The challenges of multidisciplinary education in computer science

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7 Scopus citations


Some of the most important problems facing the United States and China, indeed facing our entire planet, require approaches that are fundamentally multidisciplinary in nature. Many of those require skills in computer science (CS), basic understanding of another discipline, and the ability to apply the skills in one discipline to the problems of another. Modern training in computer science needs to prepare students to work in other disciplines or to work on multidisciplinary problems. What do we do to prepare them for a multidisciplinary world when there are already too many things we want to teach them about computer science? This paper describes successful examples of multidisciplinary education at the interface between CS and the biological sciences, as well as other examples involving CS and security, CS and sustainability, and CS and the social and economic sciences. It then discusses general principles for multidisciplinary education of computer scientists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-642
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Computer Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Security
  • Social sciences
  • Sustainability


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