Computer science is, on the one hand, the science that emerged from mathematics to automatically display, store and process information. On the other hand, the origin of this discipline can be found in the engineering sciences, which use these computer-aided calculations on computers for practical purposes.
The study field at a glance
Computer science is closely linked to mathematics and electrical engineering / electronics. However, it should also be understood as a basic and cross-disciplinary discipline dealing with technical and organizational problems in the development and application of information processing systems.
Computer science researches the information processing and the application of such methods. It formulates general laws through abstraction and modeling. From this it develops standard solutions for the practice, e.g. coping with large volumes of data and information and controlling complex production processes.
The study of computer science enables the development of models for the description of complex systems, the identification of key influencing factors, the systematic search for algorithmic solutions and the production of practical application systems. This requires analytical skills and sound knowledge of efficient programming methods, a broad portfolio of terms, models and procedures in mathematics, logic and theoretical computer science as well as basic knowledge of the logical and technical structure of computers.
The extremely high speed of innovation in information technology (IT) requires the constant adaptation of knowledge and increased specialization.
Computer science is divided into four areas, which are also reflected in the study program:
- Theoretical computer science deals with the abstract, mathematical foundations of this science. It's about what can be calculated, how effective calculations are designed and how they can be formulated (e.g., programming languages). Corresponding courses of study are Computer Science, Computational Linguistics, Data Science or Computer Visualistics.
- In engineering or computer science, it is all about the hardware, such as the production and architecture of microprocessors, computers, embedded systems and their control software.
- Programming and software development revolve around practical computer science. Computational Engineering Science deals mainly with computer simulations.
- In the area of applied computer science, there are both information technology courses such as interface design, man-machine communication, IT security or IT management, as well as a large number of interface courses. The latter include bioinformatics, media computer science, medical informatics, digital humanities, computational science or environmental computer science.
Contents of the course
Basic studies (Bachelor) focus on modules on the core areas of computer science and mathematical foundations. These include: Analysis, Linear Algebra, Logic, Foundations of Stochastics and Statistics, Algorithms and Data Structures, Programming and Software Engineering, Computer Engineering, Operating Systems and Networks, Databases, Computer Architecture, Operating Systems, Theoretical Computer Science and IT Security. In application-oriented computer science courses, modules such as software engineering, applied computer science, applied analysis, electrical engineering fundamentals, operating systems, communication and networks, digital technology, microprocessor technology and computer systems, software architecture, compiler construction or distributed information systems can be added.
In the specialization study (Master) profiling takes place through the choice of minor subjects, e.g. physics, mathematics, biosciences, medicine, mechanical engineering, business administration, linguistics, economics, or by application-oriented focal points such as software engineering, communication technology, image processing, database systems, signal processing, simulation, parallel and distributed systems, medical computer science, robotics and process computer science, scientific computing and suchlike.
In addition, there are software internships, project work (also as an internship) as well as interdisciplinary courses, e.g. Founding and management of software-oriented companies.
Admission criteria & study application
Around two-thirds of the Bachelor's degree programs in the Department of Computer Science are admission-free. At universities of applied sciences a pre-study internship lasting several weeks is usually required, depending on the school / vocational training.
Possible careers after graduation
Computer scientists mainly find employment in companies of the data processing / computer technology (hardware and software), with manufacturers of systems of the information and telecommunications information technology (IT systems), in companies offering information and telecommunication systems and services, e.g. for systems and software houses, internal and external service providers in the IT sector, data processing consultancies, and information technology departments of data processing user companies, i.e. the IT departments of every industry. Fields of activity also exist in the civil service.
Computer scientists work on a wide variety of tasks, e.g. in research and development, in production planning and control, in business organization, in the administration of networks and much more. In addition, the areas of health care (e-health), administration (e-government) and security technology are gaining importance.