computer science


Computer Science: what is it? Video Transcript

(This is a transcript of threee minute and 14 second video introduction to Computer Science.)

I'm Associate Professor Brendan McCane, from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Otago.

So Computer Science really is the fundamental science of what's happening with computing, so all this stuff we have in the world that is based on computing, most of that has come about because of fundamental computer science.

That's how we do computations, how long is a computation going to take, and can we do certain computations or not?

The sort of person who does Computer Science? Really there is a very wide range. Most people who study Computer Science then go out into the world, into the workforce, actually it's a very social position and job. Most computer science jobs are very social because you are doing something either for other people, so you have got to talk to other people, or you are doing things in a team. There are very few jobs that are a single person sitting in a dark room, although there are a few of those.

The sort of jobs that computer scientists do - again there is quite a wide range. Most of our graduates would go into programming type jobs initially, software engineering, computer programming jobs, some into systems administration, and then progress up the career ladder, so eventually they would become IT architects and managers of teams building software.

So the skills of computer science really are applicable all over the world, and there has been over the last few years a bit of a worldwide shortage of people with good computer science skills. Many companies have struggled to fill their positions. There is no real barrier to getting positions anywhere in the world.

We have a very good environment I think at at Otago. The Otago university environment itself of course is pretty unique, and all students enjoy that. Computer Science has moved into a new building, so we now have really good facilities, and our teachers, lecturing staff are all very good.

We are a relatively small department, so we have in the order of 10-15 academics, we have very good support for students as well. It's a very supportive environment I think.