Theoretical Computer Science - Scope


It is not easy to circumscribe the theory areas precisely and the ACM's Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT) describes its mission as the promotion of theoretical computer science and notes:

The field of theoretical computer science is interpreted broadly so as to include algorithms, data structures, computational complexity theory, distributed computation, parallel computation, VLSI, machine learning, computational biology, computational geometry, information theory, cryptography, quantum computation, computational number theory and algebra, program semantics and verification, automata theory, and the study of randomness. Work in this field is often distinguished by its emphasis on mathematical technique and rigor.

To this list, the ACM's journal Transactions on Computation Theory adds coding theory, computational learning theory and theoretical computer science aspects of areas such as databases, information retrieval, economic models and networks. Despite this broad scope, the "theory people" in computer science self-identify as different from the "applied people." Some characterize themselves as doing the "(more fundamental) 'science(s)' underlying the field of computing." Other "theory-applied people" suggest that it is impossible to separate theory and application. This means, the so called "theory people" regularly use experimental science(s) done in less-theoretical areas such as software system research. This also means, there is more cooperation than mutually exclusive competition between theory and application.

P = NP ?
Mathematical logic Automata theory Number theory Graph theory Computability theory Computational complexity theory
Cryptography Type theory Category theory Computational geometry Quantum computing theory

Read more about this topic:  Theoretical Computer Science

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Famous quotes containing the word scope:

    A country survives its legislation. That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical. For it means that public policy can enlarge its scope and increase its audacity, can try big experiments without trembling too much over the result. This nation could enter upon the most radical experiments and could afford to fail in them.
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    Happy is that mother whose ability to help her children continues on from babyhood and manhood into maturity. Blessed is the son who need not leave his mother at the threshold of the world’s activities, but may always and everywhere have her blessing and her help. Thrice blessed are the son and the mother between whom there exists an association not only physical and affectional, but spiritual and intellectual, and broad and wise as is the scope of each being.
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