FOM: Godel, f.o.m.

Matt Insall montez at
Fri Jan 21 03:36:02 EST 2000

I tend to agree with this type of reasoning about the history of computers
and their programming.  Even if one does not strictly consider Gödel to have
invented Computer Science, one must concede that it was Gödel and his
contemporary Mathematicians who invented that discipline, a fairly long time
before the first digital computer was built.  I have had disagreements with
Computer Scientists and Engineers about this:  Some claim that Computer
Science began as an Engineering discipline.  These people, I contend, are
not looking far enough back in the history of their subject, and are
neglecting the significance of foundational studies (to use Professor
Friedman's term).

 Name: Matt Insall
 Position: Associate Professor of Mathematics
 Institution: University of Missouri - Rolla
 Research interest: Foundations of Mathematics
 More information:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-fom at [mailto:owner-fom at]On Behalf Of
> Mark Steiner
> Sent: Monday, January 17, 2000 10:02 PM
> To: Harvey Friedman
> Cc: fom at
> Subject: Re: FOM: Godel, f.o.m.
> P. S. on Goedel:
> 	Wouldn't also be correct to say that Goedel invented
> computer science
> by writing the first nontrivial computer program (one which converts any
> proof of a certain sentence, G, in the language of PA, into a proof of
> not-G)?

More information about the FOM mailing list