Computer Fundamentals

Hello Friends,

Welcome, in your mind, a question may have been hovering for many years that “What is a Computer?” In general, a Computer is an electro-mechanical device which takes two things as input, first is Data and second is Instruction(s). A Computer than applies the instruction(s) on the given data and generates output. For example ADD, 2, 3 generates 5, here ADD is treated as instruction to the Computer and 2 and 3 are treated as input data to the Computer, simply Computer applies Instruction ADD to the data 2 and 3 and generates output 5.

In general, a Computer has the following units


Here, Input unit converts the human language such as English, Hindi into the Computer understandable language that is, strings of binary numbers which is made up of 0’s and 1’s.
Output unit does the conversion from machine language to human understandable language like English etc.
Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of computer, it consists of all arithmetic and logic circuits, it generates control signals for rest of the devices for initialization, termination and synchronization of various task carried out by computer.
Memory units are used to store data and instruction for execution. There are two main categories of memories main and secondary. Special memory, Cache memory is also used in computers to speed up the processing, it is placed in CPU.

Difference between Computer Science and Computer Engineering

What is Computer Science?
Computer science is the systematic study of algorithmic methods for representing and transforming information, including their theory, design, implementation, application, and efficiency. The discipline emerged in the 1950s from the development of computability theory and the invention of the stored-program electronic computer. The roots of computer science extend deeply into mathematics and engineering. Mathematics imparts analysis to the field; engineering imparts design. The main branches of computer science are the following:

  • Algorithms are the study of effective and efficient procedures of solving problems on a computer.
  • Theory of computation concerns the meaning and complexity of algorithms and the limits of what can be computed in principle.
  • Computer architecture concerns the structure and functionality of computers and their implementation in terms of electronic technologies.
  • Software systems are the study of the structure and implementation of large programs. It includes the study of programming languages and paradigms, programming environments, compilers, and operating systems.
  • Artificial intelligence concerns the computational understanding of what is commonly called intelligent behaviour and the creation of artefacts that exhibit such behaviour.

Other important topics in computer science include computer graphics, databases, networks and protocols, numerical methods, operating systems, parallel computing, simulation and modelling, and software engineering.

What is Computer Engineering?
Computer engineering is the design and prototyping of computing devices and systems. While sharing much history and many areas of interest with computer science, computer engineering concentrates its effort on the ways in which computing ideas are mapped into working physical systems. Emerging equally from the disciplines of computer science and electrical engineering, computer engineering rests on the intellectual foundations of these disciplines, the basic physical sciences and mathematics. The main branches of computer engineering are the following:

  • Networks are concerned with design and implementation of distributed computing environments, from local area networks to the World Wide Web.
  • Multimedia computing is the blending of data from text, speech, music, still image, video and other sources into a coherent Data Stream, and its effective management, coding-decoding and display.
  • VLSI systems involve the tools, properties and design of micro-miniaturised electronic devices (Very Large Scale Integrated circuits).
  • Reliable computing and advanced architectures considers how fault-tolerance can be built into hardware and software, methods for parallel computing, optical computing, and testing.

Other important topics in computer engineering include display engineering, image and speech processing, pattern recognition, robotics, sensors and computer perception.

Should I Pursue Computer Science or Computer Engineering(CEN)?

Scientists and engineers are both interested in the nature of things, in understanding how ideas and objects in the world fit together. But in general, they seek to understand the nature of reality with different ends in mind: the scientist seeks this understanding as an end in itself, the engineer in order to build things. Thus CS is closer to the underlying theory of computation, with its roots in mathematics, and CEN is closer to the design of physical devices, with roots in physics and chemistry as well. Students with an urge to build things, to measure how things work in the laboratory, those attracted to physics and chemistry as well as mathematics, should seriously consider CEN. Students with an interest in the true nature of symbols, information and their manipulations, the forms and limits of algorithms and data structures, should consider CS. Of the three great divisions in computing, namely theory, software and hardware, to a first approximation theory go with CS, hardware with CEN, and software with both, but mainly with CS. The more general the software, the closer to CS; the more hardware-specific, the closer to CEN. Thus a student interested in creating his own new general-purpose computer language would best be served by a CS degree program, while one interested in designing a software interface for a new high speed serial device by the CEN degree program. Students undecided between the CS and CEN programs are urged to discuss the matter in depth with academic advisors within the CSE department, the College of Arts and Sciences (which administers the CS programs), and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (which administers the CEN program).

Important Areas of Computer Science and Engineering
Data Structures And Algorithms
Design And Analysis Of Algorithms
Electronic Circuits
Computer Architecture And Organization
Operating System
Software Engineering
Data Base Management System
Discrete Mathematics
Theory Of Automata
Graphics And Animation
Website Development

Advanced Areas of Computer Science and Engineering
Parallel Algorithms
Advanced Computer Architecture
Neural Networks
Fuzzy Logic
Natural Language Processing