Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Computer science—a vicious circle

In many computer science departments throughout the country, including some interdisciplinary departments, the curriculum has placed increasing emphasis upon applied mathematics and the fundamental nature of computational systems. A set of core courses which usually are fitted into such a program can be found in the report of the ACM curriculum committee on computer science, Curriculum 68 [1]. Some computer science departments have done such a magnificent job of de-emphasizing the importance of the experimental laboratory in their program that their graduates emerge thoroughly unprepared to tackle the intricacies associated with design work in the real-life world—both in software and hardware. This is basically because most computer science departments do not emphasize sufficiently the practical aspects of computational system design and implementation. For example, some students have serious difficulty in designing even a shift register of an 8-4-2-1 counter with ripple carry, not to mention more complicated computer systems. Perhaps even more important, computer science in the academic sense has implemented the “modus ponens” (rule of detachment) from the real-life world and has very little to do with real computers. The relationship between the abstract side of computer science and questions of cost and marketing are hardly ever mentioned in courses.

The full text of this article is premium content


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account