Some people think of computer science as "using computers". While that is true in a superficial sense, computer science is so much more. It is a discipline that is reinventing the human world, with roots in mathematics, engineering, business, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and even the arts.
Others think of computer science as "just programming"; nothing could be further from the truth. If you love to program, then you can certainly find fulfillment in CS. But again, computer science is so much more.
Computer science is about solving problems. Usually, it involves collaboration and teamwork, with members of a technical team and with users and clients in other disciplines. Most CS majors graduate into collaborative, creative positions with companies that provide stable, well-paid careers. Others start their own companies and create careers that match their own desires and lifestyles. Still others pursue careers in research, leading the advance of computing into new frontiers.
To be honest, we were not surprised that Money Magazine recently ranked software engineering as the best job in America. It also ranked IT analyst #7. Graduates from computer science programs have long known that CS leads to great jobs and careers. (We computer science professors are also proud of #2 on the list.)
We think you should consider computer science as a major for at least two reasons. Pragmatically, it opens the door to great careers with great salaries in disciplines with growing job demand. Just as important, though, computer science teems with the intellectual excitement of a new discipline, one that changes how we think about and do nearly everything else in our lives. It presents challenging problems to be solved and new ideas to be created.
If you are looking for a good-paying career that also offers the opportunity to solve problems from all parts of human life, then computer science is the place to be.
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With distributed computing, the devil is in the details. That's because a programmer is dealing with all sorts of different hardware and networks. Meshing all of these elements presents a significant challenge that Paul Gray, associate professor of computer science, is leading the charge to solve... [more]