Computer Science Fundamentals Too Often the Mechanistic Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Computer Science Fundamentals

Too often the mechanistic are taken for granted in computer science. The technology has been around long enough now, that many take for granted the great powers that computers and computing technology has afforded modern man and his society. The fundamental characteristics of any successful endeavor should be investigated to help identify a pattern and produce learning and gather information.

The purpose of this essay is identify and explain some of the fundamental concepts in the framework of computer architecture. The essay will discuss the Von Neumann architecture and its contribution to the science and the many ideas that this idea has spawned. The essay will then address the importance of Boolean operations and the importance that this language of symbols plays in the logical processes of the computing operation. The essay will finally examine the concepts and fundamentals behind the various types of memory and storage that computer architecture needs to flourish and produce tangible results that can benefit the whole of mankind in new and unprecedented ways.

Von Neumann Architecture

According to Riley (1987) the Von Neumann Architecture of computer systems is based more on an idea of a compilation of four individual parts. He wrote "Von Neumann begins his "Preliminary Discussion" with a broad description of the general-purpose computing machine containing four main "organs." These are identified as relating to arithmetic, memory, control, and connection with the human operator. In other words, the arithmetic logic unit, the control unit, the memory, and the input-output devices that we see in the classical model of what a computer "looks like." Each one of these elements holds their own special place in a Von Neumann architecture that has eventually blossomed into today's computing environment and is prevalent in so many ways.

The four organs or elements are still vital components of any computing architecture in today's world. These are the four basic functions of all computing systems and resonate in other biological systems as well. Von Neumann's architecture reflects larger principles that are reflected in nature that have seem to be reapplied in a technological or material fashion. This is perhaps why the computers work so well with humans in today's age.

Each of the four fundamentals of certain qualities that help define this type of architecture. The memory organ is idealized to have dual function, one to hold the memory and the other to process it, much like the human brain. The control unit is a managing component that moves the data to the necessary place in space and time. The input-output idea is much like the human body in that in needs to both intake and give information to sustain itself. The Arithmetic Logic unit suggests that a mathematical approach is necessary to provide the logical processes in the system.

What is most remarkable about this idea is that the concepts were formed nearly 80 years ago. The evolution of the Von Neumann architecture has exposed its faults and have led to other greater discovery in computer science, however it is the principles behind the architecture that have stood the test of time. Myers (1987 ) agreed: "Any discussion of computer architectures, of how computers and computer systems are organized, designed, and implemented, inevitably makes reference to the "von Neumann architecture" as a basis for comparison. And of course this is so, since virtually every electronic computer ever built has been rooted in this architecture."

System Bus

The system bus is the pathway architecture in which the components of a computer system communicate with each other. The CPU is at one end of the bus and the memory is at the other end. The system bus is measured in speed, and the greater amount of paths or roadways will provide the most responsive reactions by the computer system.

The systems bus itself carries three different types of information: address, data and control. These three forms of data provide a map or plan of the pathways that the information needs to travel within the computer system. The address information is where the data is located, the data itself is the pertinent information, and the control is the flow of this information, used much like a volume knob on a stereo.

Boolean Operators

In the development of computer technology, other disciplines of science have been incorporated to help with the evolution and eventual success of the science. Boolean operators, is a form of mathematical logic that has…

Sources Used in Document:


Himowitz, M. (2001). Don't mix up PC memory, disk storage. The Baltimore Sun 29 Oct 2001. Retrieved from

Goldstine, H.H. And von Neumann, J. On the principles of large scale computing machines. In Taub, A.H., editor, John von Neumann Collected Works, The Macmillan Co., New York, Volume V, 1-32.

MIT Libraries (nd). "Boolean Operators." Viewed 28 Jan 2014. Retrieved from

Riley, H. (1987). The Von Neumann Architecture of Computer Systems. California State Polytechnic University, Sep 1987. Retrieved from

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