      • Can you find the UB Engineering definition of "engineering"?

  2. Bunge, Mario (1974), "Towards a Philosophy of Technology" in Michalos, Alex C. (ed.), Philosophical Problems of Science and Technology (Boston: Allyn & Bacon): 28-47.

  3. Arden, Bruce W. (1980), "COSERS Overview" [PDF], in Bruce W. Arden (ed.), What Can Be Automated? The Computer Science and Engineering Research Study (COSERS) (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), Ch. 1, pp. 1-31.

  4. Abrahams, Paul (1987), "What Is Computer Science?", Communications of the ACM 30(6) (June): 472-473.

  5. Loui, Michael C. (1987), "Computer Science Is an Engineering Discipline" Engineering Education 78(3): 175-178.

  6. Denning, Peter J.; Comer, Douglas E.; Gries, David; Mulder, Michael C.; Tucker, Allen; Turner, A. Joe; & Young, Paul R. (1989), "Computing as a Discipline", Communications of the ACM 32(1) (January): 9-23.

  7. Hartmanis, Juris, & Lin, Herbert (eds.?) (1992), "What Is Computer Science and Engineering?" [PDF], in Juris Hartmanis & Herbert Lin (eds.), Computing the Future: A Broader Agenda for Computer Science and Engineering (Washington, DC: National Academy Press), Ch. 6, pp. 163-216.

  8. Florman, Samuel C. (1994), The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, 2nd edition (New York: St. Martin's Press).

  9. Abelson, Harold, & Sussman, Gerald Jay, with Sussman, Julie (1996), Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, "Preface to the First Edition".

  10. Brooks, Frederick P., Jr. (1996), "The Computer Scientist as Toolsmith II", Communications of the ACM 39(3) (March): 61-68.

  11. Davis, Michael (1998), Thinking Like an Engineer: Studies in the Ethics of a Profession (New York: Oxford University Press).

  12. Davis, Martin (2000), "Introduction", in Martin Davis, The Universal Computer (New York: W.W. Norton).

  13. NEW
    Malpas, Robert (2000), "The Universe of Engineering: A UK Perspective" (London: Royal Academy of Engineering).

  14. Petroski, Henry (2003), "Early [Engineering] Education", American Scientist 91 (May-June): 206-209.

      See also:
    1. Petroski, Henry (2006), "A Great Profession", American Scientist 94 (July-August): 304-307.

      • "Here, in a mere 66 words, [former President Herbert] Hoover captured the essence of engineering and its contributions to society and culture":

        • Engineering "is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege." (p.304)

    2. Petroski, Henry (2007), "Lab Notes", American Scientist 95(2) (March-April): 114-117.

      • How "a theoretician develop[ed] his applied side"."

    3. Petroski, Henry (2008), "Scientists as Inventors", American Scientist 96(5) (September-October): 368-371.

      • The first two sections argue that all scientists are sometimes engineers and all engineers are sometimes scientists.

  15. Denning, Peter J.; & Riehle, Richard D. (2009), "Is Software Engineering Engineering?", Communications of the ACM 52(3) (March): 24-26.

  16. Hoare, C.A.R. (2009), "Retrospective: An Axiomatic Basis for Computer Programming", Communications of the ACM 52(10) (October): 30-32.

  17. Simons, Peter M.; & Michael, Sir Duncan (eds.) (2009), Philosophy and Engineering, The Monist 92(3) (July).

  18. NEW
    Tedre, Matti (2009), "Computing as Engineering", Journal of Universal Computer Science 15(8): 1642–1658.

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