MOBILE – A NEW ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE
- December 24, 2015
- Posted by: iNurture
- Category: Blogs
How are courses of study formalized in an education system? Historically, new academic disciplines emerge from a fundamental need for:
- Creation of a new knowledge base (further research and study) which is significantly different from old ones
- Creation of human resources with skills and knowledge in this field.
Changes and progress in the world naturally lead to new developments. In due course of time, the importance and relevance of past fields of study often diminish. Innovation and further knowledge building occurs in these new fields while the number of minds and jobs focused on old fields dry up.
Let’s look at how Computer Science, which is the foundation discipline in the area of Computers, evolved. When do you think Computer Science actually became an academic discipline? Wikipedia says Computer Science, as we know it; emerged sometime in the latter half of the 20th century with much help from the likes of Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing and John Von Neumann. We are told by IBM, the grand daddy of all things computer related, that T. J. Watson Sr., Columbia University’s Benjamin Wood and Harvard University’s Bill Aiken also played big part in defining this newly emerging field of study.
Computer Science initially focused on familiarizing students with the computer and its innards as well as developing programmeming and logical analysis skills. The study of Microprocessor design, Compiler Design, Computer Algorithms, Operating Systems, programmeming languages like assembly and Ada or Fortran were part of the curriculum.
As computers became prolific and computer hardware became highly standardized, the focus slowly shifted to computer software. New operating systems, software architectures and languages emerged. As computer operating systems and languages became more standardized, the number of software companies multiplied and a strong base of trained computer scientists emerged. The focus slowly shifted to the study of large scale enterprise software development, software development processes and methodologies, useful new software applications and frameworks like RDBMS and Java.
In any scenario, every now and then, new innovations come along and cause tectonic shift in the landscape. This spawns a whole new area of focus. The emergence of the worldwide web in the early nineties is a good example of such a shift that impacted what was taught in universities.
The emergence of mobile phones as computing platforms can be viewed as a similar tectonic shift in the landscape. Mobile phones have had a large impact on society and industry over the last decade or so, transforming modes of personal and business communication and redefining several industries. As a computing platform and in terms of usage, mobile differs considerably from its predecessors warranting creation of a new knowledge base and academic focus.
Seen through the lens of historical developments, mobile appears to meet the criteria required to herald the emergence of a new academic discipline.
Academic Head & Mentor – Mobile Applications
iNurture Education Solutions