Mathematical Logic

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Amherst College

Mathematicians confirm their answers to mathematical questions by writing proofs. But what, exactly, is a proof? This course begins with a precise definition specifying what counts as a mathematical proof. This definition makes it possible to carry out a mathematical study of what can be accomplished by means of deductive reasoning and, perhaps more interestingly, what cannot be accomplished. Topics will include the propositional and predicate calculi, completeness, compactness, and decidability. At the end of the course we will study Gödel’s famous Incompleteness Theorem, which shows that there are statements about the positive integers that are true but impossible to prove. Four class hours per week. Offered in alternate years.

Requisite: MATH 220, 271, 272, or 355, or consent of the instructor. Spring semester.  Professor Velleman.

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Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.
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Course Sections

Mathematical Logic
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0 Daniel Velleman MWF 02:00PM-02:50PM; TH 09:00AM-09:50AM SMUD 206; SMUD 204