- The start of the "digital revolution", which includes the current Information Ageand the Internet.
- A formal definition of computation and computability, and proof that there are computationally unsolvable and intractable problems.
- The concept of a programming language, a tool for the precise expression of methodological information at various levels of abstraction.
- In cryptography, breaking the Enigma code was an important factor contributing to the Allied victory in World War II.
- Scientific computing enabled practical evaluation of processes and situations of great complexity, as well as experimentation entirely by software. It also enabled advanced study of the mind, and mapping of the human genome became possible with the Human Genome Project. Distributed computing projects such as Folding@home explore protein folding.
- Algorithmic trading has increased the efficiency and liquidity of financial markets by using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other statistical and numerical techniques on a large scale. High frequency algorithmic trading can also exacerbate volatility.
- Computer graphics and computer-generated imagery have become ubiquitous in modern entertainment, particularly intelevision, cinema, advertising, animation and video games. Even films that feature no explicit CGI are usually "filmed" now on digital cameras, or edited or postprocessed using a digital video editor.
- Simulation of various processes, including computational fluid dynamics, physical, electrical, and electronic systems and circuits, as well as societies and social situations (notably war games) along with their habitats, among many others. Modern computers enable optimization of such designs as complete aircraft. Notable in electrical and electronic circuit design are SPICE, as well as software for physical realization of new (or modified) designs. The latter includes essential design software for integrated circuits.
- Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important as it gets more efficient and complex. There are many applications of the AI, some of which can be seen at home, such as robotic vacuum cleaners. It is also present in video games and on the modern battlefield in drones, anti-missile systems, and squad support robots.
Name of the field
Areas of computer science
Theory of computation
Information and coding theory
Applied computer science
The great insights of computer science
- Leibniz's, Boole's, Alan Turing's, Shannon's, & Morse's insight: There are only 2 objects that a computer has to deal with in order to represent "anything"
- All the information about any computable problem can be represented using only 0 & 1 (or any other bistable pair that can flip-flop between two easily distinguishable states,such as "on"/"off", "magnetized/de-magnetized", "high-voltage/low-voltage", etc.).
- Alan Turing's insight: There are only 5 actions that a computer has to perform in order to do "anything"
- Every algorithm can be expressed in a language for a computer consisting of only 5 basic instructions:
- * move left one location
- * move right one location
- * read symbol at current location
- * print 0 at current location
- * print 1 at current location
- Böhm and Jacopini's insight: There are only 3 ways of combining these actions (into more complex ones) that are needed in order for a computer to do "anything"
- Only 3 rules are needed to combine any set of basic instructions into more complex ones:
- first do this; then do that
- selection :
- IF such-&-such is the case,
- THEN do this
- ELSE do that
- WHILE such & such is the case DO this