In On Computing, Paul Rosenbloom examines the case for computing to enter the pantheon of great scientific domains alongside the physical, biological and social sciences. The centenary year of computing pioneer Alan Turing's birth seems a fitting moment to put the idea to the test.
The study of computing, dated from Turing's work, is only about 80 years old. It is variously claimed by engineering, physics, mathematics, linguistics and psychology — or seen merely as a supporting technology whose academic roots are irrelevant. Despite this, computing has arguably made more, and deeper, inroads into the daily life of humanity during the past 50 years than any other academic discipline, underlying a series of life-changing products. Imagine life today without mobile-phone networks, the Internet or medical imaging.
On Computing — The Fourth Great Scientific Domain
Paul S. Rosenbloom MIT Press: 2012. 312 pp. $35, £24.95)
Computer science: Virtually there
Nature 491, 331 (15 November 2012)