Alan Turing Year in Calgary

It’s Alan Turing’s centenary, and we’ve been celebrating it at the University of Calgary with a series of lectures.  This term, we’ve had a talk on the decision problem, one (by Mike Williams) on Turing and early electronic comupters, and one coming up on March 27, by John Ferris, on Alan Turing and codebreaking in WWII.  Yesterday, we screened the biopic Breaking the Code, with Derek Jacobi as Alan Turing (which you can watch on YouTube in its entirety!). The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences is paying to have the lectures videotaped and the’ll be appearing on as they become available.  The lecture by my distinguised colleague in the Computer Science department, Mike Williams, was just posted a couple of days ago.  Mike is a former President of the IEEE Computer Society, editor in chief of the Annals of the History of Computing, and head curator for the Computer History Museum.  So he knows his history of computing machinery, and gave us a wonderful talk about Turing’s role in the development of early digital computers.  (There’s also a lecture by me on the 1936 paper, but that’s much less interesting.) Thanks to generous funding from the Faculty of Science, we also have nice posters, like the one below, advertising our last talk for the Winter term, by my distinguished colleague in the History Department, John R. Ferris. 

Senior Position in Logic and Philosophy of Science at Calgary!

Been waiting a while for this to become official, which it now is: we’re hiring. In case you don’t know, the CRC program is Canada’s effort to attract outstanding foreigntalent to Canada. So there is no preference for Canadians, you get atop-up to your salary, and the teaching load is 1-1. 

Tier I Canada Research Chair in Logic and the Philosophy of Science

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary invites applications and nominations for a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Logic and the Philosophy of Science. The Canada Research Chairs program has been established by the Government of Canada to enable Canadian universities to foster excellence in research and teaching. Further information on the program is available on the CRC website at

We are seeking an established scholar and a leader in any area of logic or the philosophy of science. The successful candidate will have an outstanding record of research, teaching and graduate supervision, and an innovative research program. The appointment, at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor, is expected to start on July 1, 2013.

Specific inquiries about this position may be directed to:

Ali Kazmi, Head
Department of Philosophy
University of Calgary

All Chairs are subject to review and final approval by the CRC Secretariat. Applications including a CV, a writing sample, a teaching dossier, and a description of a 7 year research plan, and names and contact information of three referees may be sent to:

Merlette Schnell, Manager
Department of Philosophy
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Review of the applications will begin on July 9, 2012.

Ruth Barcan Marcus, 1921-2012

Ruth Barcan Marcus died February 19. She was a towering figure in philosophical logic in the latter half of the 20th century.  She initiated the study of quantified modal logic in her 1946 JSL paper, “A functional calculus of first order based on strict implication”.  Facing strong opposition from Quine, who thought quantified modal logic was incoherent, her work was only taken up years later.  It is now recognized as the seminal contribution that it was.


Tim Williamson’s excellent laudatio on the occasion of the award of the Lauener Prize for Outstanding Oevre to Barcan Marcus is here.