Faculty Mentor: Larry Moss
When computers carry out human-level reasoning, they do it in a number of ways. Frequently they do it by translating some natural language (NL) input into a very different form, some language or other that looks much more like formal logic (FL) than NL. This has the advantage of allowing one to use off-the-shelf tools having to do with FL, and this is good. But translation into FL comes with disadvantages: first of all, one is limited to very special kinds of reasoning; second, whatever one gets from FL then has to be re-translated back to NL if one wants to use it. This project is connected to Prof. Moss' project of Natural Logic, an attempt to do reasoning in something that looks more like NL than FL. It is a big interdisciplinary project and has people working on all aspects of it, publishing papers and writing programs.
Next summer would mark the fourth time that someone worked on a summer project related to Natural Logic. There are a number of projects available, mostly having to do with proving theorems about logical systems or about developing and implementing algorithms.