1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Boolean Algebra in the Context of Mathematics

  1. Mar 11, 2013 #1
    I'm currently taking a course on Boolean algebra. It's officially named "Mathematical Logic", but I really don't see much resemblance between what I'm doing and other courses of mathematical logic that are taught in the US.

    It has only been a couple of weeks, but to let you have an inkling of the syllabus, so far we've covered roughly the following content:
    • Boolean functions and formulae
    • Identities of Boolean algebra
    • Representation by schemes of functional elements
    • Disjunctive and conjunctive normal forms
    • Shannon's expansion - simply referred to as the decomposition theorem in my course
    • Algebraic normal form
    • Essential and fictitious variables
    What I find rather curious is that I simply cannot find an equivalent course at an American institution. It is also quite impossible to find supplementary information on the internet. For example, when I was confused about Shannon's expansion, all I could find online was stuff about decomposition by one variable, whereas my course covered the more general situation of decomposition by m variables.

    So, what's the deal? Is it simply taught under a different guise with completely different terminology in the States? A quick search on the forums brought up an ancient thread that mentioned a textbook by a certain Dr Monk published in the late 1980s, but it seems to be out of print. It probably approaches the subject with way more depth and breadth than I require, too.

    Is the topic even being taught today, as a mathematical course? Or are people only concerned about the applied aspects of it in computer science?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2013 #2
    I took a ring theory class and the text book was on intro abstract algebra. There was a chapter (maybe even two) that talked about it but we never did it. And yea funny because I was looking around too for a course about it too but couldn't find one. I haven't looked for textbooks in our library though.

    Weird title by the way o_0
  4. Mar 12, 2013 #3
    Haha my thread title? I was trying to get across the idea that I'm curious about what's happening on the mathematical side of the pond. I'm quite sure computer scientists do deal with it on a regular basis in some form or another. The most helpful resources I've found on the internet so far came from computer science departments, and largely dealt with logic gates if I remember correctly.
  5. Mar 12, 2013 #4
    I see I see. Yeah try looking in abstraact algebra books I guess.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook