What is the exact difference between Computer Science and theoretical Computer Science StackExchange sites?

Does Computer Science really mean Applied Computert Science?


1 Answer 1


To quote directly from the help page on cs.SE, and the about page on cstheory.SE:

Computer Science Stack Exchange is for students, researchers and practitioners of computer science.


Theoretical Computer Science - Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional researchers in theoretical computer science and related fields.

cs.SE does have a broader range of acceptable topics than cstheory.SE, but the key difference if the level they're aimed at. cs.SE is for basically anyone interested in Computer Science (within scope). cstheory.SE is meant for active researchers in theoretical CS, and the questions should be not-too-far from research level work (included graduate level questions).

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for detailed explanation! $\endgroup$
    – zavg
    Nov 21, 2013 at 22:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Note that "theory" is interpreted in its academic sense, i.e. CS at the border to mathematics, not in it "street" sense (everything done at university). In fact, most academic computer science is not theoretical computer science. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Nov 22, 2013 at 7:09
  • $\begingroup$ A small correction: most graduate student level questions in theoretical computer science are welcome on cstheory as explained in the cstheory's on-topic help page, it is not a contentious issue as far as I know. $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Nov 23, 2013 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Kaveh, adjusted accordingly. $\endgroup$ Nov 24, 2013 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Luke, thanks :) $\endgroup$
    – Kaveh
    Nov 24, 2013 at 6:17

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