MDST110 Electronic Coursebook for Students
Information Technology and Digital Media Studies
Prof. David Golumbia
University of Virginia
Fall 2004
MDST110 main pageMDST110 syllabus

2. The Idea of the Computer and Its Logical Foundations

Weds Sep 08, 2004

Brief overview.

Mathematical logic or Mathesis Universalis as a foundation of computing

Key figures in history of mathematical logic

Mathesis and the pre-history of computing

Recent logical theories

Study Questions

  1. What are the connections between the calculating machines and proposals made by historically distant figures? In what ways do they represent progress or change over time? In what ways are they the same or different?
  2. What role does Gödel's incompleteness theorem play in the development of computing?
  3. What sorts of logic do computers reliably follow? Can you think of ways in which computers do not behave logically?
  4. What connections might you draw between Leibniz's various interests? How have those connections come to fruition (or not) in the centuries since Leibniz wrote?

Reading for next class

Valid XHTML 1.0!