What it is about
MPLA was started in the Spring Semester of 1997 and is authorized to award both M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in the general area between logic and computer science. The program is sponsored by the Departments of Mathematics, Informatics and M.I.TH.E. (Methodology, History and Theory of Science), of the University of Athens, by the General Sciences Department and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens and by the Department of Computer Engineering and Information of the University of Patras.
The subject of MPLA is a dynamic area of research and teaching, grounded in mathematics, logic and computer science and (conversely) providing mathematical foundations and applications to all three. The methodology of the field is mathematical (rigorous formulation, construction, proof, application), but many of its problems stem from computer science and solutions are often based on ideas and concepts from logic. Researchers in the area are found mostly in Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, but also in Departments of Philosophy and Linguistics. Relevant courses are offered by all these departments and also by Research Centers and Graduate Programs dedicated to the area, such as MPLA.
Specific fields of study include the following:
- Theory of algorithms: Construction and study of algorithms which arise in mathematics and computer science.
- Decidability and complexity: Analysis and classification of specific problems and classes of problems in mathematics and computer sciencewhether they can be solved, and how complex are the algorithms which solve them.
- Theory of programming languages: denotational, algorithmic and operational semantics of programming languages.
- Recursion: Study of recursive definitions and functions and their applications in mathematics, logic and computer science, especially in programming languages. Implementation of recursive definitions.
- Interaction and concurrency: Process theory, and study of programming languages with interactive and parallel constructs.
- Mathematical logic: Proof theory, model theory, set theory.
- Applications of logic to computer science: Logic of programs; finite model theory and its applications to the study of databases; lambda-calculus, etc.
MPLA differs from many other programs in the general area between logic and theoretical computer science by the emphasis it places on the concept of algorithm; algorithms are the central objects of study, and they are investigated not only in the specific courses dedicated to their study, but in most other courses, as well, where they are used as tools.
Classes meet at the University of Athens and at the National Technical University after 2:00pm and in the evenings, Tuesday - Friday. The weekly seminar in Logic and Algorithms meets every Friday 6.00 - 7.30pm. Seminar lectures (by the faculty and visiting researchers) vary in topic and level of difficulty, but a serious effort is made to ensure that most of them are comprehensible even to beginning students. In addition, advanced seminars are organized, according to the needs and desires of the students, the professors and the researchers of the program.
The formal prerequisites, application procedure and selection criteria for admission to MPLA are listed in the By-Laws, which also specifies the requirements for earning the M.Sc. and the Ph.D. degrees in the program.
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