Lately I’ve been very interested in academic side of computers. Complex systems, Theoretical Computing, and Control Theory are two of my focuses right now. This has come about because I’m getting more interested in how the systems work and how ti measure them, more then how to implement them. My career has been very focus on the implementation then how systems work and can be measured. I’ve never had any sort of formal Computer Science education, making a lot of this new territory to me. As I dive deeper into these topics I realize how much math I have forgotten over the years. These topics are some of reasons for me to refresh my math skills, however math skills are also analyze sampled data such as monitoring data. A great video discussing data analysis is by Noah Kantrowitz at Monitorama PDX 2014.
Some of the topics I’m learning about are much broader then others. The definitions of these fields of study as defined by their Wikipedia articles are as follows,
Control theory is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering and mathematics that deals with the behavior of dynamical systems with inputs, and how their behavior is modified by feedback.
Wikipedia: Control Theory
The field of theoretical computer science is interpreted broadly so as to include algorithms, data structures, computational complexity theory, distributed computation, parallel computation, VLSI, machine learning, computational biology, computational geometry, information theory, cryptography, quantum computation, computational number theory and algebra, program semantics and verification, automata theory, and the study of randomness. Work in this field is often distinguished by its emphasis on mathematical technique and rigor.
Wikipedia: Theoretical Computer Science
Complex systems present problems both in mathematical modelling and philosophical foundations. The study of complex systems represents a new approach to science that investigates how relationships between parts give rise to the collective behaviors of a system and how the system interacts and forms relationships with its environment.
Wikipedia: Complex Systems
All of these topics I feel are important as products start to become much simpler and centrally controlled or incredibly complex in their interactions. Algorithms, controls, and data are becoming more and more important to understand.