Tuesday, June 16, 2015

An Emerging Field -- Letter Re "Cultures of Code" Am. Sci.

As Brian Hayes points out in "Cultures of Code" (Computing Science, January–February), there is more to studying the interaction of humans with computers than the algorithm-oriented computer science that one learns in an introductory undergraduate course. Nevertheless, despite all the diverse computer-related cultures mentioned in the piece, Hayes failed to mention the emerging field of data science. In this discipline, unlike the other computer-related disciplines discussed, the computation is focused on the structure and sometimes-subtle statistical relationships within large data sets. Moreover, data science is further differentiated from other computer-related disciplines in its emphasis on visualization to help tease out subtle but important patterns. With this new field of data science becoming popular in data-rich areas, such as the biological sciences and various branches of finance, perhaps it should be added as a fourth culture to Hayes’s canon.

Dov Greenbaum & Mark Gerstein

Above is a published letter, with the following citation:
D Greenbaum & M Gerstein (2015). "An Emerging Field", American Scientist (May-Jun., vol. 103, pg. 164)

Published letter in response to:
Cultures of Code
Three communities in the world of computation are bound together by common interests but set apart by distinctly different aims and agendas.
Brian Hayes
Specifically, from Issue:
January-February 2015, Volume 103, Number 1, Page: 10