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Associate Professor and Reader, Faculty of Science
Thorsten Altenkirch's main research interest is the application of constructive logic in Computer Science. Constructive logic diverges from classical logic in the rejection of the principle of the… read more
Thorsten Altenkirch's main research interest is the application of constructive logic in Computer Science. Constructive logic diverges from classical logic in the rejection of the principle of the excluded middle. As a consequence of this, a constructive proof of the existence of a certain object (e.g. a number) can be turned into a computer program to calculate this object.An example of a constructive logic is Type Theory, introduced by the Swedish philosopher Per Martin-Löf. Type Theory is at the same time a programming language and a logic: propositions correspond to types and proofs to programs. Current research centers on theoretical aspects of Type Theory but also on the construction of elegant and efficient implementations of type theoretic languages. An example of this is the Epigram system, currently under development in Nottingham, which we use to develop programs which are correct by construction.Dr. Altenkirch's research covers applications of Category Theory as a formalism to concisely express abstract properties of mathematical constructions in Computer Science and the investigation of typed lambda calculi as a foundation of (functional) programming languages and Type Theory. He is interested in the computational nature of the physical universe and the practical exploitation of this nature, which is reflected in a research project on Quantum Computation. He is also fascinated by the development of the philosophical foundations of logic in a time when computing science replaces natural science as the prime application of abstract reasoning.For further information about his research, please consult his homepage.
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