And the links..

By: Ilya Lipovsky (lipovsky.delete@this.cs.bu.edu), February 18, 2008 2:27 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
JasonB (no@spam.com) on 2/17/08 wrote:
---------------------------
>Ilya Lipovsky (lipovsky@cs.bu.edu) on 2/15/08 wrote:
>---------------------------
>>Interesting. Curiously, I work in the high performance numerical computing field,
>>and all of my (former, potential, and current) bosses, I mean the ones who write
>>optimized algorithms in assembly for a living - they all have *non-CS* education,
>>at least originally - all of them majoring in either physics or math (but with Ph.D.'s),
>>though I've seen one coming from chemistry.
>
>Heh -- there are various reasons for that; for older guys, it's because there really
>weren't many CS courses about during those days. When I was a student all of the
>oldest generation had PhDs in either physics or maths.
>
>For the younger generation, that might tell you more about the job prospects in their chosen area of study. :-)
>

I agree.

>Or, it could just be that numerical computing is an applied branch of computer
>science that is more useful in fields like physics than in computer science itself,
>and there's more motivation for a physicist to pick up the little bit of computer
>science they need to know to implement those algorithms effectively than there is
>for a computer scientist to do the reverse.
>
>>But I don't know if this can be generalized to saying that a CS Ph.D. is incompetent
>>when it comes to writing fast code. *If* this indeed is the case, then maybe it's
>>just because a lot of CS programs in academia focus more on higher level languages
>>and abstractions, omitting the engineering component. If I recall properly, one
>>of my CS professors joked "Computer Science is the only "science" that's not."
>
>It's a very broad field. Some parts are definitely science, others are definitely
>engineering. (One of my friends was doing a PhD so theoretical that some
>professors complained it should really have been a maths PhD. But that was only
>because they didn't understand his work. It was definitely appropriate for CS, in
>my view; they were just from the "applied" end of the spectrum.)
>

Yes, and some parts are definitely pure mathematics. Another one of my CS professors occasionally would need help from his daughters to use his PC and to establish a modem connection to ISP. He was a "computer scientist," but he actually was a mathematician, studying and proving theorems regarding computability, reductions, complexity, and general information theory. But, in my humble personal opinion he isn't quite a computer **scientist**.

By the way, my other post mentions briefly that I don't consider computer science to be science. I just don't know if studying man-made abstract structures can be considered a science. Science entails experimentation with subsequent discovery of natural laws with subsequent fitting of various phenomena to these laws. Physics and chemistry are prime examples.

Accordingly, *if* computer science is a science, it is as much a science as, say, number theory - there are always new abstract relationships and properties to be discovered/modeled, but they are "out there," in the abstract.

>I would no more expect someone on the science end of the spectrum to write really
>tight code than I would expect a professor in mechanical engineering to do a really
>good job servicing my car. That doesn't mean they're useless, just that you need
>to hire the right person for the job, and a lack of technical skill does not reflect
>on their ability otherwise. I didn't like the code that my aforementioned friend
>wrote, but I respected the fact that he implemented a Turing machine in the K&R
>C preprocessor (the ANSI one isn't Turing complete).
>
>

Very good points, yes!
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TopicPosted ByDate
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  And the links..Anders Jensen2008/02/14 04:25 AM
    Disappointing..Linus Torvalds2008/02/14 10:17 AM
      Disappointing..Mark Roulo2008/02/14 11:03 AM
        LOL (NT)Linus Torvalds2008/02/14 05:43 PM
      Disappointing..David Patterson2008/02/15 11:53 AM
        Disappointing..Linus Torvalds2008/02/15 05:01 PM
          Disappointing..anon2008/02/15 08:54 PM
            Disappointing..JasonB2008/02/19 07:45 PM
          Disappointing..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/22 06:27 PM
          Disappointing..Scott Bolt2008/03/16 11:36 AM
        Need for new programming languagesVincent Diepeveen2008/02/19 06:18 AM
          Need for new programming languagesPete Wilson2008/02/24 11:41 AM
        Disappointing..Zan2008/02/25 10:52 PM
      Disappointing..Robert Myers2008/02/19 09:47 PM
        Disappointing..Fred Bosick2008/02/22 06:38 PM
          Disappointing..Robert Myers2008/03/01 01:17 PM
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          The limits of single CPU speed are here.Howard Chu2008/03/15 01:02 AM
            The limits of single CPU speed are here.slacker2008/03/15 08:08 AM
              The limits of single CPU speed are here.Howard Chu2008/03/17 01:47 AM
                The limits of single CPU speed are here.slacker2008/03/17 10:04 AM
    And the links..Howard Chu2008/02/14 12:58 PM
      I take some of that backHoward Chu2008/02/14 01:55 PM
      And the links..Jesper Frimann2008/02/14 02:02 PM
      And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/15 02:24 PM
        And the links..iz2008/02/17 10:55 AM
          And the links..JasonB2008/02/17 07:09 PM
            And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/18 01:54 PM
              And the links..JasonB2008/02/18 10:34 PM
                And the links..Thiago Kurovski2008/02/19 07:01 PM
                  And the links..iz2008/02/20 10:36 AM
                And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/20 03:37 PM
                  And the links..JasonB2008/02/20 06:28 PM
        And the links..JasonB2008/02/17 06:47 PM
          And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/18 02:27 PM
            And the links..JasonB2008/02/18 10:00 PM
              And the links..JasonB2008/02/19 03:14 AM
              And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/20 04:29 PM
                And the links..JasonB2008/02/20 06:14 PM
                  And the links..Ilya Lipovsky2008/02/21 11:07 AM
    And the links..Howard Chu2008/02/14 01:16 PM
      And the links..Jukka Larja2008/02/15 03:00 AM
      Berkeley View on ParallelismDavid Kanter2008/02/15 11:41 AM
        Berkeley View on ParallelismHoward Chu2008/02/15 12:49 PM
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            Berkeley View on ParallelismJasonB2008/02/20 06:11 PM
              Berkeley View on ParallelismFritzR2008/02/24 03:08 PM
          rubyinline, etc.nordsieck2008/02/22 03:38 PM
            rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/02/23 05:53 AM
              rubyinline, etc.nordsieck2008/03/02 01:40 AM
                rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/02 02:49 AM
                  rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/02 07:41 AM
                    rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/02 08:19 AM
                      rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/02 08:30 AM
                        rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/02 05:26 PM
                rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/02 06:01 PM
                  rubyinline, etc.Anonymous2008/03/03 02:11 AM
                    rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/03 09:40 AM
                      rubyinline, etc.Foo_2008/03/09 09:59 AM
                        rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/10 01:12 AM
                        rubyinline, etc.Gabriele Svelto2008/03/10 02:22 AM
                          rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/10 04:35 AM
                            C++ for beginnersMichael S2008/03/10 05:16 AM
                              C++ for beginnersJasonB2008/03/10 06:35 AM
                          C++Michael S2008/03/10 04:55 AM
                rubyinline, etc.Linus Torvalds2008/03/03 11:35 AM
                  rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/03 02:35 PM
                    rubyinline, etc.JasonB2008/03/03 03:57 PM
                      rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/03 08:10 PM
                        rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/04 01:53 AM
                          rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/04 07:51 AM
                            rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/04 08:29 AM
                              rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/04 08:53 AM
                                rubyinline, etc.Michael S2008/03/04 11:20 AM
                                  rubyinline, etc.Dean Kent2008/03/04 02:13 PM
                                    read it. thanks (NT)Michael S2008/03/04 04:31 PM
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                    efficient HLL'sWes Felter2008/03/04 09:33 PM
                      efficient HLL'sPatrik Hägglund2008/03/05 01:23 AM
                        efficient HLL'sMichael S2008/03/05 02:45 AM
                          efficient HLL'sWilco2008/03/05 05:34 PM
                            efficient HLL'sHoward Chu2008/03/05 07:11 PM
                              efficient HLL'sWilco2008/03/06 02:27 PM
                    efficient HLL'sanon2008/03/05 08:20 AM
      And the links..Groo2008/02/17 04:28 PM
        And the links..Vincent Diepeveen2008/02/18 02:33 AM
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