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What is Computer Science ?

Computer Science covers a huge amount, from the design of computers, through to programming them, and onto applications in areas as diverse as Science, Engineering and the Arts. In addition it is about the understanding of the limits of what computational techniques can do.

By clicking on the images to the right you can access a book on the topic and a set of short essays we have written to explain different areas of computer science. They are aimed at a pre-University, sixth-form audience, and we hope to be adding to the list in the next few months.

In some sense Computer Science is thinking about and investigating what a computer can do. One can do this in a completely theoretical way. However, almost all computer scientists work not only on the theoretical aspects of computers but also on real programs. At Bristol we put great emphasis in the first year on getting students to learn to program in and across four different computer language paradigms:
procedural programming (exemplified in C),
object oriented programming (exemplified in Java),
functional programming (exemplified in Haskell),
and script-based programming (exemplified in nodeJS/JavaScript).


Computational Thinking

Thinking in a computational way is now becoming all pervasive. It underlies much of modern science, and provides a break with the traditional emperical way of working. The following article by Prof J. Wing of Carnegie Mellon University in the United States explains what is meant by Computational Thinking.
Find out more about Programming or browse further materials about the subject.