Despite its relative youth, computer science has become a well-established discipline, granting over 2% of the bachelors degrees in the United States (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). For this reason, it is important that we understand the nature of computer science and the likely direction for the development of inquiry in computer science in the future. This paper examines several perspectives on the nature of the methods of computer science inquiry. These are empiricist methods, rationalist methods, and an engineering stance. It argues that empiricist and rationalist stances play identifiable roles in the scientific nature of computer science reasoning but that the engineering stance does not. Following the trend in the maturation of other sciences, this paper recommends an overhaul in computer science curricula.
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Philosophy (CLA)
Burkart, Dana, "Demarcating Computer Science" (2012). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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