Summer School on
Experimental Computer Science

Computer Science has an established mathematical theory of what can be computed and at what cost. It also has a well-developed engineering side, spanning hardware development, software development, and the crafting of applications ranging from massive search through computer vision to robotic control. But it has much less to offer in terms of experimentation as it is commonly done in the natural sciences.

In Computer Science, experimentation is often taken to mean implementing a prototype or running a simulation. But in the natural sciences experimental science is more about observation and measurement of nature. It is this connection to reality that seems to be most often missing in Computer Science research. Too much work is being based on assumptions that are either mathematically convenient, or seem to make sense, without verifying that they indeed hold in practice.

The goal of the proposed summer school is to teach students how to be good scientists in addition to being good engineers. It is planned to be a 5-day event, with course offerings in the following three major topic areas. The idea of holding such a summer school was raised at the educational roundtable held at the Workshop on Experimental Computer Science in San Diego as part of ACM FCRC 2007.

dgf / 31 Oct 2007