A recent issue of the Communications of the ACM has an interesting article about degrees in Informatics, by Dennis Groth and Jeffrey Mackie-Mason. They present a nice definition of the subject in this para:
The vision for informatics follows from the natural evolution of computing. The success of computing is in the resolution of problems, found in areas that are predominately outside of computing. Advances in computing—and computing education—require greater understanding of the problems where they are found: in business, science, and the arts and humanities. Students must still learn computing, but they must learn it in contextualized ways. This, then, provides a definition for informatics: informatics is a discipline that solves problems through the application of computing or computation, in the context of the domain of the problem. Broadening computer science through attention to informatics not only offers insights that will drive advances in computing, but also more options and areas of inquiry for students, which will draw increasing numbers of them to study computation.
Sadly, these views are not uncontroversial, as the online experiences which motivated my parody here illustrate. The interesting experience of Georgia Tech, where the School of Computing is split into three parts — Computer Science; Interactive Computing; and Computational Science and Engineering, — is described here.
Dennis P. Groth and Jeffrey K. MacKie-Mason : Why an Informatics degree? Isn’t computer science enough? Communications of the ACM, 53 (2): 26-28. Available here.
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