Re: [SystemSafety] Logic

From: Andrew Rae < >
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2014 15:14:51 +0000

I think it is important, from a practical and political point of view, to acknowledge the competing demands on time and space in the undergraduate computing curriculum.

Just to be clear up front - I think there is a persuasive case that a degree course should have a substantial amount of formal logic in it even once you've considered the competing demands - but the practical reason why more time is not given is not that people think that logic is not important, but that it is not important enough compared to the competing demands. Just making a case for how important it is won't win the argument.

As an illustration, the first recourse anyone will have when you demand more compulsory logic modules is likely to be "okay, what are we going to take away?" Inevitably the thing that you want to remove (or give less time to, or be optional instead of compulsory) will also be something that someone else thinks is _essential_ for a modern computer scientist.

I've heard very similar discussions focussed on:

That's leaving aside the arguments that students are only employable if they have used specific programming languages / tools, or understand networking, or mobile devices, or ....

All of that needs to fit in with the fact that these are kids getting an education. If they don't have an opportunity to spend a substantial amount of time throughout the course coding or building cool stuff, they aren't going to absorb the other things you're trying to teach them.

None of this says you can't teach more logic, but it hopefully makes clear that the argument isn't _about_ logic. It's about how much can you reasonably fit into the program, and where is it going to fit.


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University of York disclaimer:

On 18 February 2014 14:55, Peter Bernard Ladkin <ladkin_at_xxxxxx
> wrote:

> Derek,
> On 2014-02-18 15:36 , Derek M Jones wrote:
> > Formal logic is all well and good for small systems but it does
> > not scale. I think you should explain this important issue to
> > your students.
> Sorry, I think that's nonsense. So I won't be explaining it to any
> students (except as an example of
> nonsense).
> The Praxis/Altran publications referenced by Martyn, including the
> Tokeneer work, are some of the
> evidence as to why it's nonsense. Others are referenced in the paper (see
> comments on requirements
> consistency checking. Michael Jackson references papers by Mats Heimdahl
> and David Harel with
> pertinent examples in aerospace critical systems).
> Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Faculty of Technology, University of
> Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany
> Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319
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> systemsafety_at_xxxxxx >

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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Tue Feb 18 2014 - 16:15:04 CET

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