Computer Science Fundamentals

Mithat Konar

What is computer science?

  • Webster: The study of computers and their uses.
  • Oxford: The study of the principles and use of computers.
  • University at Buffalo: The systematic study of algorithmic methods for representing and transforming information.

What is computer science?

  • computer science: The science of what can be computed.
  • computational science
    • What is computation?

Major branches of computer science

  • algorithms
  • theory of computation
  • computer architecture
  • software systems
  • artificial intelligence

Computer science topics

  • computer graphics
  • databases
  • networks and protocols
  • numerical methods
  • operating systems
  • parallel computing
  • simulation and modeling
  • software engineering.

Application fields

What about programming?


  • The word algorithm is derived from the name of 9th-century mathematician and astronomer Al-Khwarizmi.
    • Worked under the caliphate of al-Ma'mun in Baghdad.
    • Also introduced “al-jabr”, which in English is called “algebra”.
  • First appears in European texts in 17th century.
  • Modern usage in 19th century.


  • Webster: A set of steps that are followed in order to solve a mathematical problem or to complete a computer process.
  • Oxford: A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

Algorithm example

  • “Long” cardinal number multiplication: A * B
let C equal 0
repeat the following B times:
    add A to C
the desired result is C

What is a computer?


  • The physical stuff.


  • computer software: a set of program instructions and its related data and documentation that can be executed by computer.

Kinds of software