• Question: what do you find so cool and fascinated about computer science

    Asked by haydenfada to Catriona, Damien, Hannah, James, Jason, Nayeli, Sarah, Sophie, Zaf on 26 Jan 2018.
    • Photo: Damien Hall

      Damien Hall answered on 26 Jan 2018:

      I don’t call myself a computer scientist–which still means that I couldn’t do my job without computers, but my job isn’t to develop computers or software. I just use products that other people have developed. But what I find so cool about computers and software is how much knowledge they enable you to have, really easily. If I want to know the basics of literally any subject in the world, I can probably look it up on the internet. And I can do complicated calculations in my research, really easily, because of the software that someone has written which means the computer does the hard work and it’s easy for me to tell it what to do.

      And I can talk to you in real time, and give you this answer, because of software too! Before now, to talk to each other, we would have had to know each other’s names and addresses or telephone numbers, and we would have had to write to each other or ring each other, and it would all have taken ages…

    • Photo: Sarah Knight

      Sarah Knight answered on 26 Jan 2018:

      I’m not a computer scientist, but I find computer science amazing! First, I’m always astonished at how quickly things develop. The computers I had at school in the 1990s look like ancient relics today! I’m also fascinated by the development of Artificial Intelligence. But even the most basic things are amazing if you think about it. Right now, I’m typing — but how does pressing a key like the “b” key immediately make a “b” shape appear on the screen? It feels like the most natural thing in the world, but there are years of technology and thought and effort that have gone into it.

    • Photo: Catriona Silvey

      Catriona Silvey answered on 26 Jan 2018:

      The thing I find coolest about computer science is how training yourself to think like a computer changes the way you approach problems. I learnt how to code and write programs for my job, and it really does train your brain to break problems down into steps, approach them logically, and think about what tools would be best for which purpose. I’d really recommend learning to code – it gives you a personal insight into what computers can do for us!