Kurt Gödel and computability theory

Zach, Richard. 2006. “Kurt Gödel and Computability Theory.” In Logical Approaches to Computational Barriers. Second Conference on Computability in Europe, CiE 2006, Swansea. Proceedings, edited by Arnold Beckmann, Ulrich Berger, Benedikt Löwe, and John V. Tucker, 575–83. LNCS 3988. Berlin: Springer. DOI:10.1007/11780342_59

Although Kurt Gödel does not figure prominently in the history of computabilty theory, he exerted a significant influence on some of the founders of the field, both through his published work and through personal interaction. In particular, Gödel’s 1931 paper on incompleteness and the methods developed therein were important for the early development of recursive function theory and the lambda calculus at the hands of Church, Kleene, and Rosser. Church and his students studied Gödel 1931, and Gödel taught a seminar at Princeton in 1934. Seen in the historical context, Gödel was an important catalyst for the emergence of computability theory in the mid 1930s.

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