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This blog is TOTALLY designed by me.
Everything started last year, when a commission created by the Minister of Higher Education considered computer engineers unqualified to teach computer science. The decision was widely accepted by computer science departments and did not cause any resistance in most of the academic community, except for several computer engineering professors who found themselves unable to renew their contracts at the end of the academic year.
Yesterday, computer engineers protested again, but I am happy to read that the Ministry made things clear and dismissed the new claims against the decision.
Although most people do not know that, but there are relatively more differences than similarities in the two fields. Most of the computer science departments were first established from math departments, that is why computer science curricula contain a significant mathematical foundation and courses like algorithms, numerical analysis and theory of computation. It is not a coincidence that computer science is regarded as a natural science, like mathematics, physics and chemistry.
Computer engineering is different, it has its roots in electrical engineering and depends a lot on electronics, circuits and other electricity-related stuff. Some universities even find it difficult to consider computer engineering an "independent" major. MIT, one of the world's most important technology universities, has an "Electrical Engineering and Computer Science" degree. Here in Jordan, Yarmouk University provides a B.Sc. in electrical engineering with minor in computer engineering for its students. The same classification is applied on computer engineers that want to sign in the Jordan Engineers Association.
As the two subjects differ, it is very improbable that a computer engineer is able to teach a "pure" computer science course in a proper way. Even the common subjects, like operating systems, computer architecture and networking, are used to be taught by respective departments as the required approach may be different based on the target audience.
It is also known that computer engineers -generally- lack good programming skills and knowledge, that's basically caused by a smaller number of programming subjects in their curricula, in addition to the engineering focus on hardware rather than software.
I do not know why in Jordan this simple issue is opposed, but in other parts of the world a computer scientist teaches computer science and computer engineer, on his side, teaches computer engineering. Anyway, the ministry's decision is just the first step in order to improve the academic level of computer science students, a lot of other steps should be taken: First of them, allow only IT and Scientific Tawjihi students to study CS and encourage the creation of a trade union for computer scientists.