26 Chapter 1 The Big Picture languages, (computer) architecture, operating systems, software method-ology and engineering, and human-computer communication. Not surpris-ingly, these are called systems areas . Six of the subareas relate to the computer’s use as a tool: numerical and symbolic computation, databases and informational retrieval, artificial intelligence and robotics, graphics, organizational informatics, and bioinformatics. These areas are called applications areas . Research is ongoing in both systems and applications. Systems research produces better general tools; applications research produces better tools for the domain-specific applications. There is no doubt that the relation-ships between the people who investigate computing topics as a discipline directly affect those who use computers as a tool. Computing research fuels the applications people use daily, and the turnaround for the tech-nology is amazingly fast. This symbiotic relationship is more dynamic in computing than in any other discipline. In this book we explain, at an introductory level, the ideas underlying
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