why is CS considered engineering?

<p>perhaps my last post was not the question i was really trying to ask...the real question should be "why is computer science considered an engineering field?"</p>

<p>i understand that there is a similar development cycle for software engineers, but what i struggle to understand is how this very mathematical and computationally analytical field is categorized as a form of engineering...i mean software engineers are ultimately engineers, but computer scientists (the ones who work in R&D) don't seem to fit the mold</p>

<p>well the definition of engineering is: The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.</p>

<p>when you like at it from this perspective, it kinda makes sense. computer science applies math and science to make a finished product. although it might not be a bridge or some big infrastructure, it still is made using alot of the same knowledge and skills.</p>

<p>just my thought on it.</p>

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i mean software engineers are ultimately engineers, but computer scientists (the ones who work in R&D) don't seem to fit the mold

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<p>One could even debate whether pure R&D computer scientists are even truly scientists, rather than just a subtype of mathematician. The demarcation of science and mathematics is that the theories of the former must, in principle, be able to be tested and falsified/verified against empirical evidence, whereas those on the latter can rely purely on self-consistent logic derived from a set of axioms. Just as nobody can ever falsify the statement that the derivative of sin(x) with respect to x is cos(x), similarly, nobody can ever empirically verify whether a particular set of numbers is a computable set with a Turing Machine, simply because we don't have, and never will have a Turing Machine. </p>

<p>However, in fairness, it should be said that certain branches of the sciences are arguably not scientific either. Other than perhaps those relating to AdS/CFT correspondence, large swathes of string theory may be unscientific in that they don't (yet) produce clear predictions that would distinguish them from other theories of physics. Chemical graph theory may also arguably be unscientific. Both of them may simply be exercises in mathematics rather than sciences per se.</p>

<p>one way to think of it is that computer science is a college major not a profession; some schools happen to have it in the college of arts and sciences, and others have it in the engineering school (and tend to have a more engineering-oriented curriculum). </p>

<p>But in either case, the profession you pursue could well be as a software engineer.</p>

<p>yes, most end up as SEs...but ultimately i dont really think CS as a discipline is really engineering...i personally think that it's really just a very cool and highly deviated specialized form of math</p>

<p>i think CS is a science...yeah there are a lot of overly theoretical and unprovable aspects of it, but so does modern physics, and no one doubts that physics is a "true" science...you can gather data and analyze things in CS, as well as do proofs and apply the scientific method</p>