Computing
A difference engine: computing the solution to a polynomial function
Computer laboratory, Moody Hall, James Madison University, 2003

Computing is usually defined as the activity of using and improving computer hardware and software. It is the computer-specific part of information technology. Computer science (or computing science) is the study and the science of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems.

Computing Curricula 2005[1] defined "computing" as:

"In a general way, we can define computing to mean any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computers. Thus, computing includes designing and building hardware and software systems for a wide range of purposes; processing, structuring, and managing various kinds of information; doing scientific studies using computers; making computer systems behave intelligently; creating and using communications and entertainment media; finding and gathering information relevant to any particular purpose, and so on. The list is virtually endless, and the possibilities are vast."

A computer is a machine that manipulates data according to a set of instructions called a computer program. The program has an executable form that the computer can use directly to execute the instructions. The same program in its human-readable source code form, enables a programmer to study and develop the algorithm. Because the instructions can be carried out in different types of computers, a single set of source instructions converts to machine instructions according to the central processing unit type.

The execution process carries out the instructions in a computer program. Instructions express the computations performed by the computer. They trigger sequences of simple actions on the executing machine. Those actions produce effects according to the semantics of the instructions.

Computer programming in general is the process of writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the source code and documentation of computer programs. This source code is written in a programming language, which is an artificial language often more restrictive or demanding than natural languages, but easily translated by the computer. The purpose of programming is to invoke the desired behaviour (customization) from the machine. The process of writing high quality source code requires knowledge of both the application's domain and the computer science domain. The highest-quality software is thus developed by a team of various domain experts, each person a specialist in some area of development. But the term programmer may apply to a range of program quality, from hacker to open source contributor to professional. And a single programmer could do most or all of the computer programming needed to generate the proof of concept to launch a new "killer" application.

Contents

Definitions

The term "computing" has sometimes been narrowly defined, as in a 1989 ACM report on Computing as a Discipline[2]:

The discipline of computing is the systematic study of algorithmic processes that describe and transform information: their theory, analysis, design, efficiency, implementation, and application. The fundamental question underlying all computing is "What can be (efficiently) automated?"

Computing Curricula 2005[1] also recognizes that the meaning of "computing" depends on the context:

Computing also has other meanings that are more specific, based on the context in which the term is used. For example, an information systems specialist will view computing somewhat differently from a software engineer. Regardless of the context, doing computing well can be complicated and difficult. Because society needs people to do computing well, we must think of computing not only as a profession but also as a discipline.

The term "computing" is also synonymous with counting and calculating. In earlier times, it was used in reference to mechanical computing machines.

A computer is a machine that reads, stores, manipulates and displays data. The most common example are the various personal computers. Other common examples include: mobile phones, mp3 players, or video game consoles.

Science and theory

The Digital Bibliography & Library Project, as of July 2007, lists over 910,000 bibliographic entries on computer science and several thousand links to the home pages of computer scientists. Common topics include:

 

Hardware

See information processor for a high-level block diagram.

 

Instruction-level taxonomies

After the commoditization of memory, attention turned to optimizing CPU performance at the instruction level. Various methods of speeding up the fetch-execute cycle include:

  • designing instruction set architectures with simpler, faster instructions: RISC as opposed to CISC
  • Superscalar instruction execution
  • VLIW architectures, which make parallelism explicit

Software

 
Part of an early computer, EDSAC.

History of computing

 

Business computing

 

Human factors

 

Computer network

Wired and wireless computer network

This notebook computer is connected to a wireless access point using a PC card wireless card.

Computing technology based wireless networking (CbWN)

The main goal of CbWN is to optimize the system performance of the flexible wireless network.

  • Source coding
    • Codebook design for side information based transmission techniques such as Precoding
    • Wyner-Ziv coding for cooperative wireless communications
  • Security
    • Dirty paper coding for cooperative multiple antenna or user precoding

Computer security

Data

Numeric data

Character data

Other data topics

 

Classes of computers

Polish analog computer AKAT-1

There are several terms which describe classes, or categories, of computers:

 

Companies – current

 

Companies – historic

 

Organizations

A computer Lab

Professional

Standards bodies

See also: Standardization and Standards organization

Open standards

See also Open standard

See also




References

  1. ^ a b The Joint Task Force for Computing Curricula 2005. Computing Curricula 2005: The Overview Report (pdf)
  2. ^ Computing as a Discipline (pdf)

External links

http://foldoc.org/contents.html Free on-line dictionary of computing

http://pubs.doc.ic.ac.uk/ open-access repository of publications - Department of Computing - Imperial College London


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • computing — com‧put‧ing [kəmˈpjuːtɪŋ] noun [uncountable] COMPUTING the activity of using a computer, or writing computer programs: • How are your computing skills? • She studied computing at college. • wireless mobile computing devices ˈgrid comˌputing …   Financial and business terms

  • computing — computing; su·per·computing; …   English syllables

  • computing — ► NOUN ▪ the use or operation of computers …   English terms dictionary

  • computing — noun 1. the procedure of calculating; determining something by mathematical or logical methods • Syn: ↑calculation, ↑computation • Derivationally related forms: ↑computational (for: ↑computation), ↑compute …   Useful english dictionary

  • computing — noun COMPUTING + NOUN ▪ skills ▪ power ▪ a hand held device that has as much computing power as many desktop PCs PREPOSITION ▪ in computing …   Collocations dictionary

  • computing — [[t]kəmpju͟ːtɪŋ[/t]] 1) N UNCOUNT Computing is the activity of using a computer and writing programs for it. Courses range from cookery to computing. 2) ADJ: ADJ n Computing means relating to computers and their use. Many graduates are employed… …   English dictionary

  • computing — /keuhm pyooh ting/, n. 1. the use of a computer to process data or perform calculations. 2. the act of calculating or reckoning. [1640 50; COMPUTE + ING1] * * * (as used in expressions) Reduced Instruction Set Computing DNA computing quantum… …   Universalium

  • computing — com|put|ing [kəmˈpju:tıŋ] n [U] the use of computers as a job, in a business etc ▪ Have you ever done any computing? ▪ computing facilities for language research …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • computing — /kəmˈpjutɪŋ/ (say kuhm pyoohting) noun 1. the science or study of the principles and uses of computers. 2. the field of computer technology: to have a job in computing. –adjective 3. relating to computers: computing skills …   Australian English dictionary

  • Computing — Compute Com*pute (k[o^]m*p[=u]t ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Computed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Computing}.] [L. computare. See {Count}, v. t.] To determine by calculation; to reckon; to count. [1913 Webster] Two days, as we compute the days of heaven.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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