July 1, 2008
What is the proper role of computer science and/or information science in relation to other disciplines?
Every discipline will inevitably become “computational”—and its methods and practice will become deeply infused with computation. I happen to have seen this personally over the past two decades as Mathematica and the computational capabilities it brings have spread through more and more fields.
Computation is crucial both to doing better what has been done before in other disciplines, and in defining fundamentally new approaches. In the past, mathematics and physics were the primary formal systems from which we took methods and language for other disciplines. Computation provides us a new—and very rich—underlying framework.