"What is Computer Science?" This is a question that I bear in mind during the study tour. Here is a brief explanation that I learnt from the lecture - "Computer Science is not a kind of Natural Science that studies/discovers the nature. It studies the theoretical foundations of information and computation; and then, applies those researches/studies into our daily life." However, I think Computer Science is much more than this, and hence, one of my objectives is to "discover" a concise meaning to Computer Science for myself.
By the way, how did I achieve the goal? That's trivial and simple - "Ask and Listen"! By participating in the study tour, I earned opportunities to talk to research students, doctors, and even professors. I got direct interactions with these academic professionals. So, what did I got from them? Keep on reading!
The first thing I learnt was "What actually Computer Science is doing?" In order to apply those theories into our life, the simplest way of doing this is "Trial and Error". Professor Bob Fisher taught me an idea, "The nature of carrying a research is just simply try out some ways to achieve the goal and find out the most adaptive and compatible one." For short, "Try out and Find out" and then you make it! So, let me further elaborate on this.
When we get a problem in our daily life and we want to solve it by some mean of efficiency, then using computer is one of the approaches. After we decided the approach to solve the problem, we move onto the next step - find out all the methods that can solve the problem. These methods can be either theoretical or practical. Most likely we need more than one method to tackle down the problem. After that, we try to implement and connect those methods to solve the problem stage by stage. In each stage, we try out methods to see whether they are adaptable and compatible. We find out the most efficient one and use it for the next stage. When we get error in implementing or connecting, we step backward to previous stage and pick another method. All in all, by repeating the "Trial and Error"/"Try out and Find out" cycle, we made it!
The second thing I learnt was "What is the basic requirement of doing Computer Science?" I am not mentioning the academic result in Maths, Physics, etc., but the mental requirement for doing Computer Science. In fact, everyone can do Computer Science. Professor Sethu Vijayakumar taught me another idea, "If you do Computer Science, you must have the passion in doing it. That is the primary driver for doing Science!" By the way, how can we get the passion in doing Computer Science?
Indeed, we do not always have the passion in doing a particular thing at the beginning; but, we can grow up the passion gradually. First of all, we take the "Just Do It" approach. We don't consider whether we like to do the job or we get interest in doing it, but at least we don't hate it. This is the seed of growing up passion. Later on, we get more knowledge, experience, and feeling or even we find interest in doing it. Passion is budding. Afterwards, we would like to know more about it and even want to produce something belongs to it. We get passion!
So far, I talked a lot related to Computer Science. Perhaps, you might ask "Does Study Tour 2007 always talk about Computer Science?" Actually, this study tour did also give me an opportunity to explore the United Kingdom. I learnt some history of it, and I also know some culture of it. There are tones of it! I am not going to talk so much here. Go to the report and Check it out =D