COMPUTER SCIENCE: The Impact Of Computers

13:15 Minutes

In the current world, it’s almost impossible to imagine that someone can live without computers. Computers are being used every day by individuals of all ages and it’s become one of humankind’s most versatile inventions, affecting nearly every aspect of society. This episode of SCIENCE SCREEN RPEORT will explore the basic principles of computing and will look at how computer scientists and engineers are working with today’s top innovators to create dynamic systems that will run at speeds never before thought possible, developing solutions for current and future world challenges.

SYNOPSIS

Perhaps no invention has impacted our everyday lives more than the computer. Computers have transformed the fields of science, medicine, education, entertainment and research, to name a few. In fact, it’s hard to think of any area of our everyday lives that has not been affected by computer technology. Computers have become an indispensable part of our lives. A computer is made up of Hardware, the machine, the hard drive, the boards and chips, which take instructions from Software – or applications. The result is a completed task, or epic graphics in a game or pin-point accuracy in a robot assisted medical procedure. From a steam-driven prototype developed in the early 1800s, to the first computer built in 1941, which could process 29 equations simultaneously, to the microprocessor developed by Intel – the evolution of the computer is amazing. The first computers, developed in the mid 1940s took up an entire room. Today the microprocessor, smaller than a fingernail, delivers immense computing capabilities to run today’s applications.

Computers have affected every aspect of society, from governments, large businesses, small businesses, and individuals. They have changed the way we do things and the way we think about things.

So what exactly is a computer? A computer is made up hardware and software. Hardware are the tangible building blocks of the computer, and the software are the programs and applications that are stored to per- form specific tasks. The computer that used to fill a 20×40 foot room in the 1940s with 18,000 vacuum tubes are long gone. Today computers have become exceedingly small and efficient. The microprocessor, invented by Intel in the 1970s, has become the engine of computers. The size of a little fingernail, it delivers immense computing power to run today’s applications. Some microprocessors have even been manufactured at an amazing width of only 32 nanometers! To put that into perspective, a human hair is 100,000 nanometers wide. Computing has made the world more efficient than ever. Online education has enabled the world to learn from even the most remote locations. Health care is also being revolutionized by computers, not only with incredible accuracy and results, but by reducing administrative paperwork. Medical files are more accurate and up to date as they become more electronic and  doctors are able to keep up with new symptoms real-time. The internet allows us to exchange news, information, and reports about the latest developments around the world. With ecommerce taking hold, shipment tracking has added accountability to businesses. Homes are being built with software to turn on lights, view security cameras, or even learn temperatures. The common element of all these new applications: the computer. Almost every industry has been impacted by computers. Programming logic takes a large problem, and breaks it down into a smaller sequence of problems. This is called computational computing. Within the computing field, there are hundreds of job professions. Some examples include a Java Developer, Information Security Engineer, or a Software Development Engineer. As every individual becomes impacted by computers in today’s digital age, computing is becoming an exponentially important skill to understand for the 21st century.

VOCABULARY

Computational Thinking: How to solve large problems by breaking them down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable problems.
Hardware:
Electronic components that makes up a computer and process computer instructions.
Micro-processor:
The main “engine” of a computer that processes all functions and computing power.
Nanometers:
One billionth of a meter. Some micro-processors range between 32 and 45 nanometers. In contrast, a human hair is 100,000 nanometers wide.
Software:
Programs or applications stored on a computer than perform specific tasks.

Vocabulary Learning Tool: Make a Jeopardy Game. http://www.superteachertools.us/jeopardyx/brandnewgame.php

CURRICULUM UNITS

  • ROBOTICS
  • COMPUTER SCIENCE
  • SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

 

CAREER POSSIBILITIES

  • APPLICATION MANAGER
  • PROGRAMMER ANALYST

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