In the last few decades of their development, computers have managed to become a crucial part of modern life, helping us in a wide variety of ways ranging from interplanetary explorations to everyday chores.
The computer science industry has experienced unprecedented growth, and this trend is likely to continue for many more decades. Computer science has, directly and indirectly, contributed to several innovations in our history, some of which are better-known than others. These innovations have shaped the course of our history and have made a profound impact on human beings. Here is a look at the top innovations made possible by computer science.
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
While most people in the world today have access to a well-connected, reliable internet connection, not many people know what powers it and makes it work. In the early days of the internet, there were many different network pools throughout the world. Internet Protocol, along with Transmission Control Protocol, interconnected these isolated networks to give rise to the internet as we know it today. Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf introduced TCP to the world in 1974. It uses a set of synchronization, semantics and syntax for exchanging information between computers through packet switching. FTP, email, and the internet were all made possible thanks to this technology.
World Wide Web (WWW)
Although the internet has existed for many decades, it was initially available mostly to the scientific, government and academic communities. It was only in 1990 that one of the greatest innovations of our history made the World Wide Web possible through the efforts of Tim Berners-Lee. WWW is an information mesh that allows us to navigate the internet through hyperlinks. WWW made it possible to bring the internet to the entire world.
This led to the information boom and is a crucial invention that has allowed us to have any information we want at our fingertips. Today, we can use the internet to stay in touch with people around the world, learn new things, entertain ourselves, and make advancements in the workplace. The future of the internet is expected to transform the world even more.
Wi-Fi, or wireless local area network, is what we use today to connect to the internet. Before the advent of Wi-Fi, ethernet cables were widely used. This is a brilliant innovation in computer science that changed the way we use the internet.
Dr. John O’Sullivan led a team of scientists conducting an astrophysics experiment that led to the discovery of wireless technology. Today, most of the internet traffic in the world is carried through Wi-Fi. This is an innovation that made the internet available and feasible for everyone, regardless of infrastructure and geographical constraints.
Wi-Fi also made it possible for devices to communicate with one another, which has led to other innovations, such as robotics and wearable electronics. The implications of Wi-Fi can be seen in many areas of our life, from home appliances and smartwatches to navigation and healthcare. This crucial innovation was not just a way for us to connect to the internet; it was also what led to worldwide connectivity.
Database Management System (DBMS)
Computer science has always been all about data. Professionals in the industry strive to bring innovations in many fields through data. Degrees like an online masters computer science degree train students for high-demand roles related to data science and software engineering. It is through skills like these that the database management system was invented.
The function of computers is to read and process data. The task of data storage and its retrieval was initially handled through the file system of operating systems. However, issues like discrepancy and redundancy were common. The database management system, or DBMS, was invented to address these issues.
DBMS is an application designed to effortlessly store, retrieve and organize data. It was first developed by Edgar Codd in 1970. This relational DBMS was better than the ones that existed until that point. Soon, it became the norm in industries such as banking, automotive, and the military. DBMS revolutionized the way data is handled. Today, it is an integral part of reservation systems, banking and web applications, among many others.
Along with ALU and input/output, one of the most crucial components of computing has been memory storage. Computer storage has been at the core of its development and performance. Data storage has evolved over time and continues to evolve today.
It started with punch cards and magnetic storage, but these methods only allowed a few kilobytes of data to be stored at one time. The next stage introduced semiconductor memory that allowed for greater memory storage. Optical disks and flash drives were introduced to make data storage more convenient. Today, we can store terabytes of data at a nominal cost. Cloud storage is another major innovation that has changed the way we store data. This is truly an underrated computing invention.
While a lot of modern computer users may not be using USBs, it is certainly an invention that had a positive influence on us. Before the USB, computer users had a bewildering number of ports for attaching peripherals to computers. Hardware connectivity requires parallel and serial ports and connectors. USB, or Universal Serial Bus, was developed to facilitate the transfer of data through connectivity. It was made possible by collaboration between tech companies like Intel and Microsoft. Once introduced, it was used throughout the world and quickly became immensely popular. USB also offers amazing data transfer speeds that were unheard of prior to its invention.
These innovations are technologies that were developed thanks to the direct efforts of computer scientists. Computer scientists also played an important role in developing and supporting software for many other technologies, such as robotic surgeries, microprocessors, DNA sequencing and testing, mobile phones, MRI, and more. These professionals continue to use their skills and expertise to work on innovations that will shape our future.