Compared to other sciences, computer science is a relatively new disciple.
In the 1950's-1970's, computer science was used to "umbrella" just about any discipline related to computers. Since its early days, computer science has become a well respected scientific area of study and research.
As the study of computation has matured and gained legitimacy, it has also broadened in scope.
Prior to the 1990's, computing was primarily focused on computer science. Over the years, an increasing number of fields have become part of a much larger, more encompassing discipline of computing.
Computing is not just a single discipline anymore; it is a family of disciplines.
This family of disciplines commonly includes:
computer science (CS), information technology (IT), information systems (IS and MIS), software engineering (SE), computer engineering (CE),
and a multitude of other sub-disciplines of each of these areas.
During the 1990s, important changes in computing and communications technology and the impact of that technology on society led to important changes in this family of disciplines.
With the ongoing growth of the various fields of computing, and the necessary specialization of the professionals, engineers, and scientists that are involved.
Computer Science is now a much more focused discipline that can be characterized as the scientific study of the nature of computation.
Computer Science (CS):
A scientific discipline focused on the study of the nature and characteristics of computation (which at it's core is the study of the nature and characteristics of algorithms).
Dr. Peter Denning (an ACM fellow) gives a widely accepted definition: "Computer Science is the study of both natural and artificial processes."
Software Engineering (SE):
An engineering discipline focused on the application of professional engineering practices and the application of scientific principles of computation
to the design and construction of software solutions to real world problems.
Computer Engineering (CE):
An engineering discipline focused on the application of professional engineering practices and the application of scientific principles in physics,
electronics, and computation to the design and construction of computing hardware solutions to real world problems.
Information Technology (IT):
A professional discipline focused on the application and management of computing systems to solve business/organizational problems
(IT has a computing hardware and operating systems orientation to these solutions). Note: ITAA has adopted the following as a definition: "the study of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware."
Information Systems (IS) and Management Information Systems (MIS):
Professional disciplines focused on the application and management of computing software systems to solve business/organizational problems
(IS and MIS have software systems and information management orientations to these solutions; MIS has a greater emphasis in business knowledge, where IS has a greater emphasis in IT & SE knowledge).