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   Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS
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amichail
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Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« on: Apr 23rd, 2005, 2:52pm »
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Are we missing a field?
 
I suppose you know my views on this given my earlier posts.  
 
We need a new field X that would be the equivalent of architecture but for CS rather than engineering.
 
Unlike architecture which is constrained by its goals and the laws of physics, field X would be much less constrained.  
 
And just as architecture attracts more creative types, I would expect the same to be true for field X.
 
Note however that field X would not be about GUI/Web design.  Rather, field X would be about building new kinds of appliations quite unlike those that we have seen before.
 
The work done at the MIT media lab for example is a step in this direction.
 
I think the focus on mostly technical problems in computing has resulted in a rather incomplete field, with many possibilities missed.
« Last Edit: Apr 23rd, 2005, 3:12pm by amichail » IP Logged

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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #1 on: Apr 24th, 2005, 2:09am »
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Firstly i don't see why it should just be part of the CS field. What does it matter if it's a sperate or combined field?
Secondly I don't think it's missing. Though I'm not quite sure what you want from it.
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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24th, 2005, 3:01pm »
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on Apr 24th, 2005, 2:09am, towr wrote:
Firstly i don't see why it should just be part of the CS field. What does it matter if it's a sperate or combined field?
Secondly I don't think it's missing. Though I'm not quite sure what you want from it.

First, it need not be a "science" and so including it in CS may cause problems.  For example, although CHI does publish work like this, such papers typically need to have scientific contributions (e.g., experiments with statistially significant results).  And so a paper that merely proposes ideas but does not validate them might not get published, even if those ideas are very interesting (and might yield scientific contributions in later papers by others).
 
Second, I expect that people who would work in this new field to be more like people who would major in the arts rather than math/science/engineering. And so, I would expect that different sorts of  entrance critera would be required for accepting such students.
 
Third, computer science very much values more theoretical research, with the top conferences/journals being very theoretical (e.g., Journal of the ACM, STOC/FOCS). Experimental work of course is also valued, but probably not as highly.  More speculative ideas are typically not valued highly at all. In contrast, they would be valued highly in field X.
« Last Edit: Apr 24th, 2005, 3:08pm by amichail » IP Logged

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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #3 on: Apr 24th, 2005, 11:21pm »
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I'd really like to know more about what sort of cross between art and computer science you're thinking about. Because visual art, computers graphics, surely can't be it. (And I would say architecture is in many ways a visual art, build to be seen)
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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #4 on: Apr 25th, 2005, 12:34am »
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on Apr 24th, 2005, 11:21pm, towr wrote:
I'd really like to know more about what sort of cross between art and computer science you're thinking about. Because visual art, computers graphics, surely can't be it. (And I would say architecture is in many ways a visual art, build to be seen)

It need not be visual.  Field X would allow people to brainstorm new application ideas.  Papers would get published if the idea proposed is particularly intriguing/promising, even if no evaluation has been done.
 
The point is to take away existing CS hurdles (e.g., the requirement for a scientific contribution) so that interesting application ideas will be seen as soon as possible.
 
As for specific examples of the sorts of ideas I have in mind, take a look at the MIT media lab work or some of the CleverCS postings.
« Last Edit: Apr 25th, 2005, 12:35am by amichail » IP Logged

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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #5 on: Apr 25th, 2005, 1:32am »
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But isn't software design, and software companies, already doing these sort of things?
I suppose you can often argue the elegance of the results. But they build things to work, like architects. Without scientific interest in mind.
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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #6 on: Apr 25th, 2005, 2:08am »
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on Apr 25th, 2005, 1:32am, towr wrote:
But isn't software design, and software companies, already doing these sort of things?
I suppose you can often argue the elegance of the results. But they build things to work, like architects. Without scientific interest in mind.

 
Yes, some of the more innovative startups are doing this.  But why would this imply that study/research in this topic is unnecessary?
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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #7 on: Apr 25th, 2005, 4:41am »
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I'm not really sure what there is to study and research, besides what's already being done in existing fields.
 
Studies of architecture also fall under other fields; ergonomics, art history etc.
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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #8 on: Apr 25th, 2005, 5:03am »
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on Apr 25th, 2005, 4:41am, towr wrote:
I'm not really sure what there is to study and research, besides what's already being done in existing fields.
 
Studies of architecture also fall under other fields; ergonomics, art history etc.

Many interesting ideas come from studying other fields.  See for example the work done by the sociable media group which is heavily influenced by sociology: http://smg.media.mit.edu/.
 
Field X would benefit from a multidisciplinary approach for both teaching and research.
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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #9 on: Apr 28th, 2005, 4:12pm »
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I have been informed of the following paper that seems to address my complaints about CS:
 
http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1035134.1035153
 
However, I don't think the proposal in that paper will solve anything.  Having a separate venue in a conference for "big idea" papers will not put them on the same level as other papers.
 
If you get a paper accepted at CHI for example (which does follow this proposal), people will ask you if it was accepted to the main program or to "alt.chi".
 
In the field I propose, only "big idea" papers will be accepted.
« Last Edit: Apr 28th, 2005, 4:12pm by amichail » IP Logged

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Re: Architecture is to Engineering as ??? is to CS  
« Reply #10 on: Sep 2nd, 2005, 9:24am »
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OOPSLA has a track known as "Onward!" that is supposed to be "big idea" papers.  Starting this year, there are "Onward! papers" and "Onward! presentatiions".  The papers are in the OOPSLA proceedings.
 
Most of the ideas at Onward! are about programming rather than applications, but the A in OOPSLA is Applications, and OOPSLA has traditionally been favorable to them.
 
See http://www.oopsla.org
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