Computer & Information Science

Essay by omegasiUniversity, Master's February 2008

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Computer and information science (CIS) has two faces: technological and philosophical. The practical focus is on solving problems with the aid of computers. The philosophical focus—which is required to support the practice—is on the study of language and its use in making precise and understandable descriptions of ... anything.

Computing has become the key enabler of fabulously rapid advances that have occurred, and that will continue for the foreseeable future, across all disciplines of the academy and throughout all segments of society. This makes CIS a very interdisciplinary field. A computing professional must be able to analyze a situation in an application domain—biology and medicine, business, engineering, law and public policy, science, sociology, whatever—and carefully specify the problems to be addressed; and then to design, evaluate, implement, and test computer-based solutions to those problems. Techniques studied in the CIS curriculum include algorithms and data structures, programming languages, computer architecture, numerical and symbolic computation, computer graphics, operating systems, software engineering, systems analysis, database and information retrieval systems, artificial intelligence and robotics, and human-computer interfaces.

Pursuing Computer and Information Science at Ohio StateStudents interested in CIS as a major should seek a strong high school background in math and science and an introductory exposure to computers (not necessarily programming); they also should develop strong oral and written communication skills. Analytical skills, and the ability to work in teams and to understand people from different cultures, are important.

CIS combines the study of both software and hardware, with an emphasis on the former. The BS in CIS involves a more substantial computing component and more of a science focus than the BA in CIS. Both the BS and BA majors in CIS are offered through the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), which also offers a major in Computer Science and Engineering*...