Silicon Valley's Hacker Hatchery


Computer Science, it sounds like the scientific study of computers, doesn't it? But Turing Award winner Edsger Dijkstra famously said: "Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." Also, don't scientists study nature, not machines?

So what is Computer Science about? In a word: algorithms; obsessively inventing, testing, debugging, and improving algorithms. The algorithms might be controlling the brain of a robot, encrypting a massive stock trade, simulating an ecosystem, chasing an avatar through a virtual swamp, attacking a drug lord's computer, or searching a network like the animations above.

To be sure, Computer Science students take lots of programming courses. But they also get a heavy dose of the theoretical and engineering foundations that every serious programmer needs. Beyond that are the electives: bioinformatics, game development, artificial intelligence, databases, networks, web programming, and lots more. It's a big field! And beyond that are the Silicon Valley jobs: programmer, software architect, system analyst, and, of course, Computer Scientist.