Specializations in Computer Science
The areas for specialization within computer science are extremely wide and fast evolving and new specializations continue to evolve. New advancements in computer hardware and software have helped in expanding the scope of applications to areas and users not earlier planned for. This has opened up and continues to open more and more areas where there is a need for such technologically competent people. While new specializations keep evolving we have presented some popular areas of computer science offered by many U.S. universities. These specializations may be offered as degree programs at some universities or as areas of concentration within graduate computer science departments.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
AI is a complex, highly interdisciplinary branch of computer science that attempts to incorporate the principles of human intelligence and reasoning into computing systems. AI research is concerned with modeling all facets of human intelligence. It involves creating computer systems that have the ability to plan (automated deduction), adapt to different situations (machine learning), acquire human-like senses (machine vision and natural-language processing), and effect changes to the environment (robotics).
This specialization brings together the logical mind of a computer graduate with the creative bent of an artist to create precision visuals. It relates to using graphic design and the visual arts in combination with video and computer technologies to produce multi dimensional graphic images. The content and emphasis of computer graphics programs vary greatly depending on the level of study and the department through which the program is offered. The Masters programs focuses on more theoretical, complex areas needed to use the skill professionally in industry.
This Specialization is available in some good universities in USA only therefore academic requirement is slightly higher and students require 65% in bachelors and 298 in GRE.
Computer Engineering is a broad discipline that incorporates the fields of computer science and electrical engineering. Computer engineering emphasizes the theory, design, and development of computers and computer-related technology including both hardware and software. Graduate programs provide opportunities for advanced study in computer engineering.
Computer engineers are responsible for designing, developing, implementing and testing computer-based hardware and software, including the components that are found inside computer equipment, as well as the actual devices that contain the computers and the software that runs on those machines. They may also design networks that connect computer systems, and work on integrating software programs with computer hardware.
Cognitive science is a branch of computer science that is concerned with understanding, simulating, and enhancing both natural and artificial intelligence. It is a highly interdisciplinary stream and draws from research in artificial intelligence, psychology, anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience, and engineering. It is usually offered as specialization at the graduate level only to those who have some background to any of the relevant streams. This field explores the brain and the mechanisms and activities that affect thinking, information processing and learning. Thus it integrates research with applications and focuses on development and optimization of language acquisition, mathematical comprehension and behavior formation.
This is study of the principles of communication between computers. It emphasizes on the design of networks between computers like local area networks (LANs), which connect computers within a small geographical area, and wide area networks (WANs), which use telephone lines or radio waves to connect computers thousands of miles apart. However with the advancement of technology it now also includes networks connecting various devices like hand held devices, mobile phones and other equipment being used as devices for interaction with the computer systems.
Robotics is a branch of computer science that applies artificial intelligence and engineering concepts to create and program mechanical devices (robots) that are able to perform a variety of tasks including some previously performed by humans. There are several specialties to choose from within the field of robotics. Some of these include machine automation, medical robotics, cybernetics, quantum mechanical systems, air traffic management and a variety of other areas that utilize robots to make work processes easier for humans.
A Masters in Software Engineering is designed for individuals who wish to expand their career within this field. It provides students with the skill sets and in-depth knowledge related to computer science, computer technology, management, and engineering economics. It seeks to build cost- effective development and modification of computer software components. This program is meant for those who want to progress in their career in this field only.
Computer programming is the process of designing, writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the source code of computer programs. This source code is written in one or more programming languages. It is one of the most open-ended and commonly pursued specializations. This kind of study also involves testing computer programs for problems ("debugging" them). This stream is sometimes used interchangeably with software engineering however the two streams are different. Software engineering is more about finding solutions to business problems and computer programming is about implementing the solutions.
Database involves the study of systems, known as databases, which can efficiently store, process, and retrieve substantial quantities of information. At the masters level an advanced study of analysis and design of relational, network, and hierarchical databases is generally covered.
Since data is key to any organization for its business the role of the database specialist is crucial while determining the requirements and its use and maintenance. Database system specialists thus play the following roles. They participate in Data Definition (Defining new data structures, removing and modifying the structure of existing data), Data Maintenance (Inserting, updating and deleting data), extracting data and Data Control (monitoring and restricting access).
COMPUTER SERVICING TECHNOLOGY
Computer Service Technology program basically provides technical support to computer users in a work environment. This instructional program prepares individuals to install, operate, upgrade, maintain hardware and software, test, service, create maintenance schedule and diagnose operational problems in computer systems arising from mechanical or electrical malfunctions in computer units or systems.