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Can Machines Think? (FYS)
Fall 2021
Section: 01  

This course is a freshman seminar (an FYS course) that introduces students to foundational ideas in logic, formal languages, and computation that have been the basis of a revolution in thinking in the 20th century. The material includes a substantial logic component and an introduction to programming in SML, a so-called functional programming language, as well as readings about the philosophical impact of these ideas.

The impact of the new cycle of ideas mentioned above has been felt far beyond the confines of the computer science community. Ideas from logic, computation, and other branches of mathematics formerly regarded as "pure" have spread to computation, linguistics, cognitive science, and philosophy; conversely, results from philosophy, linguistics, and other areas have been applied in computer science. New "non-traditional" logics have found unexpected applications in computing.

Traditionally, the background in logic and computation upon which these ideas rest has been taught in advanced courses, although much of it is accessible to students with little or no background in the area (but some willingness to learn formal reasoning and mathematical arguments). Students will learn about the underpinnings of recent technical advances in these areas at an unusually early stage in their careers. We will learn how to code basic programs in SML as well. The course will continue with readings in expository texts about the impact and philosophical significance of important ideas in logic and computation. Some readings in Philosophy of Mind will be assigned and discussed.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM MATH
Course Format: LectureGrading Mode: Student Option
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-15-2021
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