UIT2206 - The Importance of Being Formal


Brief Description

Formal methods of reasoning have been studied in all major civilizations, but the appearance of automatic computing devices in the 20th century has led to an explosion of interest in and applications of formal logic. Today, the advantages of formal reasoning are recognized and utilized far beyond computer science. Students of this module will discover the power as well as the limitations of formal methods for philosophy and mathematics, and learn to apply them in diverse areas. Each student will investigate one of these areas in depth, leading to an essay and presentation.

Module Calendar

Topics Covered

Introduction (Week 1)

Part I: Foundations (Weeks 2-5)

Part II: Predicate Logic (Weeks 6-9)


The module material (notes, slides, software) will be made available in this space.

Lecture Date Subject Slides Notes and Hand-outs Additional Material
Week 1 16/1 Introduction to UIT2206 Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Naming and Necessity, Lecture I, Saul Kripke; read and discuss in Forum before Lecture Week 2 No tutorials; they start on 24/1
Week 2 23/1 Traditional Logic Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Week 2: Traditional Logic I
Coq script
Coq installer for Windows
Coq installer for Mac
Week 3 29/1 Traditional Logic II Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Week 3: Traditional Logic II
Coq script
Cheat sheet
Week 4 5/2 Propositional Logic I Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Week 4: Propositional Logic
Coq script
Cheat sheet
Week 5 12/2 Propositional Logic II Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
see Week 4 -
Week 6 19/2 Predicate Logic I Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Week 6: Predicate Logic Coq script for traditional logic using predicate logic
Cheat sheet
Week 7 5/3 Predicate Logic II Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
- Coq script for Week 7
Week 8 12/3 Ugly corners Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
- Midterm preparation exercises
solution (except first three questions)
Week 9 19/3 Midterm; Modal Logic Midterm,
Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Week 9: Modal Logic
Week 10 26/3 Gödel's incompleteness results Slides in color,
Slides in b/w (for printing)
Reading material:
Mumon and Gödel, Chapter IX of "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter (copy available at USP admin office, front desk)

Assignments and Lab Tasks

Assignments are distributed online in this section. Submission as indicated in the assignments. The solutions are discussed in the tutorial session after submission, see calendar above.

Assignment Date handed out Time due Assignment Solution
Assignment Week 4
7/2 11/2, 23:59 -
Assignment Week 7
7/3 12/3, 23:59 -

Student Essays and Presentations

Every student of UIT2206 will prepare an essay and a presentation. The essays are submitted in three stages: A proposal is due on Week 5 A draft will be submitted by Week 9, and the final version is due by Week 13. The draft and final submission are preceded by an appointment to the USP Writing Centre. The director of the Writing Centre, A/P Don Favareau and the lecturer of UIT2206, A/P Martin Henz, worked out a Writing Guide for UIT2206, which is highly recommended reading as it specifies the lecturer's expectations for the essays. These guidelines are also distributed to the Writing Assistants of the Writing Centre, who use them as a reference for assisting the students of UIT2206.

The presentations are given in Weeks 11, 12 and 13 during the Friday sessions, and Lecture slots.

Other Module Information

Modular credits
Elective module for USP students
Martin Henz, consultation: By appointment; please propose a meeting time by email to .
Assessment (approximate numbers)
All assessment for the module is individual; there are no group components.
13 sessions, 2 hrs/wk, time: Wednesday 10 - 12 am, venue: SR1
first lecture: 16/1/2013 see module calendar and official NUS Academic Calendar
2 hr/wk
Venue: USP SR2
There is no textbook. The notes provided for each lecture make up the module material. Books for additional reading will be recommended from time to time.
Assignments and labs quizzes
Assignments will be given out each week on this module page. Assignment scores make up about 20% of the overall marks.
Discussion group
An IVLE discussion forum will be set up for UIT2206. There is a topic in the main forum for every chapter of the module notes, as well as forums for anonymous feedback and discussing administrative matters such as exams.
Announcements are distributed using the IVLE Announcement feature.
There will be a test, covering the formal logic part of the module. The test will take place during lecture time; details to be announced.

Martin Henz