Happy Computer Science Education Week! This year’s theme is #CSEverywhere, honoring the impact of computer science in a boggling array of industries, career paths, subjects, and everyday activities. In honor of #CSEdWeek 2022, we’ve gathered 3 surprising ways that computer science has catalyzed innovation EVERYWHERE.
As the Beatles were walking Abbey Road and the Rolling Stones were licking their way to chart-topping heights, brilliant innovations in computer science (like sampling, sequencing, and digital drum kits) surfaced that gave rise to new genres like hip-hop and EDM while altering the trajectory of music itself. For example, the development of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) made it possible for any musician with a computer to become their own producer. Prior to MIDI, the recording process required a sound booth, session musicians, mixers and other expensive features. But with the trusty MIDI, a single musician can sing, accompany themselves, and mix multiple tracks together to produce a polished recording using only a computer, a mic, and digital recording software.
Computer science has come to the rescue of priceless, aging texts that are often browned, splotchy, or cut off at the margins. Enthusiastic readers are frustrated by the “black dot problem”, where, over centuries of translations, illegible characters have been replaced by black dots — so the word "love," for example, might show up as "lo•e." Now, thanks to language modeling and machine learning, computers can evaluate nearby characters and make replacement suggestions for black dots, which drastically reduces time and labor and is producing extremely high-quality transcriptions of aging literary treasures!
Development of new medicines, medical equipment manufacturing, and even how diseases are identified have seen massive improvements in recent years due to computer science. Even more exciting, computer technology (and especially CS-gathered data from the Human Genome Project) has given rise to the promising field of personalized medicine, which uses an individual’s genetic profile to guide decisions made in regard to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.
CS has helped unlock mysteries in math and medicine; it’s been used to create art. CS built your phone, the internet, your favorite games, movies, and tv shows. CS helped us eradicate diseases and enables us to explore the depth of space. CS helps us imagine ancient civilizations and build the cities of the future. CS is everywhere, and we’re discovering new uses for it every day.