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James Liu
James Liu

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Symbolic logic and programming

I am working my way through VanDrunen's Discrete Math and Functional Programming. Symbolic logic is dealt with in a single chapter from beginning through multiple quantification. Here are some thoughts.

  1. It took a quarter-long course, Logic I, in college to get through that material. It was a long time ago, and I am glad it has stuck as well as it did. I am breezing through the chapter as if through well-trodden ground.

  2. This chapter is 1/7 of what the author thinks should be covered in a semester-long class with "bright" math and CS undergrads. So I guess about 2 weeks.

  3. The book, as the title suggests, also covers programming. I think the programming aspect helps with the comprehension of logic, so that partly explains how it is squeezed into so much less space.

  4. All the extra how-to-prove-it material would have been really helpful when I got to Logic II. Logic I was way too slow, Logic II, which proved the soundness and consistency of first-order logic, was much too fast.

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