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.

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...