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Hmm? No Computer Science Forum?

  1. Nov 7, 2006 #1
    I know this is a Math and Physics forum, but I'm surprised to see there's nothing for programming/algorithms/computer science. There's even an Anthropology forum.

    I know there's a technology/computers forum, but that's not really the same thing. Has this been discussed before, or is there just not enough need for a Computer Science forum?

    Eager to hear back.

    - Sane

    Edit : Heh ... I'm a bit embarrased. I just noticed there's a programming forum that's a subforum to computers. Now why it isn't its own forum is another question I guess. I suppose it would draw better search result rankings to this website for computer-related questions. Also, it could allow for a subforum within programming for algorithm development. That area in itself is a very indepth subject, potential for incoroporation of mathematics and physics from almost every branch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2006
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  3. Nov 7, 2006 #2

    ZapperZ

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    May be so, but we already incorporate computational physics in Atomic, Solid State, Comp. Physics forum. So far, there has been very few questions related to that topic, and so the need to have a separate sub-forum isn't justified.

    Look, if we cater to all the "important" topics in every field of study, we'll have nothing but categories after categories of various field of studies. I'm sure you'll the how awful that would be. So the criteria for us to create a sub-forum for something is (i) there is a clear need for it and (ii) there is a high demand for it (iii) there is a high frequency of posting related to it. So far, I don't see this topic fulfilling even one of those criteria.

    Zz.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2006 #3
    Yes, understandable. And while I agree with everything you're saying, as a side note I think some people misunderstand the importance and benefit of being able to implement the algorithms that we use behind the scenes of our math and physics equations. Until then, that's what the computer science forums are for! No worries.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2006 #4

    ZapperZ

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "misunderstand the importance". Computational Physics is a big area of study. And as someone who had to write codes to solve a 6D integration problem when I did my Ph.D dessertation, I certainly don't have any misunderstanding of its importance. I notice many members here who are aware of such a thing.

    Zz.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2006 #5

    Moonbear

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    Did that come with pie or chocolate cake? :biggrin: (Sorry, some typos are too funny to ignore...at least you didn't write desertation. :rofl:)
     
  7. Nov 8, 2006 #6

    ZapperZ

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    Actually, during my defense, I brought Ann Sather's cinnamon rolls for everyone who attended (if you're in Chicago, you'd know about Ann Sather's cinnamon rolls)!

    ... now I'm not saying that I got through by bribing the committee and the audience, but it didn't hurt!! :biggrin:

    Zz.
     
  8. Nov 8, 2006 #7
    Well, I didn't mean much by that. All I meant was that, presumably, if more people needed to implement these algorithms, there would be more people asking for help online about them. Most questions here seem to be influenced by homework, which will only touch aspects of computer science algorithms at the post-secondary graduate level.
     
  9. Nov 8, 2006 #8

    JasonRox

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    I think if a Computer Science forum existed it would attract more passionate Computer Science people. Since we don't have one, it attracts none and hence the reason for little topics and questions on the subject in the Atomic, Solid State, Comp. Physics forum.
     
  10. Nov 8, 2006 #9

    Moonbear

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    We were required to bring food to the defense! (Well, not officially, but it was some unwritten rule somewhere that nobody dared test.) Someone recommended I provide really stinky goat cheese so the committee would be eager to get it done quickly and get out of the room! :biggrin:
     
  11. Nov 8, 2006 #10

    JasonRox

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    HAHA!

    I guess I'll be focusing more on what to bring as food then my defense duing my Ph.D. years (if I get there!). :biggrin:
     
  12. Nov 8, 2006 #11

    0rthodontist

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    I am in favor of a real computer science forum. There don't seem to be very many computer science forums that are open to the public--it's mostly just programming or applications, with only a few exceptions.
     
  13. Nov 8, 2006 #12
    Also, what sets this aside from the forums I go to that are directed towards studying computer science, is this is a very different learning environment. People here seem more ready to learn and motivate one another. Other forums I go to contain almost about as much needless posting of code as it does harassment of people who don't know as much as the gurus. I'm content, as this forum stands, however. :smile:
     
  14. Nov 8, 2006 #13

    Moonbear

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    My suggestion, for now, is to spend a little more time here (you're relatively new still), start up some discussions on the topics of interest to you in programming (if you haven't done so already), and see if that stimulates more active participation. If the programming forum grows active enough, we can reconsider later if it should be more prominent. It wasn't that long ago we changed around the format of the technology forums and gave programming it's own subforum. We do change things from time to time as we monitor growth and change in the needs of the membership. So, if after you've spent more time here you still feel something extra is needed, and there are enough people actively getting involved, bring this idea back to the table.
     
  15. Nov 8, 2006 #14

    JasonRox

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    That's not adequate.

    To stir up discussions in a dead forum. That could take a lllloooonnnnggg time because there is no focus on it.

    I'm sure if a Computer Science forum was opened then activity would begin and grow even faster than the method you're suggesting.

    That's like telling someone, who wants to make the local restaurant popular, to just go to the restaurant every now and then and when it gets busy (if it ever does), you'll start advertising a bit more. As opposed to the customers suggestion to do just start advertising now or something actually worthy. It would just take too long for activity to start in the restaurant in the first instance.
     
  16. Nov 9, 2006 #15

    JasonRox

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    Alright, I couldn't help but notice that the Technology forums have more threads than any of the 4 Philosophy forums, as well as any of the Other Sciences forums.

    The Programming sub-forum has more threads than Value Theory, and soon will probably surpass Metaphysics & Epistemology. If these forums can be justified, I don't see why Programming can not. I can not emphasize it enough how much it affects the growth of that forum sitting in a sub-forum, nevertheless it's still beating forums and it's going to beat the extra Philosophy forums, which in itself are questionable to exist.
     
  17. Nov 9, 2006 #16
    As you mentioned, I have only been here for about five days. We'll see how it goes. But you must admit, JasonRox does make some damn good points! o:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2006
  18. Nov 9, 2006 #17
    Good, then apparently it's doing great as a sub-forum.
     
  19. Nov 9, 2006 #18

    Moonbear

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    You're contradicting yourself, by showing that it's doing better as a subforum than other forums as a main forum while trying to say that being a subforum will hinder it. It also isn't supported historically by the way forums have evolved on this site. Subforums do pick up activity, or new topics start to be discussed scattered among existing forums, that once there's a critical mass of people discussing such a topic to sustain a full forum, one gets created. This keeps us from having a lot of dead forums cluttering up the place.

    Nonetheless, you make a good point regarding the relative activity of the computer forums vs the philosophy forums. It may be time to give the technology forums higher priority over the philosophy forums, which seem to be losing steam.
     
  20. Nov 9, 2006 #19

    0rthodontist

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    As Jason's pointing out, it's doing well as a subforum. That doesn't mean that it wouldn't do better as a forum, and get substantial activity, and it does demonstrate demand. Unless there's some reason other than demand why admin & mentors don't want a separate forum.

    Myself, I am not sure what the difference would be in activity between a subforum and a forum. A subforum is a little bit harder to find for someone browsing the forums visually, but how much impact does that have on search engine results, which presumably matter more?
     
  21. Nov 9, 2006 #20
    Actually, not very much.

    Search Results For C++ On PhysicsForums.com

    If a search engine ranked according to depth of the page, websites like Microsoft's library documents wouldn't be ranked so highly on Google. Besides, it would have to be deliberately imposed by the ranking algorithm, which wouldn't be much fun.
     
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