Information and Logic

IST 4
Spring 2017

Motivation


Motivation

I have realized through teaching and interactions with students that most of our undergraduate students (and graduate students... and some faculty...) do not understand the key ideas that support our ability to design and implement information systems. In fact, there are no good text books that explain it at a basic level and show the historical evolution of our ability to create this magic.

I plan to focus on the crucial mappings that enable this process and provide the historical perspective on this wonderful achievement. The progress in this area happened over the last 5000 years since the invention of number systems, with the most recent breakthrough happening in 1938 - Shannon's mappings of Boolean algebra to relay circuits.

The class should be useful to anyone, independent of their major. As we are accustomed to expect people to understand gravitation, kinematics, etc, we should expect them to understand the basic principles behind how their cell phone, computer, car, and basically, anything that digitally computes, controls and communicates information.

I believe that those understandings will help bridge the gap between the sciences and engineering. It will increase the awareness amongst science students that the abstractions that enable synthesis of information systems might also be useful for reasoning about natural systems.


- Shuki Bruck