Thesis ID: CBB839611150

Computer Science on Campus: Technology, (Inter)Disciplinarity, and the Transformation of the American University (2022)


Galison, Peter (Advisor)
Schoenstein, Tasha L. (Author)

Galison, Peter
Harvard University
Publication date: 2022
Language: English

Publication Date: 2022
Physical Details: 248

This dissertation explores how computer science became a discipline in the United States and how this process of discipline formation and institutionalization shaped the content and culture of computer science. Like other fields of knowledge, computer science in the United States emerged out of established disciplines; however, unlike many other scientific or engineering fields, computer science developed simultaneously out of multiple other disciplines and multiple different interdisciplinary arrangements. This dissertation explores how each of these disciplines in specific university contexts contributed to the construction of the character of computer science and the definition of the identity of the computer scientist and how different interdisciplinary relationships provided opportunities for the development of distinct visions of computer science. Drawing on archival research from university and department records as well as the papers of university administrators, computer scientists, mathematicians, electrical engineers, and others, this work reveals how the processes of discipline formation shaped everything from the intellectual foundation and internal culture of computer science to the modern American university’s institutional structure and approach to interdisciplinary knowledge-making.

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Authors & Contributors
Allison, James P.
Bod, Rens
Braman, Sandra
Campbell, Scott M.
Clarke, David D.
Delille, Emmanuel
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
Engineering Studies
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
University of Toronto
ENS Editions
Harvard University Press
Oxford University Press
The MIT Press
University of West Virginia Press
Discipline formation
Interdisciplinary approach to knowledge
Universities and colleges
Computer science
Science education and teaching
Social sciences
Old, Lloyd J.
Zinder, Norton D.
Time Periods
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
20th century
United States
North America
United Kingdom
University of Toronto
Harvey Mudd College

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