Colloquium Logicum 2012
Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum
Paderborn (Germany): 13-15 September 2012
Programme Committee
Paper Submission
PhD Colloquium
Local Information
Alan Turing Year 2012
"Et tu, Brute!" The correspondence between Alonzo Church and Emil Post
Liesbeth De Mol
Universiteit Gent, Gent, Belgium

The year 1936 marks a fundamental episode for the rise of (theoretical) computer science: Alonzo Church, Emil Post and Alan Turing each proposed an identification between informal and intuitive notions such as effective calculability or computability and some formal device such as lambda-definability or Turing's machines. Given the formal equivalence between these different devices, these identifications are all logically equivalent versions of the famous Church-Turing thesis. This thesis, if accepted, poses a fundamental limitation on what is 'computable'. Put informally, any problem that cannot be computed by a Turing machine (or any other logically equivalent device) is considered uncomputable.

Despite the fact that these results are well-known and have been studied in much detail, with most attention going to Turing's contributions, the Church-Turing thesis is still a hot topic both from a historical as well as from a contemporary perspective. It is not so well-known that Church and Post have extensively communicated on this and other related topics: the correspondence between Church and Post spans a period starting in 1936 until Post's premature death in 1954, containing no less than 77 letters and is unique in its genre.

It offers direct access to the thoughts and doubts of two of the key figures in computer science. The aim of this talk is to discuss some aspects of the (unfinished) transcription and annotation of this correspondence, with a focus on the Church-Turing thesis.

Search for the language for algorithms
Helena Durnová
Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

One of the crucial landmarks in the history of programming is ALGOL 60, an 'algorithmic language'. This language was explicitly designed to be 'as close as possible to mathematical notation'. What were the reasons behind advocating mathematical notation for the formulation of algorithms? Are there any common traits between those and the ones for calling computers mathematical machines?

Nowadays, the word algoithm denotes such solutions to a problem that do not require the use of creative thinking. of the solver is not necessary. Such solution were described in mathematical texts since antiquity. The attempts at explaining such procedures accurately can commonly be found in mathematical articles. In mathematics of the early 20th century, formalization of the language was one of the ways to avoid the danger of making a mistake.

In my talk, I will show the echoes of Turing's 1936 and 1950 papers in the search of the language for algorithms and explore the connection between computer science and mathematics which seems to be so obvious.

Forcing Axioms
Mirna Džamonja
University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Forcing axioms are a well known tool for obtaining consistency results and avoinding iterations of complex forcing orders. These axioms are also of interest in their own right. I shall discuss some forcing axioms at ℵ1, the cardinal where our knowledge of such axioms is best developed, and at successors of singular cardinals where we have only recently been able to formulate such axioms.

Materialization of Universal Turing Machines
Rainer Glaschick
Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum, Paderborn, Germany

A curious object is on display at the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum: a physical Turing machine constructed by Gisbert Hasenjäger. Hasenjäger (1919-2006) was a German mathematician and logician and professor of logic at the universities of Münster and Bonn in Germany. During the second world war, he was assigned to the central cryptographic unit of the German army and unwittingly competed with Alan Turing, as he was assigned the task of breaking the Enigma code (to test its security). He did not find the vulnerabilities that Turing exploited in breaking the code, and later said: "Fortunately! Otherwise the war would have lasted even longer!" In the 1950s and 1960s, Hasenjaeger built several demonstration models of Turing machines. The machine on display at the Newton Institute is a Turing machine with modifications by Moore and Wang. The speaker investigated the details of the mechanism of this machine and other physical Turing machines that are at the Heinz Nixdorf MuseumsForum in Paderborn, Germany and will report on his experiences with these curious machines.

Fields of generalized power series
Salma Kuhlmann
Universität Konstanz. Konstanz, Germany

Fields of generalized power series are central objects in Model Theory and Algebra. They play an important role in:

  • ordered algebraic structures (Hausdorff's lexicographic orders, Hahn's groups),
  • non-standard models of arithmetic (integer parts),
  • non-standard models of o-minimal expansions of the reals (exponentiation),
  • model theory of valued fields (saturated and recursively saturated models, Ax-Kochen principles),
  • real algebraic geometry (non-archimedean real closed fields),
  • valuation theory (Kaplansky's embedding theorem),
  • differential algebra (ordered differential fields, Hardy fields),
  • difference algebra (automorphism groups),
  • transcendental number theory (Schanuel's conjectures).

I will give an overview of my work with these fascinating objects in the last decade.

The typical Turing degree
Andy Lewis
University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

The Turing degree of a real measures the computational difficulty of producing its binary expansion. Since Turing degrees are tailsets, it follows from Kolmogorov's 0-1 law that for any property which may or may not be satisfied by any given Turing degree, the satisfying class will either be of Lebesgue measure 0 or 1, so long as it is measurable. So either the typical degree satisfies the property, or else the typical degree satisfies its negation. Further, there is then some level of randomness sufficient to ensure typicality in this regard. I shall describe a number of results in a new programme of research which aims to establish the (order theoretically) definable properties of the typical Turing degree, and the level of randomness required in order to guarantee typicality.

A similar analysis can be made in terms of Baire category, where a standard form of genericity now plays the role that randomness plays in the context of measure. This case has been fairly extensively examined in the previous literature. I shall analyse how our new results for the measure theoretic case contrast with existing results for Baire category, and also provide some new results for the category theoretic analysis.

This is joint work with George Barmpalias and Adam Day.

Logic in philosophy: The case of determinism
Thomas Müller
Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Logic, once a branch of philosophy, has found a home within philosophy's methodological toolbox. I will illustrate this development by looking at philosophical discussions of determinism. Such discussions take place within various philosophical contexts: philosophy of language, philosophy of science, textual interpretation in the history of philosophy, metaphysics, and within philosophical logic conceived as a separate subdiscipline of philosophy. I will trace out similarities and differences between these discussions, highlighting the role of logic as a tool. In the end, I will try to give an overview of open challenges for a logical approach to determinism.

Comparing theories
Michael Rathjen
University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

The fact that "natural" theories, i.e., theories which have something like an "idea" to them, are almost always linearly ordered with regard to logical strength has been called one of the great mysteries of the foundation of mathematics. There are various ways, though, of comparing the strength of theories S and T. For example one could take S ≤ T to be saying that the consistency of T implies the consistency of S (say provably in PA) or that S is interpretable in T or that every Fermat-type theorem of S is also a theorem of T or ... . The talk will survey different notions of comparison and their relationships.

Using paradoxical methods, e.g., self-reference Rosser-style, one can distill theories with incomparable logical strengths and show that the degree structure of logical strengths is dense in that between two theories S<T one can always find a third Q such that S<Q<T. But are there "natural" examples of such phenomena? We also know how to produce a stronger theory by adding the consistency of the theory. Can we get a stronger theory by adding something weaker than consistency that is still "natural"? These and other questions will be broached in the talk.

Mathematics without proofs
Jean Paul Van Bendeghem
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

Suppose a mathematical theory T is given, together with a set of axioms and un underlying logic L. Obviously in such a theory there is a notion of proof, "T L-proves A" and the set Th of theorems. The question I want to address is whether it is possible to characterize Th in such a way that no notion of proof is required. In the presentation an example will be presented that suggests a positive answer. It relies on the use of a random walk on a two-dimensional lattice, inspired by ideas from cellular automaton theory. At the same time, it will provide an example of non-monotonic mathematics.