And the links..

By: Thiago Kurovski (, February 19, 2008 7:01 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
JasonB ( on 2/18/08 wrote:
>Ilya Lipovsky ( on 2/18/08 wrote:
>>Information Technology is part computer science and part business and management.
>I'm afraid the terms aren't as rigorously defined as you imply. "IT" is often used
>as a synonym for "software engineering". According to Wikipedia, the Information
>Technology Association of America (ITAA) define it as "the study, design, development,
>implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly
>software applications and computer hardware." No mention of business or management (of people, anyway).

This is a rather abused term, I would imagine... We shouldn't expect much logic here.

>>Computer Engineering is part computer science and part electrical engineering.
>You probably meant "electronic engineering" (although, according to Wikipedia,
>this distinction exists more outside the US than in).

It depends. At least in the country I live (South America, Brazil), almost all Federal (and most other state-owned) universities have Electrical Engineering courses, that are in fact "umbrellas" for many engineering "small areas" related to "something that Maxwell talked about". This does not happen on privete universities, probably because most don't have EE courses anyway...

This use of the "Electrical Engineering" term probably occurs because our engineering council (CONFEA: Federal Council of Engineering, Architechture and Agronomy) only considers officialy the title: "Engenheiro Eletricista" (Electrical Engineer) that is given to everybody from real Electrical (dams and all) to Telecom Engineers. I would expect this happens on Europe too. In fact, I'm almost certain it happens on Portugal. So, it's obvious why any serious state university at one of these countries will use the term Electrical Engineering on it's courses.

But, at least on Brazil, the general public and the engineers that work on electronical things tend to consider themselves "Engenheiros Eletrônicos" (Electronic Engineers), not "Engenheiros Eletricistas" (Electrical Engineers), for rather obvious reasons.

Anyway, the knowledge offered in all Brazilian Computing Engineering courses I know is too general and superficial to consider it similar to that of an Electronical Engineer. So, I would expect it to be included in the bigger Electrical Engineering umbrella. Of course, I don't know if this applies to EUA.

Sorry for my bad English and my huge answer...

>>As to informatics, the article in Wikipedia is a bit unclear, but I suppose, according
>>to it, in the US it connotes a general study of information processing and exchange
>>between natural (e.g. humans) and artificial systems (e.g. PC's).

I agree. Informatics, by ethimology, should be a science dealing with information processing and exchange, and that's how it's used on most contexts. Altough, personally, I would thing it's rather near Applied Mathematics and Logic...

>>I don't know, but personally, having double majored in physics and computer science,
>>the term "science" means something different to me. In a way, used together with
>>the word "computer" the whole thing doesn't sound quite right. Hence, the search for a subjectively "better" term.

Hum... Personally, I never understood how you could create a science just to study a machine and it's theoretical aspects... Personally, I would think Computer Science is a branch of Applied Mathematics.

>As I said in my other post, that's probably because you have a restrictive view
>of what science is. At my university the mathematics department was part of the
>science faculty, and applied mathematics is basically indistinguishable from physics
>and engineering; likewise, theoretical physics has far more in common with mathematics
>than it does with empirical sciences.

Well, Mathematics looks like a science to me. It seems you use a variation of the scientific method that is applied to mental "experiments": a new mathematical theorem has to make sense, exactly as a new physics theory, right? The biggest difference, at least to me, is "where" it needs to make sense.

Engineering is another entirely different matter. It uses knowledge that works, not knowledge that's right according to the scientific method... or right anyway. And even theoretical physics has to "work" (make accurate analysis), or it will be useless and soon discarded.
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      And the links..Groo2008/02/17 04:28 PM
        And the links..Vincent Diepeveen2008/02/18 02:33 AM
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