School of Informatics

Dana Scott Distinguished Lecture

Ever since the compilers of Euclid's Elements gave the "definitions" that "a point is that which has no part" and "a line is breadth-less length", philosophers and mathematicians have worried that the basic concepts of geometry are too abstract and too idealized. In the 20th century writers such as Husserl, Lesniewski, Whitehead, Tarski, Blumenthal, and von Neumann have proposed "pointless" approaches. A problem more recent authors have emphasized it that there are difficulties in having a rich theory of a part-whole relationship without atoms and providing both size and geometric dimension as part of the theory. A solution will be proposed using the Boolean algebra of measurable sets modulo null sets along with relations derived from the group of rigid motions in Euclidean n-space. (Joint work with Tamar Lando, Columbia University.)

Distinguished Lecture with Profesor Dana Scott Monday 23 June 2014, 5.00pm Lecture Theatre 1, Appleton Tower, 11 Crichton Street

Geometry Without Points

Dana Scott Image

About Professor Dana Scott

Professor Dana Scott began his academic career with a BA from the University of California, Berkeley followed by a PhD at Princeton University. Highlights of Professor Scott’s career included receiving the Turing Award of the Association of Computing Machinery (1976) with Michael O. Rabin for their joint paper ‘Finite Automata and Their Decision Problem’ which introduced the idea of nondeterministic machines, which has proved to be an enormously valuable concept.

Professor Scott is an internationally recognised mathematical logician whose work has spanned computer science, mathematics, and philosophy. He made seminal contributions to automata theory, modal logic, model theory, set theory, and the theory of programming languages. He has made fundamental contributions to contemporary logic and is known for his creation of domain theory, a branch of mathematics that is essential for analysing computer programming languages.

Professor Scott holds honorary doctorates from the Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht(1986), The Technical University of Darmstadt (1995), The University of Edinburgh (1995) and the University of Ljubljana (2003). An honorary doctorate will be awarded by St. Andrews University, Scotland (2014).

This lecture will be followed by a Wine and Canapé reception in the Atrium of the Informatics Forum, School of Informatics, 10 Crichton Street (Opposite Appleton Tower)