Why This Question

Hi i am Computer Science student. As a computer science student I want to know the definition of computer science . yes !! i know some definition but these are not satisfactory , you guys have a question why these definition are not satisfactory because there are some which not have clear meaning and not understandable . There are few examples :

1. Wikipedia :##

Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information.

This Wikipedia definition is not clear meaning like there is keyword use "information ". I don't understand why CS is study of information ??


Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems. Unlike electrical and computer engineers, computer scientists deal mostly with software and software systems; this includes their theory, design, development, and application.

This definition sounds like Computer definition .

3. Some Random Top Web :

Computer Science is study of computer and computation as well as theoretical and practical application of computer .

In this definition there is some thing which is don't think any sense "cs is study of practical application of computer " so i think 100k + applicating of computer are there and these are computer science ... no sense

What I Need

I need just a Computer science definition . Which have and make sense and also have clear meaning

  • $\begingroup$ Couple of my old blog posts that you may find useful blog.languager.org/2011/02/cs-education-is-fat-and-weak-1.html and blog.languager.org/2011/02/cs-education-is-fat-and-weak-2.html. You are right to be unsatisfied with the poverty of such a basic term's definition. $\endgroup$
    – Rusi
    Aug 11 at 3:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I would say there is no standard definition. The invention of general-purpose computing machinery as we know it, about 70 years ago, has caused interest in studying a wide variety of disparate topics that were previously studied to a much lesser degree, and "computer science" as a result consists of a disparate and ill-defined collection of topics whose only real nexus is their relevance to either the construction or the application of computing machinery. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Aug 11 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ According to your this comment which base on some information we can say that there is proper definitions are available for math , physics and almost every field which are based upon human curiosity . And also there is not any stranded definitions are available which are created on the base of some other fields and research. $\endgroup$
    – Hamza
    Aug 16 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ I invite you to try your hand at "a proper definition" of math $\endgroup$
    – Rusi
    Aug 16 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry i am talking with steve and if you protecting him/her then i use the words "According to your this comment which base on some information.... " it is not my words .. $\endgroup$
    – Hamza
    Aug 16 at 15:43

2 Answers 2


What you seek doesn't really exist. "Computer Science" is an umbrella term that was coined in 1956. According to the Wikipedia article, there were a bunch of terms that were proposed for the field:

Turingineer, turologist, flow-charts-man, applied meta-mathematician, applied epistemologist, computing science, datalogy, computics, and information and mathematics.

Note that "information" is still in there -- information theory is one of the foundational mathematical fields of computer science. Without it, computers probably wouldn't exist.

So, the reason it's an umbrella term is based on where it came from. What we call computer science was birthed out of various, closely related fields of mathematics. (I'd suggest that computational theory, set theory/boolean algebra, category theory, and information theory are the biggest four, but there were many more, and others may make a case that some of the other fields were also totally central.)

Early computer science departments were traditionally smaller departments within mathematics departments.

Over time, however, programming, software engineering, programming, artificial intelligence, information systems, information technology, machine learning, networking, cryptography, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc have all become prominent fields in their own right, and by historical accident have all remained under the umbrella term of computer science.

Some people feel very strongly that the mathematical stuff should no longer be included in the term, and some people feel equally strongly that the newer, more practical stuff should instead be excluded. Where we are now is essentially a confusing mish-mosh wherein anything that is either related to computers or related to the math around computers can reasonably claim to be under the big computer science umbrella.

  • $\begingroup$ Ok you want to say computer science is umbrella term because of this computer science in definition-less .. Then Math , physics , etc are umbrella terms and because this these all science have no definition because these are umbrella and they have lot of branches .... $\endgroup$
    – Hamza
    Aug 16 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Hamza You're pushing on the problem of defining anything. Any definition gets too fuzzy if you start to look at edge cases and such. What is a chair? Is a tree stump a chair? Is the ground a chair? Etc. What I'm claiming about computer science is that, by historical accident, it encompasses fields so unrelated to one another that by all rights, they should not be grouped together at all. And that is distinctly unlike math and physics, and it is the central problem when trying to make even a half-reasonable definition of "computer science". $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Aug 16 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry but i am not agree with you .. If anyone don't know the answer of some then it have 2 case . 1 he/she excuse . 2 give some random , historical , chemicals and some thing else to prove its answer .. which have not any reason and research behind it .. $\endgroup$
    – Hamza
    Aug 16 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Hamza I am afraid that some of your message got lost in translation, so I can't really respond to points 1 and 2. However, imagine that auto mechanics are considered part of the field of physics, simply because cars emerged out of that field. How, then, would you define physics? Lots of people, maybe most, who go to study it are doing so to understand how to fix cars, not to understand the fundamental equations that govern the universe. This is the conundrum we find ourselves with in computer science, where programming, IT, and SE are still considered parts of the field. $\endgroup$
    – Ben I.
    Aug 17 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ ok i agree , then tell me what isss computer science and what is means by its fields ? $\endgroup$
    – Hamza
    Aug 17 at 15:21

computer science refers to designing and building computers and programs. Information technology, on the other hand, refers to maintaining and process of identifying those computers and their networks, systems, and databases to ensure they run smoothly and peacefully


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