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Synergistic relations between computer science and technology.

  1. Feb 6, 2012 #1
    I need some topics to write about for my research paper. I'm writing about how computer science and technology both force the other to expand. The 3 examples I'm writing about now are hardware/processor enabled security (ie I'm comparing 16bit x86 which had no security to 32bit which did), parallelism (and how its use in large scale companies led to Cuda and OpenCL for home users), and the general concept of input (keyboards, mice, etc.).

    If those are making you cringe, because they're not really that closely related to computer science, then I know the feeling. I had to write the paper to relate my major, CS, to a field selected by the class as a whole, technology. Personally, I consider the two to be inextricable, since technology is generally synonymous with computers. And for that reason, I'd be happy to have any kind of suggestion as to a relation between CS and technology that seems to be synergistic. Literally any case where it can be (even loosely) argued that one influenced the other would be awesome.

    Thanks for your time,
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 6, 2012 #2


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    Hey TylerH.

    This is an interesting topic and thankyou for bringing it up.

    One of the best ways to answer this question IMO, is to look at the changes in society and its focus.

    One such focus is the introduction of video games and its subsequent commercialization.

    Because of the effect that video games has had on society and culture across the board (from Japan/China/Korea all the way to the US/Europe/UK/Australia and even to places like Pakistan/Middle East), you'll find that there is a huge incentive to study this in a theoretical way in the hope that advances will directly be translatable to something with a more economic focus (like better graphics 'wow' factor amongst other things).

    So in this scenario video games have allowed universities to teach whole subjects on the subjects of video game design and computer graphics.

    Also the advent of modern movies with things like Pixar are doing basically the same thing that was referenced above with video games.

    Because there is a lot of money to be made in these areas (especially video games), people are pouring more money into research and finding ways of taking that and applying it to something practical. This is forcing an interesting dynamic of computer science expanding to fill this void and subsequently help create new technologies which starts the whole cycle going all over again.

    There are other areas like new ways of doing commerce (like over the internet with credit cards). The amount of research in this is phenomenal and because of the amount of money that can be generated from this activity, it's not surprising that the area of cryptography in all its forms (mathematical, programming, key management and protocols, analysis and so on) is rather extensive and is forcing both the theoretical as well as the practical sides to keep persisting in a constant tug of war which expands both areas.
  4. Feb 6, 2012 #3
    Thank you!

    I went with the e-commerce one, in addition to the ones I listed, and it gave me the 10 pages I needed. I would have included the film and video game examples, but my existing 3 that I had already wrote about weren't diverse enough to make them fit well with the otherwise computer-centric view, but they're great examples. Not that diversity wouldn't be great. (We don't want to make it seem like computers are the only form of technology advanced by CS.) But my OCD requires that either they all be similar or they be uniformly diverse. :P

    I'd like to cite your post for the idea. I'm going to talk to my teacher about it tomorrow (whether it is acceptable to cite a forum). Then you'd be able to say you've been cited by at least one student in a (college) sophomore English class. :)
  5. Feb 6, 2012 #4


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    You've got no qualms from me about using the content in any way you want, so do as you please.
  6. Feb 7, 2012 #5


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    TylerH, as for "a relation between CS and technology that seems to be synergistic. Literally any case where it can be (even loosely) argued that one influenced the other would be awesome", may I suggest the subject of CS development in understanding natural language? Last year IBM's "Watson" competed on "Jeopardy!" and won over two human champions. Now, IBM did not research and develop that system just to play the TV game. IBM's famed Watson supercomputer will soon be available as a commercialized analytics tool for data-heavy industries like healthcare, telecom and financial services. That sounds like synergy to me!
  7. Feb 8, 2012 #6
    I ended up including a few advanced input techniques, including natural language processing, speech recognition, and gestural recognition (and the math/CS behind them). I'll try to work Watson into the NLP part, but couldn't really get it to fit in my first revision.
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