What is Computer Science?

What is Computer Science?

At its core, computer science involves the rigorous study of processes. By a process, we mean a series of actions to achieve some desired result. This result may be as routine as keeping track of the running balance in a bank account or as spectacular as generating the 3D animations in the latest blockbuster movie.

In particular, computer science involves the study of processes that can be carried out by the devices we call computers. Computers work by encoding processes internally. A process is thus relatively easy to change as the desired result evolves.

The computer is an enabling technology of the modern world. It can be combined with preexisting technologies to enable some combination of increased functionality, decreased costs, and increased design flexibility. The computer can enable new technologies that might not have been possible otherwise.

Students in a computer science program learn how to define processes and encode them so that they can be carried out efficiently by computers. This involves such tasks as determining what result is needed (systems analysis), developing efficient and flexible software to encode the process (algorithm design, programming, and software engineering), and organizing the data needed and generated by the process (data structures and database management).

Students in computer science also learn about the computers and the communication technologies and the control programs that make them work together. They learn how to use these technologies effectively to achieve the desired results.

See the Academics page for more information about the computer science degree programs at The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and the Future Students page for information about admission and other aspects of studying computer science at Ole Miss.

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