Based on the quality and frequency of postings and benefits offered to current and aspiring computer scientists, here are our picks for the 25 best blogs about computer science of 2012. Blogs are listed alphabetically.
#1. A+ Computer Science Blog: Subtitled “Computer Science is Cool,” this blog maintained by a high school computer science teacher contains links to relevant articles as well as reviews of computer programs and how they relate to education and career preparation. His advice to education administrators on the best ways to teach computer science is invaluable.
Where to Begin: Check out Cranking Code Early for the author’s opinion on Estonia’s decision to begin teaching computer science in first grade.
#2. Computational Complexity: Targeted at an audience that enjoys “fun stuff in math and computer science,” this blog by a pair of computer science professors combines hardcore technical analysis of computer science issues with engaging, logically sound discussions of cultural topics that interest a wider audience. It includes a useful list of links to books, conference speakers and research paper archives.
Where to Begin: Check out App Love for some quick thumbnail sketches of the top smartphone apps for computer science-minded individuals.
#3. Computational Information Geometry Wonderland: Highly technical and heavily scientific in its approach, this blog offers a wealth of value to anyone intrigued by the computational information geometry sector of computer science. This topic is one of today’s hottest segments of the computer science field among researchers.
Where to Begin: Check out Human Vs. Computer Image Segmentation for a vivid examination of the esoteric yet fascinating puzzle of image segmentation.
#4. Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson: This blog’s author brings a unique and valuable perspective to the field of computer science as an educator focused on students in kindergarten through 12th grade. His posts place an emphasis on computer programming instruction, programming languages, academic competitions and school courses on computer science.
Where to Begin: Read Don’t Panic, an informative article on overcoming the fear of getting started in computer programming.
#5. A Computer Scientist in a Business School: Also known as “Behind Enemy Lines,” this blog offers unique insights from a business school professor who refers to himself as a “double agent” concentrating on computer science amid his business-obsessed colleagues. He examines the latest topics in computer science on their own terms and with an eye on how they apply to the business realm.
Where to Begin: Check out Uncovering an Advertising Fraud Scheme for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the technical aspects of an Internet scam.
#6. Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media: This multifaceted site delves into a diverse range of subjects from linguistics to search engines to artificial intelligence. A computer scientist with Microsoft authors the blog.
Where to Begin: Check out Google’s Year in Local Search for a meticulously detailed look at the evolution of a search tool employed by Google.
#7. The Endeavour: Scientifically rigorous yet accessible to a general audience as well, this blog is written by a consultant with experience as a math professor, computer programmer and statistician. An active site with frequent postings, the blog focuses on imaginative, mathematically meticulous approaches to problem-solving.
Where to Begin: Check out The Smallest Uninteresting Number and Fuzzy Logic to read a whimsical take on a paradox from the field of classical statistics.
#8. The Female Perspective of Computer Science: Aimed primarily at girls and women interested in computer science, this blog is written by a doctoral student known as “Comp Sci Gail.” Her favorite blog subjects include educational games and computer science’s role in higher education.
Where to Begin: Take a look at Things I Like About Python for a summary of the advantages the programming language Python offers to beginners in the field.
#9. The Geomblog: Subtitled “Ruminations on computational geometry, algorithms, theoretical computer science and life,” this blog chronicles the author’s adventures in the discipline of computer science. The author tackles topics that seem dry on their surface and writes about them from fresh angles to draw the reader in.
Where to Begin: Check out NIPS ruminations I for an expansive recap of the writer’s experience at an industry conference at Lake Tahoe.
#10. Glencora Borradaile: Written by a university professor, this blog scrutinizes developments in computer science and how they apply to students and instructors in higher education. Improving productivity in the college classroom is one of his favorite topics.
Where to Begin: Check out The $17,500 Computer Science Degree for the pros and cons of an innovative online university degree program.
#11. Gödel’s Lost Letter and P=NP: Named for a letter that renowned mathematician Kurt Gödel wrote to fellow mathematician John von Neumann in 1956 about the complexity of algorithms, this blog offers a personal and highly intelligent take on the theoretical side of computer science. Two university computer science professors write the blog.
Where to Begin: Read When Less Is More, which creatively links the Victorian poet Robert Browning to some problems involved with mathematical proofs.
#12. Gowers’s Weblog: Based in England and authored by a member of Cambridge’s Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, this scientific blog examines how the field of arithmetic combinatorics applies to computer science. It includes a comprehensive blogroll featuring links to other sites of interest to readers.
Where to Begin: Check out Mathematics Meets Real Life for an intensely personal discussion of a medical problem facing the author and the philosophical underpinnings of his reaction to it.
#13. In Theory: With a quote from Homer Simpson prominently featured on its title page, this blog lets readers know right away to expect touches of light-hearted humor as well as in-depth discussion on education, computer science and math. The author is a professor at Stanford University.
Where to Begin: Check out Lies, Damn Lies, and Predictions for a no-holds-barred look at the rough-and-tumble world of political prognostication.
#14. Jason’s Computer Science Blog: Maintained by a computer scientist pursuing his doctorate, this is an informative collection of research, updates on projects and tutorials on tools and programs. It also includes guest articles from professionals in the computer science field.
Where to Begin: Read IEEE ICC 2012 – Ottawa for a recap of the author’s presentation at an industry conference on wireless networking technology.
#15. Lambda the Ultimate: Billing itself as “The Programming Languages Weblog,” this site is devoted mainly to the discussion of computer programming languages and programming language research. It welcomes questions, announcements and other contributions from professionals in the field.
Where to Begin: Check out Learnable Programming for highlights from an essay that elegantly outlines the ideal goals of a programming system.
#16. The Leisure of the Theory Class: Maintained by a group of five professors from the United States and the Middle East, this blog focuses on speculation and musings on various aspects of economic theory and game theory. It features an engaging synthesis of dense scientific writing for computer fanatics and lighter posts on general-interest subjects.
Where to Begin: Check out Turtles, Fossils and Conditional Probability to enjoy an article that is a delightful blend of biology, math and linguistics.
#17. My Biased Coin: Cleverly named after a concept used in probability theory and statistics, this blog focuses on algorithms, information theory and other aspects of computer science. It includes a comments section that consistently draws intelligent responses from readers.
Where to Begin: Take a look at Assessing Computer Scientists for a critique of the methodology behind systems that are designed to rate computer science professionals.
#18. Oddhead Blog: Subtitled “Musings of a Computer Scientist on Predictions, Odds and Markets,” this blog investigates the links between computer science and fields such as finance, advertising and the prediction marketplace. It also delves into topics such as sports prognosticating, gambling games and hacking.
Where to Begin: Check out A Toast to the Number 303: A Redemptive Election Night for Science, and The Signal for an in-depth discussion of the 2012 U.S. Presidential election results.
#19. Paul Goldberg: Based in England and maintained by a professor of computer science at the University of Liverpool, this blog emphasizes computer science theory, the technical side of economics and the academic life. The author keeps a close eye on conferences scheduled on those topics throughout the world.
Where to Begin: Check out Publishers Versus Openness for a succinct yet pointed take on the furor surrounding the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act.
#20. The Polylogblog: Aimed largely at researchers and academics, this blog focuses mostly on the study of data streams and related issues. A professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts maintains the blog.
Where to Begin: Read Data Streaming in Dortmund: Day 1, in which the author chronicles his trip to Germany for a workshop on algorithms for data streams.
#21. Process Algebra Diary: Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, this blog blends analyses of academic papers with tributes to some of history’s most influential computer scientists and creative interpretations of computer science theories. The blog has been active since 2006.
Where to Begin: Check out J.E. Littlewood’s Take on Research Strategy for a look at some timeless advice from the past that still applies to researchers today.
#22. Prof. M. Saeed: Written from a Pakistani perspective, this blog offers a healthy mix of computer science analysis and socio-political posts focusing on international relations and the connections between Middle Eastern nations and the rest of the world. The scientific posts are typically heavy on the discipline of physics and how it relates to computer science.
Where to Begin: Check out Autism Diagnostic in Infants: Computer Vision, which spotlights a program designed to track body movement in infants with a goal of diagnosing neuro-developmental disorders such as autism.
#23. Profserious: Subtitled “Serious Engineering,” the focal point of this blog is the intersection of engineering and computer science. It regularly attracts articulate comments from bright and engaged readers on subjects involving the academic life and the humanities as well as hardcore computer science.
Where to Begin: Read What Is a University? for a highly informed discourse on scholarship and the pursuit of knowledge.
#24. Shtetl-Optimized: Written by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this blog explores the intricacies of computational complexity and quantum computing. It does not shy away from the occasional personal post or lighter touches such as reviews of popular movies from a logically sound perspective.
Where to Begin: Check out The $10 Billion Voter for an extended technical argument in favor of the concept that it is rational for citizens to vote in elections.
#25. Uncertain Principles: One of the most active blogs in the computer science realm, this site has developed a strong following with its mix of physics, politics, science and pop culture. A professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., maintains the blog.
Where to Begin: Check out Science is Our Human Heritage for a riveting rant driven by the author’s frustration with people who seem to take pride in their lack of scientific knowledge.