Computer science is the science of the systematic representation, storage, processing and transmission of information, with a particular focus on automatic processing with digital computers. It is both a basic and formal science as well as an engineering discipline. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz had already dealt with binary number representations. Together with Boolean algebra, which was first developed by George Boole in 1847, they form the most important mathematical foundations of later computing systems. In 1937, Alan Turing published his work On Computable Numbers with an application to the Decision Problem, in which the Turing machine named after him was introduced, a mathematical machine model that is still of the greatest importance for theoretical computer science today.

The concept of computability is still based on universal models such as the Turing machine and complexity theory, which began to develop in the 1960s. Computability continues to draw on variants of these models to the present day. In Germany, the beginnings of computer science as a science go back to 1952, when the first German computer science conference on the topic of program-controlled computing devices and integrating systems was held in July at the RWTH Aachen with Konrad Zuse and Heinz Nixdorf. The theory of formal methods deals with a variety of techniques for the formal specification and verification of software and hardware systems.

Practical computer science develops fundamental concepts and methods for solving concrete problems in the real world, for example the management of data in data structures or the development of software. Computer Engineering deals with the hardware-related fundamentals of computer science, such as microprocessor technology, computer architecture, embedded and real-time systems, computer networks including the associated system-related software, as well as the modelling and evaluation methods developed for this. Microprocessor technology is dominated by the rapid development of semiconductor technology.