Spring 2018 - Mathematical logic is a very interesting topic. However this class doesn't really do it justice. The main issue I have is that the class has a prerequisite of Math 131A OR 110A OR philosophy 135. The problem lies in the OR. If you have never taken any logic class before (not even philosophy 31) you will have a very hard time in this class. The first two weeks you as a math major will find the class easy since it's pretty obvious induction proofs on syntax and semantics. Then comes week 3 when you are introduced to formal deduction and you hit a wall. You have never even heard of basic inference rules like implication introduction/elimination/distribution in basic propositional logic; yet you are supposed to do reasoning on a richer language (first-order logic) using just two rules of inference (implication elimination and a "quantifier rule" that isn't valid). And things go downhill from here. Of course I later understood the reason why we use such a small number of rules later on: it's for making proofs ABOUT logic easier but not making proofs WITHIN this language easier; duh! Eventually I did find this class pretty interesting, especially later parts with a little bit of computability theory (like primitive recursive functions). But that's after weeks of struggling with formal deduction that you really should have had some foundations for. My advice is that don't take this class unless you've taken logic classes before. Philosophy 31 is a cool class and maybe take that class before this one. Better yet you know take philosophy 135 which is a prerequisite. At least read through the whole Stanford introduction to logic beforehand or you'll be utterly lost come week 3. I should also mention that Professor Martin is pretty old and frequently makes typos. He's also not particularly good at explaining himself. I really hope that instead of him, Professor Moschovakis can teach this class as he did in 2017. Professor Martin and Professor Moschovakis's notes are completely different it feels like they are teaching a different course.
Boy o boy... this guy.. Start it off with he is a really good guy. Hes nice, he will explain things again if asked, always around, helpful in office hours and really does try to help. In spite of this, he often times fell short of sufficient help. I dont consider this class a philosophy class. Its all math proof based, some deduction, tautology stuff like phil 31/32 but really the focus is on proofs and induction. This class is HARD!. By far the hardest philosophy class Ive taken, and worse is that its not very interesting, I'd advoid this class in general if I could do it over again. His problem is not from being knowledgeable, its from the teaching aspect. He is a smart man no doubt, although he can't concisely transform his thoughts into words. He uses very convoluted and roundabout language to express his ideas, his proofs he writes on the board are cryptic, and he does not provide sufficient examples so when you're trying to do the hw, you're doing things you've never seen before. Although he is around so take advantage of OH. He is a very picky grader. You have to prove things in exactly the language that he wants or else he slashes off points. He does not give you a lot of freedom in deducing. Grading: HWs are always pretty short, half were really easy, 1/4 hard and 1/4 impossible. Midterm, totally fair. Final take home and also fair, but very hard. He adds in humor with his teaching that is funny and interesting, however, he just cant teach, advoid him and 135!