Computing isn't simply about hardware or software, or calculation or applications.Computing, writes Paul Rosenbloom, is an exciting and diverse, yet remarkably coherent, scientificenterprise that is highly multidisciplinary yet maintains a unique co......more
Computing isn't simply about hardware or software, or calculation or applications.Computing, writes Paul Rosenbloom, is an exciting and diverse, yet remarkably coherent, scientificenterprise that is highly multidisciplinary yet maintains a unique core of its own. In OnComputing, Rosenbloom proposes that computing is a great scientific domain on a par withthe physical, life, and social sciences. Rosenbloom introduces a relationalapproach for understanding computing, conceptualizing it in terms of forms ofinteraction and implementation, to reveal the hiddenstructures and connections among its disciplines. He argues for the continuing vitality ofcomputing, surveying the leading edge in computing's combination with other domains, frombiocomputing and brain-computer interfaces to crowdsourcing and virtual humans to robots and theintermingling of the real and the virtual. He explores forms of higher order coherence, ormacrostructures, over complex computing topics and organizations, such as computing's role in thepursuit of science and the structure of academic computing. Finally, he examines the very notion ofa great scientific domain in philosophical terms, honing his argument that computing should beconsidered the fourth great scientific domain. Rosenbloom's proposal may prove to be controversial,but the intent is to initiate a long overdue conversation about the nature and future of a field insearch of its soul. Rosenbloom, a key architect of the founding of University of SouthernCalifornia's Institute for Creative Technologies and former Deputy Director of USC's InformationSciences Institute, offers a broader perspective on what computing is and what it canbecome.
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