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The Computer Boys Take OverComputers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise$
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Nathan L. Ensmenger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262050937

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262050937.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 24 June 2022

The Rise of Computer Science

The Rise of Computer Science

(p.111) 5 The Rise of Computer Science
The Computer Boys Take Over

Nathan Ensmenger

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the emergence of computer science as the representative science of modern computing. It suggests that its rise as an academic discipline between the 1970s and the 1990s reflects a series of messy compromises about what the academic study of computing should look like and what subjects it should address. It contends that while strategy pursued by the advocates of theoretical computer science served them well within the university, it increasingly alienated them from their colleagues in industry. This chapter also discusses how university computer science programs helped practitioners in their battle for professional legitimacy.

Keywords:   computer science, modern computing, academic discipline, university programs, practitioners, professional legitimacy

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