A BBC Broadcast on Computing: The Joy of Logic #CSEdWeek

December 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm 2 comments

Not sure how (if?) we can see this in the US, but it sounds really good.

A sharp, witty, mind-expanding and exuberant foray into the world of logic with computer scientist Professor Dave Cliff. Following in the footsteps of the award-winning ‘The Joy of Stats’ and its sequel, ‘Tails You Win – The Science of Chance’, this film takes viewers on a new rollercoaster ride through philosophy, maths, science and technology- all of which, under the bonnet, run on logic.

Wielding the same wit and wisdom, animation and gleeful nerdery as its predecessors, this film journeys from Aristotle to Alice in Wonderland, sci-fi to supercomputers to tell the fascinating story of the quest for certainty and the fundamentals of sound reasoning itself.

Dave Cliff, professor of computer science and engineering at Bristol University, is no abstract theoretician. 15 years ago he combined logic and a bit of maths to write one of the first computer programs to outperform humans at trading stocks and shares. Giving away the software for free, he says, was not his most logical move…

With the help of 25 seven-year-olds, Professor Cliff creates, for the first time ever, a computer made entirely of children, running on nothing but logic. We also meet the world’s brainiest whizz-kids, competing at the International Olympiad of Informatics in Brisbane, Australia.

‘The Joy of Logic’ also hails logic’s all-time heroes: George Boole who moved logic beyond philosophy to mathematics; Bertrand Russell, who took 360+ pages but heroically proved that 1 + 1 = 2; Kurt Godel, who brought logic to its knees by demonstrating that some truths are unprovable; and Alan Turing, who, with what Cliff calls an ‘almost exquisite paradox’, was inspired by this huge setback to logic to conceive the computer.

Ultimately, the film asks, can humans really stay ahead? Could today\’s generation of logical computing machines be smarter than us? What does that tell us about our own brains, and just how ‘logical’ we really are…?

via BBC Four – The Joy of Logic.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Donaldson  |  December 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    It was a real treat. Dave’s an entertaining speaker and the programme had a light touch. It also featured Scotland’s current chief scientific advisor, and computer scientest, professor Muffy Calder. Hopefully for non uk viewers it might appear in the BBC worldwide schedule. If not, it will be available for purchase from the production company who created it. Can’t remember what they’re called but if you search for the name of the programme I’m sure it will popup.

  • 2. Bri Morrison  |  December 13, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Found it on YouTube…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08RoVHWta9A.


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