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Computer science has an experimental scientific aspect--like every other science. Experiments are made with suitable computer programs in order to discover facts. The programs are usually not applications but specialized to the scientific problem being investigated. It is a mistake to divide computer science simply into theoretical and applied parts. Basic computer science has both theoretical and applied parts. Applied computer science certainly has an experimental part, and presumably it has a theoretical part also.

We wouldn't expect to have to tell you this.

Unfortunately, many computer scientists and other people divide computer science into theoretical and applied computer science, leaving no place for basic experimental work.

This report describes basic experimental work in several domains of computer science.

John McCarthy
Tue Jun 24 17:47:36 PDT 1997