Timing & CATS
This module is running in the Spring Term and is worth 15 CATS.
The purpose of this module is to provide a non-technical introduction to theoretical computer science and philosophical issues about computation. Among the questions we will address are the following: is it possible to provide a mathematically precise analysis of the intuitive notion of a computable function? do there exist functions which are non-computable even in principle? what does it mean to say that one computational problem (e.g. determining if a number is prime) is harder or more complex then another (e.g. determining if a number is even)? what does it mean to say that sequence of natural numbers is random or incompressible by a computer? is the mind a computer and can mathematical results (e.g. Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems) be used to confirm or disconfirm such a possibility? what does it mean for a physical system to realize a computer? do results from contemporary physics bear on this?
Learning Outcomes or Aims
By the end of the module the student should be able to: 1) demonstrate knowledge of topics about computation; 2) understand the significance these systems to problems in philosophy.
In this module students must attend 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of seminars per week.
Lectures for 2017-18
- Monday 12pm to 2pm in S0.19
- Monday 6pm to 7pm in MS.04
There will be no lectures during reading week (week 6)
Seminars for 2017-18
Seminars for this course start in week 2.
There will be no seminars during reading week (week 6)
Please sign up for a seminar group using Tabula.
This module will be assessed in the following way:
- 15% assessed and 85% examined (2 hour exam)
The assessed component consists in fortnightly exercise sets, which are to be handed in directly to the module leader at the relevant lectures.
Background Reading & Textbooks
From October 2016 course materials will be available on Moodle. Simply sign in and select the module from your Moodle home page.