What is a Computer and Information Research Scientist?

Are you a computer geek? Do you love problem solving? You may want to consider pursuing a career as a computer and information research scientist!

Computer and information research scientists invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other uses.

What does a Computer and Information Research Scientist do?

The work that computer and information research scientists do often leads to advancement and increased efficiency in many areas, such as better networking technology, faster computing speeds, and improved information security.

Two computer and information research scientists designing new technology.

Computer and information research scientists work on a more theoretical level than other computer professionals.

Some computer tasks are very difficult and require complex algorithms, which are sets of instructions that tell a computer what to do. Computer research scientists try to improve and simplify existing algorithms to make the computer system as efficient as possible.

Computer research scientists also create new algorithms. These algorithms become the foundation for advancements in many types of technology such as machine learning systems and cloud computing.

Computer and information research scientists typically do the following:

  • Explore fundamental issues in computation and develop theories and models to address those issues
  • Help scientists and engineers solve complex computing problems
  • Invent new computing languages, tools, and methods to improve the way in which people work with computers
  • Develop and improve the software systems that form the basis of the modern computing experience
  • Design experiments to test the operation of these software systems
  • Analyze the results of their experiments
  • Publish their findings in academic journals

Many people with a computer and information research science background become professors and teachers. Researchers in an academic setting typically focus on computer theory, although those working for businesses or scientific organizations usually focus on projects that have the possibility of producing profits.

Some computer research scientists collaborate with electrical engineers, computer hardware engineers, and other specialists to work on multidisciplinary projects.

The following are examples of some specialties for computer and information research scientists:

Hardware
Computer research scientists who study hardware architecture discover new ways to process and send information. They design computer chips and processors using new materials and technology to make chips and processors work faster and to give them more computing power.

Robotics
Some computer research scientists study how to improve robots. Robotics explores how a machine can interact with the physical world as effectively as humans and other living creatures.

Computer research scientists create the programs that control the robots. They work closely with engineers who focus on the hardware design of robots. Together, these workers test how well the robots do the tasks they were created to do – such as assemble cars and collect data on other planets.

Software
Computer research scientists write the software that controls the electronic components in cars and other advanced machines. The embedded software written by the computer research scientists is complex and requires a high degree of accuracy because of the consequences of failure of the electronic components within such products, such as a car’s braking system, or an ultrasound machine.

Are you suited to be a computer and information research scientist?

Computer and information research scientists have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if computer and information research scientist is one of your top career matches.

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What is the workplace of a Computer and Information Research Scientist like?

Most computer and information research scientists work for computer systems design and related services firms, software companies, scientific research and development companies, or the federal government.

Most computer and information research scientists work full time, and those who do independent research may have flexibility in their work schedules.

Computer and Information Research Scientists are also known as:
Computer Information Research Scientist Computer Research Scientist Computer Scientist