Computer scientists like to think about what they call “hard problems”. Hard problem are those problems that a computer can’t solve in a reasonable amount of time, say a few billion years. Surprisingly these kinds of questions have everyday implications. The data encryption scheme used to protect private communications on the Internet is based on the difficulty of finding the prime factors of really big numbers, say a number with 200 digits. Given enough time, any number can be factored using the Sieve of Eratosthenes (and there are much faster methods as well). But factoring our 200 digit number, even using the fastest methods, would take something like 300 years on a standard desktop computer.
We mention this because providing a guide to Internet resources in for computer science and information systems feels like a “hard problem”. There may only be tens of thousands of good resources in these topic areas, but it feels like there are many more. And finding one really good resource commonly leads to a dozen others. There’s only so much time.
