Fall 2003 Course Announcement
22C:2 First Year Seminar -- Computation as Deduction
Instructor: Arthur C. Fleck
Time/place: 1:30-2:20 pm W / B5 & B13 MLH
Prerequisite: 4 years of high school math
Primary text: Programming in Prolog by W. F. Clocksin & C. S. Mellish
- to introduce the student to campus computing facilities
- to develop skills in working with precise logical statements and rigorous
deduction of their consequences
- to show how logical analysis can itself serve as a computer program to
solve the problem, and to introduce the programming language Prolog
This seminar explores how computation can be conceived of as logical deduction
performed by a computer. The seminar will peruse the elements of precise
logical reasoning, and reveal how logical assertions can effectively serve
as a computer program. This logic paradigm is adopted in the programming
language Prolog whose statements are just logical assertions, and Prolog is
the language used in the seminar. Campus computing facilities to enter and
execute Prolog programs will first be presented. Students will subsequently
read, analyze, and write small Prolog programs in conjunction with the
conceptual logical development.
Students will be introduced to a high-level abstraction that provides a
strong emphasis on modeling conceptual aspects of computing. The intention is
not to establish proficiency in Prolog programming. Rather, the goal is to
provide a cornerstone for further development by establishing a vital link
between analytical thinking and computer generated solutions to problems.
Also, students will become familiar with the use of campus computing
facilities and that will be valuable in much of their future university
No prior computer programming experience is required for this course.
However, the student should have four years of high school mathematics
since logical inference is an essential focus of the course.
First the basic computer mechanics must be mastered. Then for several
(approximately six) weeks students will analyze one small Prolog project each
week, and finally students will have two writing assignments each allotted
two weeks time. Students will be given critical commentary on their
submissions which will be evaluated with a letter grade. The seminar grade
will be a composite of these individual project grades.
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