1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Computer science? software enginnering?

  1. Nov 24, 2014 #1
    what's the differences between these fields? i am intrensted in computer hardware. i am not sure whether i am interested in software or not as i am not exposed to java , C++ SQL, ... i am not sure what's these things. What the computer science guys do actually?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2014 #2
    I don't know exactly but it's more about theoretical mathematical principles.

    If you like computer hardware but at the architecture and logic level (and not real electronics), you could consider computer engineering.
    Where I study it's mostly software engineering and it has stuff such as databases too, but it's also about things like CPU architectures and low level digital stuff that you design with logic gates and program on FPGAs, plus a certain amount of real computer science (which is not just programming).

    From what I read on the internet, computer science guys study computer science, and then go work as programmers in most cases regardless of that. With this perspective, software/computer engineering sounds better than computer science does.

    Either way, you'll end up doing lots of programming, so you better like it.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2014 #3

    I actually came across with some logic gates on the internet.There're lots of AND , NOT , NAND gates. Does it require purely memorising ? i cant see there 's any theory behind it.
     
  5. Nov 26, 2014 #4
    I'm an electronics guy so I don't have an advanced background in logic circuits, but generally you want to get a certain output given your inputs, and if you learn to read those logic circuits, you will see that they actually do what they're supposed to do (you have to imagine the signal that moves through the circuit with every clock impulse).
    Those which already exist are available in libraries, but someone designed them at some point.

    You can't see much theory behind them because at that stage it's just maths really.

    I think computer engineers are more focused on traditional programming anyway so try to find out if you like that, there's plenty of free guides with examples on the internet for any language, especially if you start from zero, and also on databases and stuff.
     
  6. Nov 26, 2014 #5

    analogdesign

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There is some pretty deep and beautiful theory about logic gates. To get started, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boolean_algebra

    Claude Shannon (of Shannon limit / information theory fame) was the first to connect Boolean Algebra & DeMorgan's Laws to switching circuit theory. It's fun stuff.

    In practice, people who design digital systems know primitive logic gates forwards and backwards but most design is done at the behavioral or register-transfer level using Hardware Description Languages such as Verilog or VHDL.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook