Description
Foundations of Mathematics
What is mathematics? What is the connection between truth and provability? What are the limitations of mathematics? Is every mathematical truth provable, at least in principle? "Foundations of mathematics" is the name given to the examination of such questions using mathematical methods wherever applicable. The technical mathematical background required for this course is fairly minimal (for example, it does not require a background course on analysis), so the course should be accessible to some philosophers and computer scientists; nevertheless, a measure of mathematical/intellectual maturity is an advised prerequisite.
Part 1: Classical propositional and predicate logic; valuations, proof trees, and derivations; soundness and completeness; the compactness theorem and its applications
Part 2: Axiomatic ZermeloFraenkel set theory; ordinals; the axiom of choice and the continuum hypothesis; independence of axioms.
Part 3: Gödel's incompleteness theorems.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, the students will have an appreciation of some of the major breakthroughs in mathematical logic in the first 70 years of the twentieth century, and they will be able to carry out technical work in formal logic and set theory.
In particular they should:
• understand the fundamentals of proof and model theory, for classical propositional and predicate logic, up to the GödelHenkin completeness theorem, the compactness theorem, and the upward LöwenheimSkolem theorem
• understand, and use, the axioms of ZermeloFraenkel set theory, in particular in the development of the theory of ordinals
• understand the proof and the significance of Gödel's incompleteness theorems
Course Coordinator / Lecturer
Douglas Bridges
Assessment
Take Home Test 1


30%

Take Home Test 2


30%

Take Home Test 3


40%

For further information see
Mathematics and Statistics.
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