Wednesday, September 12, 2007

About This Blog

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.

It is very exceptional that a tool gives its name to a discipline: we don’t call painting “brush art,” nor surgery “knife science.”

Computer scientists have long lived with a wealth of misconceptions about their chosen field, not the least of which is the doozy of a misnomer that is its most popular name. One can say that, as a corollary to Professor Dijkstra’s pithy statements, computer science is more than just independent of technology — it can actually be found in our most prosaic, pedestrian daily activities. These daily activities, and how, unbeknownst to most of us, computer science has something to contribute toward making them easier, faster, and — yes — more enjoyable, are this blog’s raison d’etre.

In coming posts, I hope to share the little joys, private victories, and occasional frustrations of being a computer scientist without being in front of a computer. To poorly paraphrase another well-known quote: “A computer scientist computes. Always.”

And perhaps, somewhere along the way, we can all come up with a better name for this thing that my colleagues and I do. Always.

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