What is an Informatician?

Informatician n. (ĭn'fər-mă'tĭsh'ən)
a person skilled or learned in informatics

A late 20th–early 21st century word, more widely used in Europe, referring to a person who conducts information studies. Just as mathematician practices mathematics, an informatician practices informatics.

Informatics n. (ĭn'fər-măt'ĭks)
The study of representation, processing, and communication of information in natural and engineered systems. It has computational, cognitive and social aspects. The central notion is the transformation of information - whether by computation or communication, whether by organisms or artefacts.
The science of processing data for storage and retrieval; information science.

ORIGIN 1960s: from information + -ics , translating Russian informatika.

There is a rival camp who are describing people who study information as informatists. It is derived by looking at people who practice science, scientists, and adding the appropriate ending, -ists, to informatics. Informatics and Informatician are firmly entrenched in the European vernacular and will ultimately trump informatists as the proper term.

The University of Edinburgh has an excellent Informatics program that turns out MSc and PhD level informaticians each year. Their definition of informatics takes into account four major discipline, all of which contribute to an informaticians studies. Wikipedia also has an entry about informatics and informaticians which will constantly be evolving.


Last modified: October 11, 2009 11:11:20 UTC

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