Some computer scientists create programs to control robots.
Computer and information research scientists design innovative uses for new and existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other fields.
Computer and information research scientists typically do the following:
- Explore problems in computing and develop theories and models to address those problems
- Collaborate with scientists and engineers to solve complex computing problems
- Determine computing needs and system requirements
- Develop new computing languages, software systems, and other tools to improve how people work with computers
- Design and conduct experiments to test the operation of software systems, frequently using techniques from data science and machine learning
- Analyze the results of their experiments
- Write papers for publication and present research findings at conferences
Computer and information research scientists create and improve computer software and hardware.
To create and improve software, computer and information research scientists work with algorithms: sets of instructions that tell a computer what to do. Some difficult computing tasks require complex algorithms, which these scientists simplify to make computer systems as efficient as possible. These simplified algorithms may lead to advancements in many types of technology, such as machine learning systems and cloud computing.
To improve computer hardware, these scientists design computer architecture. Their work may result in increased efficiencies, such as better networking technology, faster computing speeds, and improved information security.
The following are examples of specialties for computer and information research scientists:
Programming. Some computer and information research scientists study and design new programming languages that are used to write software. New languages make software writing efficient by improving an existing language, such as Java, or by simplifying a specific aspect of programming, such as image processing.
Robotics. These scientists study the development and application of robots. They explore how a machine can interact with the physical world. For example, they may create systems that control the robots or design robots to have features such as information processing or sensory feedback.
Some computer and information research scientists work on multidisciplinary projects with electrical engineers, computer hardware engineers, and other specialists. For example, robotics specialists and engineers who design robots’ hardware may team up to test whether the robots complete tasks as intended.