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What is Computer Science ?

Computer Science is a diverse and broad subject: it covers topics that range from the design of computer hardware through to programming that hardware to do useful things, and applications in areas such as Science, Engineering and the Arts. A modern Computer Science degree will often see students study topics that could be described as applied Mathematics (e.g. cryptography), applied Psychology (e.g. human-computer interaction), or applied Biology (e.g. bio-informatics). As a result, it can be hard to capture what Computer Science is really "about". This web-page is an attempt to do this by providing resources and links which we think will help. In particular, we've developed a range of material that explains various topics in Computer Science at an introductory level. You can think of these as "mini" lecture courses: if you find them interesting, the chances are you will be interested in studying Computer Science at the University of Bristol.


Please note there is a mistake on page 12 of "Artificial Intelligence through Search: Solving Sudoku Puzzles". Instead of "putting a 4 there forces the use of a 4 in cell L" it should read "putting a 4 there forces the use of a 1 in cell L in order to make the row valid". Thanks to Ram Narasimhan for pointing this out.

What is Computer Science - An Information Security Perspective

An extended set of notes at the same introductory level, but focused on information security can now be found for download at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)