FOM: Godel, f.o.m.

Steve Stevenson steve at
Fri Jan 21 08:28:30 EST 2000

Matt Insall writes:
 > <snip>.  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).

In that case, shouldn't you go back at least to Babbage? 

It seems to me that this thread of mathematics actually starts in the
late 18th century. The questions of computation come up early on. If I 
remember correctly, it was Gauss who said that number theory should be 
the foundation. The next step up is computing over the rationals,
which is, of course, classical numerical analysis. So far, mathematics 
has not been much help on computing over finite sets of rationals ---
the floating point numbers :-) Ah, but not much ZFC in that, is there

Best regards,

Steve (really "D. E.") Stevenson           Assoc Prof
Department of Computer Science, Clemson,   (864)656-5880.mabell
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