The recent truly revolutionary changes in information technology triggered the rapid proliferation of educational software supporting introductory as well as advanced college-level logic courses. At the same time, many commercial software packages represent a more or less explicit implementation of logic-based programming paradigm. For example, sequential query language (SQL), designed for such popular database management products as Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and free- source MySQL, is based on logical query language called relational calculus. From this perspective, it seems not only desirable, but also imperative to introduce carefully selected industrial software packages into the standard Logic and Critical Thinking courses, thus, explicitly linking logical theory with existing as well as emerging applications in information technology. Some of such applications would include database systems, data mining, logic programming, and Web ontologies, among others. Artificial intelligence is still another multidisciplinary area where logic plays an especially prominent role. In this paper, we intend to show how logic-based industrial software can be used in conjunction with specialized as well as broad-based logic courses.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Artificial Intelligence: Collection of methods and techniques focused on modeling different aspects of information processing by humans, such as image recognition, speech processing, and reasoning.
Symbolic Logic: Discipline engaged in formal representation and analysis of arguments, their consistency and validity.
Web Ontology: In the context of information technology, refers to machine-readable form of knowledge representation for the semantic Web; sufficiently rich and well-structured ontologies satisfy logical criteria of computability and decidability.
Prolog: Logic-based programming language (literally “programming in logic”).
Data Mining: Knowledge discovery methodology based on artificial intelligence techniques.
Predicate Calculus: Branch of formal logic with ability to represent properties of objects and relations between objects.
Relational Databases: Data management software based on the relational data model proposed by Codd in 1972.
Critical Thinking: In the context of college curriculum, refers to the course focused on informal analysis of reasoning in law, ethics, politics, and other areas.