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Module READINGS IN THE FOUNDATIONS OF COMPUTER SCIENCE

Module code: CS434
Credits: 5
Semester: 2
Department: COMPUTER SCIENCE
International: Yes
Overview Overview
 

This module will explore the foundation of Computer Science, laid with the discovery of (computationally) unsolvable problems in the 1930s. A particular feature of the module will be its focus on reading primary sources from the period, such as Gödel's 1931 incompleteness theorem and the results of Church, Turing and Post in 1936. Here, “primary sources” are taken as being the published research work of scientists, in their full and original form (or in translation). The central idea is to bypass all interpretations, simplifications and explanations, and put the students in direct contact with the words of these pioneers, as one scientist to another. The historical and scientific background, from Frege and Russell through Hilbert's programme will also be reviewed, so that students can appreciate their own subject as part of a tradition of human enquiry spanning many generations, and so that they have a solid basis for considering future developments in the field.

Open Learning Outcomes
 
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