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Computer Science at the CNRS and in French Universities: A Gradual Institutional Recognition

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129649D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Mar-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 12 page(s) / 49K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

GEORGES-LOUIS BARON: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This article describes a case of institutional innovation -- the development of a new activity among established scientific disciplines. The official recognition of computer science in the French research and educational organizations met many obstacles, at least until the mid-1970s, although research and teaching had been carried on in this field for 20 years. In the CNRS, informatics emerged as a subdiscipline of applied mathematics and fluid mechanics, then of mathematics, before a specific assessment committee was created in 1976 for computer sciences and automation. In the university system, a subcommittee was established in 1972 and became a full committee in 1982; at that time, computer activities had already penetrated the secondary schools.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1990 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Computer Science at the CNRS and in French Universities: A Gradual Institutional Recognition

GEORGES-LOUIS BARON

PIERRE-E. MOUNTER-KUHN

(Image Omitted: Author's addresses: Georges-Louis Baron, 40 rue Bezout, 75014 Paris, France. Pierre-E. Mounier-Kuhn, Centre STS, CNAM, 2 rue Cont6, 75003 Paris, France.)

This article describes a case of institutional innovation -- the development of a new activity among established scientific disciplines. The official recognition of computer science in the French research and educational organizations met many obstacles, at least until the mid- 1970s, although research and teaching had been carried on in this field for 20 years. In the CNRS, informatics emerged as a subdiscipline of applied mathematics and fluid mechanics, then of mathematics, before a specific assessment committee was created in 1976 for computer sciences and automation. In the university system, a subcommittee was established in 1972 and became a full committee in 1982; at that time, computer activities had already penetrated the secondary schools.

Categories and Subject Descriptors: K.2 [Computing Milieux]: History of Computing -- people, systems. K.3.2 [Computing Milieux]: Computers and Education -- computer and information science education.

General Terms: Management, Standardization.

Additional Terms: CNU, CNRS, University Assessment, Interdisciplinarity Degree Programs, Theses, DGRST, IRIA, France, Education.

Introduction

A characteristic feature of the history of computer science in France has been its difficulty in becoming accepted as a major field by both the academic world and industry. This article examines how computer science has penetrated fundamental research and higher education, especially in two of the "central" institutions of this community: the Comite National of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Conseil National des Universites (CNU).

The Comite National comprises all the CNRS topical evaluation committees; its role is to evaluate the scientific quality of its laboratories and researchers, and to define the budgets for laboratories and the assignments of its full-time staff. It was created in 1945 and now consists of 45 sections (or commissions) each with a membership of approximately 20 scientists, and each representing a distinct scientific discipline. It can be compared to the U.S. National Science Foundation committees, or to those of the Science and Engineering Research Council in Great Britain.

The Conseil National des Universites, whose name has changed several times (Comite Consultatif des Universites, Conseil Superieur des Universites etc.), is the consultative body concerned with the professional careers of teachers in higher education.

IEEE Computer Society, Mar 31, 1990 Page 1 IEEE Annals of the...