The Department of Computer Science & Engineering

CSE 115
Introduction To Computer Science for Majors I
Lecture C
Lecture Notes
Stuart C. Shapiro
Spring, 2001

Computer Science

What is Computer Science?
See the Departmental statement.

My version:
Computer science is the study of procedures that are or could be carried out in the real world by physical (including biological, mechanical, and electronic) agents.

See my position paper, What Is Computer Science?

Two key terms:
1. A manner of proceeding; a way of performing or effecting something. 2. A series of steps taken to accomplish an end.
[The American Heritage Dictionary of The English Language, Third Edition Electronic Version, Houghton Mifflin, 1992]

Algorithm (for a problem):
A procedure for solving the problem that is unambiguous and effective (finite and correct).

Example: To determine if a number (decimal, integer) is divisible by 3, add its digits. If the result is divisible by 3, so is the original number.

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Copyright © 2001 by Stuart C. Shapiro. All rights reserved.

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