Does the first letter of disciplines such as Mathematics, Physics, etc. need to be capitalized in research papers of computer science?

  • Whatever it is, it should be consistent, i.e. if you capitalize CS then capitalize Mathematics Nov 29, 2023 at 21:00
  • 3
    Is computer science special in this regard? The general answer is 'no'; see Capitalize fields of study?
    – Anyon
    Nov 29, 2023 at 21:05
  • In Physics we study the physics of physical phenomena. Nov 30, 2023 at 1:38

2 Answers 2


No, none of those are "required" to be capitalized in general usage when used descriptively, but often are, as they are seen as titles rather than descriptions. Names are usually capitalized. CS isn't really different. "I taught computer science to a lot of people" works generally. But, "I was a Professor of Computer Science" implies a title.

When used in titles, either of papers or persons, they would be capitalized. Jerry Doe, PhD(Physics), for example.

As long as the usage is consistent, no one is likely to complain. However, Calculus, sometimes written as "the Calculus" or even "The Calculus" seems to be in a class of its own, though, still, not required.

Capitalization is useful, however, in naming subfields with names that have words with more general usage. Category Theory, or Algebraic Topology, for example, where the usage indicates the formal name of the subfield. That is to say, they aren't just descriptions of the subfield, but actual names.

There may have been a time in the past when such things were more consistent.

  • “Jerry Doe, PhD(Physics)” seems like a bad example, as physics is usually not part of the title, which is only “PhD”. For example, I could style myself similarly since my PhD was awarded in the field of physics, but I do not have any diploma or similar that bestows that particular title upon me. Similarly, your example “I was a Professor of Computer Science” is wrongly capitalised, since it there is no title here, as indicated by the indefinite article (“a”). It’s just description of job or rank.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 30, 2023 at 8:13

Follow the convention most common in the papers you read or the journal to which you submit your paper.

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