Logic for programmers
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: CLAM13
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
Logic is the field that studies deduction: if we know certain things are true or false, what does this tell us about the truth of other statements? It has been studied for millennia, but a series of breakthroughs in the nineteenth century finally made the invention of the programmable computer possible. In a sense, computer programming is applied formal logic.
Beginning programmers are often challenged by a lack of exposure to logic and its companion, set theory. They seem to be abstract “pure theory” subjects but contain patterns of thought that make practical programming much easier and more productive. If you’ve struggled to write or understand a complicated “if” statement, or if it seems to take many attempts to get your code to do what you intended, this course should help.
We introduce logic and a little set theory on the assumption that you have never seen either before. We will work with logical statements that will look very familiar to you if you have studied any programming language in the past. However, we don’t do any actual coding so the course is still accessible and useful if you’re not (yet?) a programmer.
The general nature of formal logic means it’s very widely applicable but also that it can seem very dry and disconnected from practical matters. Our approach will be via both real-world applications and the kinds of puzzles that tax our skills in thinking and problem-solving – the sessions will be very “hands on” and focus on building a solid understanding and a clear mental picture of the subject.
We end with a very brief view of more advanced topics, including some so-called “deviant logics” and their connections with various fields of mathematics, science and technology.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Elements of propositional Boolean logic
• Truth tables and logical connectives (“and”, “or”, “not”, “if-then”)
• Constructing and evaluating complex logical statements
• The basic language of set theory
• Some elements of predicate logic.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Express complex conditions using Boolean logic.
• Rewrite logical expressions that may be difficult to understand.
• Describe subsets of data using set theory and predicate logic.
• Avoid common logical mistakes and pitfalls.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course: no previous knowledge of coding or mathematics is necessary.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course is taught through a mixture of lecture, discussion and practical exercises. There is no work to do outside class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please click here to view our Programming and Maths courses.
Rich is a programmer, writer and educator with a particular interest in creative practice. In his previous career he worked as a software developer in the CIty, first at a dot-com startup and later at a top-tier investment bank where he worked mostly on trading floor systems and got to play with a wide range of languages and technologies. He now teaches coding and maths-related courses full time. Besides his work at City Lit he also teaches at Central Saint Martins, the Architecture Association and the Photographer's Gallery and is the author of two books about mathematics. His technical collaborations with artists have been shown at, among others, the Hayward gallery, the V&A, the ICA and Camden Arts Centre. He has a BSc in Mathematics from the Open University. He also has a BA in English Literature and a PhD in philosophy (both from Cardiff). He continues to teach a little philosophy and literature, especially as they intersect with his other interests, and as a partner in Minimum Labyrinth he has brought these ideas to wider audiences in collaboration with the Museum of London, the Barbican and various private sponsors.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.