November 12th, 2003

classic cylon

computability theory

As promised in this thread, here are a few thoughts on my experiences with computability theory. For reference, you can go to the course description to get an idea of the subject matter.

I struggled through this class when I took it as an undergrad. There was added disappointment because I had spent the previous summer trying to preview the subject matter. (One of the books I used was Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach, which I was told some years later is not the best source of information on this subject to develop intuition, even though some people find it entertaining. I discovered another book, Harel's Algorithmics, which was much more helpful, about six years later.)

Unfortunately, I have to continue this entry later. But one thing I noticed is that this class covers different material than when I took it. There is no mention at all of context-free grammars or languages, which I found odd, because it is useful for the compiler class.

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