Computer Sciences Dept.

On Computing Facilities for Computer Science

Edward Desautels

Computer science is viewed as field of study in which the experimental and pragmatic aspects, while initially slighted in some curricula, are becoming recognized as playing an increasingly important role. The need for appropriate computing facilities is examined, and resources not likely to be routinely available from a production computing facility are identified. Equipment selection guidelines are discussed, and experience based on the operation of the University of Wisconsin Computer Sciences Department Computer Systems Laboratory and others is described. The author suggests that these and related experiences at other institutions should lead to the realization that it is not only desirable but necessary that a computer science program have its own laboratory, and whereas equipment costs made this impractical a few years ago, it is now economically feasible.

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