“Computer science is not really about computers -- and it's not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes...and geometry isn't really about using surveying instruments. Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don't really understand it very well, it's very easy to confuse the essence of what you're doing with the tools that you use." - Hal Abelson
Computer Science is the study of theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application. And then, there’s Computer Engineering - the application of Computer Science to actually design, create and build new, exciting stuff.span>
About the department of CSE, IITB For things that are indispensable to most of us, computers and the Internet are surprisingly recent. It is often hard to imagine and digest the fact that there was no Internet till the '90s. The field of Computer Science was previously thought to be a sub-discipline of Electrical Engineering and much of the faculty members at CSE are in fact Electrical Engineers. However, Today Computer Science is considered a fundamental Science and is a discipline on its own. The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay was established very recently in 1982 and is one of the newest departments in IITB. Today, the department of CSE at IIT Bombay is one of the largest CSE departments in the country.
From 2008, the department only offers the B. Tech Programme at the time of admission in the undergraduate level. However, students have the option of converting to a Dual Degree (B. Tech + M. Tech) programme subject to reasonable academic performance.
What would I learn as a CSE B. Tech. in IITB?
The B. Tech. curriculum is designed to introduce an undergraduate student to the entire breadth of the field of Computer Science and Engineering with a huge diversity in the courses. While the mandatory core curriculum rarely goes into the depths of any particular field, the department also offers numerous electives that the students can take up based on the sub-disciplines that interest them. The B. Tech. programme at IIT Bombay is one of the most flexible among all IITs, with a very lean mandatory component - called the core curriculum, leaving you plenty of time to explore the various fields that interest you - CSE or otherwise.
True to its name, a B. Tech. study in CSE, IITB has two major components. - Science and Engineering. But, before that you will be acquainted with the crucial tool that will enable the study of Computer Science and all of Engineering - Programming. This will majorly be in your first year where students of all departments will take up course in Introductory Programming. In addition CSE first years will also have an advanced Programming course, where they will be introduced to a number of programming paradigms.
Science will occupy the major chunk of your courses in your second year. You will be introduced to courses in Data Structures, Algorithms, Discrete Mathematics, Theoretical Machines, Logic, Computability, etc... Once you’ve learnt enough Science, it is now time to learn to how to apply them and create and design stuff a.k.a. engineering. This is what you would be doing in your third year with courses like Operating Systems, Computer Architecture, Networks, and Databases. Artificial Intelligence, etc... The final year is left free to explore those fields that most interest you. This is in the form of electives - in the department and otherwise and also through an optional B. Tech. Project (BTP).
Below are a few sub-disciplines of Computer Science and Engineering that you will be introduced to as part of the B. Tech Curriculum and every field has both Science and Engineering components to it.
Algorithms and complexity:
The above examples can give a fairly good idea of the impact of research in this field. Discovery of new algorithms can expand the horizons of possibility and can make life a lot easier in the future. You will have courses in Discrete Mathematics, Data Structures and Design and Analysis of Algorithms as a part of your B. Tech Curriculum.
Compilers and Programming Languages:
Theory of Computation and logic:
Although you won’t have any courses purely in Cryptography in your core B. Tech curriculum, you will encounter cryptography many of the courses such as Networks, Algorithms, Architecture, etc... It is a sub-discipline in itself and there are courses in Network Security and Cryptography offered to interested students.
The study of Computer Systems will help you with that question. You will study operating systems, databases, embedded systems and distributed systems, etc. comprising of the major industrial fields in computer engineering and is the main application part of computer science. It involves developing hardware and software for a wide variety of systems such as computer networks (e.g. the internet), databases (used by every major company/institution for handling huge amounts of data), and operating systems (the basic software on any computer system which provides the interface between the hardware and the user).
Courses in this field cover the following aspects:Develop an understanding of computer architecture, the functionality of the hardware and the logic it implements. Various aspects of a computer such as memory, CPU, I/O are discussed.Understand the working of computer networks, and develop abilities to analyse them using various software tools.Understand the functionality of a database and the ways in which it handles data and develop an application for the same.
B. Tech. Project
Honours in Computer Science
A B. Tech. student is said to have “Graduated with Honours in Computer Science and Engineering” when she/he has done a certain number of courses from the honours course list of the Department over and above the normal credit requirement. (24 credits are required from the 2013 batch). These courses are typically done in the second, third and fourth years. The exact details of the programme are clearly specified in the Academic Rulebook of the Institute.
The department has a fairly flexible honours programme allowing the choice of a great number of courses for Honours requirements. Many undergraduate courses are offered as honours courses and every postgraduate course usually is. You will be informed in detail about the exact format of the Honours programme after your first year.