#
22C:096

Computation, Information, and Description

Department of Computer Science

The University of Iowa

## Course Outline

This outline is provisional and subject to change. I may change it if
I find that the order doesn't work as I hoped. You may propose changes
to focus on topics that especially interest you.

- Models of computation: powerful behavior from trivial rules
- Descartes' program for achieving certain knowledge: powerful
conclusions from trivial postulates
- Computation as a process designed for maximum certainty
- Formal systems: the computational foundations of mathematics
- Hilbert's program for achieving security in mathematics
- Structural properties of
*all* computing systems
- Uncomputable functions, unprovable truths (Gödel's
theorem), the impossibility of Hilbert's program
- Definition of information; meaning in mathematical logic
- Interpreting a priori knowledge through information theory
- Computer programs as descriptions (Kolmogorov/Chaitin complexity)
- Interpreting probability through description theory
- The genetic code as a programming language
- Artificial life: what sorts of programming systems allow
interesting evolution?
- Quantum computation

Last modified: 16 January 1997