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Defining computing as a profession and a discipline

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 11 months ago

What is the Definition of Computing as a Profession and a Discipline?


Check out the Wikipedia definition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computing#Definitions


The term computing has sometimes been narrowly defined, as in a 1989 ACM report on Computing as a Discipline[1]:

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?'

However, a broader definition is generally accepted, as illustrated by the 2005 joint report of the ACM and the IEEE, Computing Curricula 2005[2]:

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.

The same report 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.

In short, the concept of computing relates to human knowledge and activities which develop and use computer technologies.


Agree?  Not agree?  Share your thoughts here!  Just Click on Comments on the top toolbar.


How do you think we should define "computing" for the public?  As a profession? As a discipline?


What do you think will be the top 3 jobs in computing?  Please describe.


What do you think will be the top 3 fields of study of computing? 


How about the top 3 grand challenges to be solved in computing?


Why does computing matter? 

  • What is the value of computing to society?
  • What are top Issues of ethics and security?
  • Many think the computing workforce is our competitive advantage in the global economy.  What do you think? Council on Competitiveness 


What can we do with computing, that we couldn't do without it?

  • In daily life
  • For the disabled
  • To ensure safety
  • Other ideas?



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