Monday, 9 July 2007

Computer Science Reconsidered: The Invocation Model of Process Expression

The title of the review of this book by ITwire reads:

Want to be a computer scientist? Forget maths

According to the review, the author (Karl M. Fant) argues that mathematics (algorithm in particular)
has been largely ineffective as a paradigm for computer science. because mathematicians, notably John Von Neumann and Alan Turing, were intimately involved with the early development of digital electronic computers in the 1940s they transplanted a mathematical model of computation, including the algorithm - commonly understood to be an exact prescription, defining a computational process, leading from various initial data to the desired result - into the fledgling science of computers.


The primary questions of computer science are not of computational possibilities but of expressional possibilities. Computer science does not need a theory of computation; it needs a comprehensive theory of process expression.

Let me ask a question: Should training of engineers include some Physics?

My answer would be yes, but not to the degree as a student specialising to become a Physicist. Some fundamental understanding of the basic concepts that the profession will need is part of the education.

Basic algrothm such as sorting, searching, stacks, queues, boolean logics, ... are the basic building blocks of "expression" and exclusion of such fundamental concepts in preparing a computer science profession, to me, is counter-productive.

1 comment:

scottj said...

Here is the online copy of chapter 1 of that book (Computer Science Reconsidered: The Invocation Model of Process Expression) upon which that review was based: