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Us geeks have known it for ever, but the secret is now out: computer science rocks!

That would seem to be the conclusion that a panel of international experts, admittedly they are experts in Computer Science and Informatics (CS&I), has arrived at. The Research Assessment Exercise 2008 decided that the computational thinking driving the computer science field is a key tool for solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior in many disciplines.

The survey highlights increased levels of influence when it comes to computer science on other disciplines such as bioinformatics and medicine. It also showed that research funding for CS&I for the period 2001 to 2008 more than doubled to £511 million ($763.2 million.)

The project itself was conducted in collaboration with several UK governmental organisations, and surveyed a total of 81 colleges and universities. It determined that the subject was not only healthy and growing, but actually more interdisciplinary and experimental than ever before.

ACM President and First Lady of the Web, Dame Wendy Hall, cited the results as evidence that investment in technology research for computing produces strong economic impacts. "The vitality of the computing field, which is due in large measure to increased investment in research, is directly related to the degree of innovation that emerges from UK research institutions. These innovations, in turn, foster research partnerships with start-up companies as well as spinouts and collaborations with subject matter experts and multinational corporations. The resulting level of economic activity crosses into all industries, even creating new sectors that provide career opportunities in the computing and information technology field," she said.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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