Basically, informatics is the science of processing data for storage and retrieval that is; information science. Informatics is a science of computer information systems. As an academic field, it involves the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems ( Levy, 180). As an academic field of study, it considers the interactions human and computers engage in as they construct interfaces organization, technology and system. Informatics therefore develops its own conceptual and theoretical foundations and utilizes foundations developed by other fields. As such, the field of informatics is broad and entails or encompasses many individual specializations, including disciplines of computer science, information system, information technology and statistics. With the development of the computers we have today, information is processes digitally by organizations and individuals. This has then led to the study of informatics with computational, mathematical, biological, cognitive and social aspects viewpoints, which also include the study of the social impacts of the information technology.
Computing on the other hand is simply the use or operation of computers. Computing is therefore any activity that is goal-oriented, which requires benefits and creates algorithmic processes through the use of computers. Computing includes designing, building and developing software and hardware systems, processing, structuring, and managing various kinds of information that is; doing scientific research on and with computers. It also include making computers behave intelligently, create and use communications and entertainment media. The fields of computing include computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, information systems and information technology, (Zadeh, 283).
Before I started taking the course that deals with informatics and computing, I thought this course was about relaying information from one geographical position to another using computer. I thought it was sending information to other people in different locations from where we are, just in the same way we do via Google plus or Facebook. I came to realize that my perception was totally not on point.
My perception has changed a great deal since I found out that informatics is about studying computer information systems, which deals with practical application of technology to support organizations while adding value to their offerings. In order to apply technology effectively in this manner, a broad range of subjects are covered, such as communications, business, networking, software design and mathematics. I also came to realize that informatics and computing includes subjects such as library and information science, and computer science. It examines new uses for information technology in order to solve specific problems in areas as diverse as biology, fine arts and economics. Informatics also looks at how people can transform technology and how technology transforms people. It also incorporates specializations in social, medical, musical and bioinformatics.
In the field of medicine, informatics is used, whereby its called health informatics (health care informatics). Health informatics is a field that uses health information technology (HIT) to improve health care via any combination of higher quality, higher efficiency, which is spurring lower costs and thus greater availability, and new opportunities, (Eysenbach, 156). This field if study deals with resources, devices and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information I health and biomedicine. Health informatics tools include clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems. It is applied to areas of nursing, clinical care, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, occupational therapy, physical therapy, biomedical research and alternative medicine. Taking a good look at music informatics, I discovered that music informatics is an emerging interdisciplinary research area that is dealing with the production, distribution, consumption and analysis of music technology, especially in digital formats.
Music informatics include music technology such as, iPods, peer-to-peer application, digital audio editors, online music search engines and musical information retrieval (MIR); cognitive, social, economic issues in music as well as improvisation and music performance. Music informatics studies all these topics not only to have a better music design search and retrieval systems, but also to develop a fundamental understanding of the nature of the music and its associated behaviors as well, (Lerch, 418)
All these made me to have a broad understanding of informatics and computing not to be about relaying information from one geographical position to the other, but to entail a whole lot more like I have discussed above. Computing, which at all times you have to use a computer machine while engaging in this filed, has really transformed the society. Time is collapsing; distance is no longer an obstacle. Crossing oceans only take a mouse click. Computing has a lot to do with the computer machine since it involves creating and developing of software and hardware. Computer, which integrates software and hardware together, has a lot of uses in our today society. Computer has a wide range of uses, from the entertainment industry, to medicine. In fact, you cannot limit the uses of computers. For example, in the entertainment industry, you could use a computer to play games on your PC or play online games; you could also use your computer to do your personal or schoolwork research over the internet with a computer machine, (Looney, 56).
Since I thought that computing and informatics is about relaying information to other people who are far removed from us physically, I wanted to know in detail what it really is about. That is how I got the interest in knowing so much about these two fields of study. But the main reason why I was motivated to study these two areas is because I wanted to have so much information that I could either use when I have engaged in a conversation with a person who knows so much about these two fields or when I want to my knowledge to solve everyday problems that my computer has. I always had a plan of being a software engineer in future. As software, one has to be so much familiar with mathematics, because that is inevitable when you want to become an engineer in that field. But with modern days, computers have really revolutionized work places such that if you do not have any computer skill, you do not stand a chance of securing yourself a job with any company or any organization, (Kling Rob, 122) Software is made with the intention of being put into computers. So as a profession, I always linked software engineering to informatics and computing. Maybe they do not link directly but I just linked those two areas.
Talking about my own perception of informatics and computing, it was so much challenged. I realized that it was totally different from what I was thinking. For example, I came to discover that informatics is about or studies a wide range of subjects such as computer science, information system, information technology, and information processing just like I discussed there above. I also came to realize that computing, which deals with using computers, also studies computer science, information systems and information technology. My whole perception was absolutely different from what I learnt in informatics and computing.
Eysenbach, Gunther, and Christian Kohler. "How do consumers search for and appraise health information on the world wide web? Qualitative study using focus groups, usability tests, and in-depth interviews." Bmj 324.7337 (2002): 573-577.
Kling, Rob, ed. Computerization and controversy: value conflicts and social choices. Morgan Kaufmann, 1996.
Levy, Allan H. "Is informatics a basic medical science." Proceeding of MEDINFO 979 (1977).
Looney, Brian M., et al. "Music organizer and entertainment center." U.S. Patent No. 5,969,283. 19 Oct. 1999.
Zadeh, Lotfi A., ed. Computing with words in Information/Intelligent systems 1: Foundations. Vol. 33. Physica, 2013.
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