Logic Is Fundamental
High School Summer Camp
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Learning logic is like learning a foreign language, only easier, more useful, and more fun. You'll discover that on Day 1 when you realize that you've been trying to think clearly about lots of things over the years and didn't have the training to do it well. The classes taught in Logic Is Fundamental summer camp will provide that training.

Thinking Strategies & Skills

It's hard to describe the actual content of our classes without scaring you with concepts and terminology that may make your mind spin. So instead, we're going to give you a taste of what you'll learn knowing that after a few days of camp, you'll be able to read this webpage again and, like Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", announce "This isn't magic - it's logic!" and smile.

Basic Tools for Your Mental Tool Kit

We'll be working with a few key tools or concepts: propositional logic, relational logic, deduction, and proofs. (Deduction and proofs should certainly sound familiar to any fan of Sherlock Holmes.)

We'll start using sentences written in English. We'll then talk about why we want to use a different, formal language for expressing information logically and about the rules for manipulating information sentences written in "logic". Your classes will involve learning to translate the world around you into this easy-to-master language and rules.

How We Teach

Not through lectures alone. (And anyway, the lectures we present are engaging, interactive, and small group, since enrollment is limited.) Six hours a day for the 10 weekdays of our camp, we will also challenge you with team and individual exercises, projects, puzzles, and games, along with special events and guests.

You'll learn a way of thinking so powerful that you'll solve all kinds of problems - including these - with ease.

FOREIGN POLICY INVASION PUZZLE: The world has two types of nations: strong and weak. If a strong nation invades a weak nation, it will annex the weak nation (and become bigger) but it will itself become weak for some period of time. Strong nations never try to invade other strong nations. A weak nation can be invaded by only one strong nation. If more than one strong nation chooses to invade a weak nation, the strong nations flip a coin to determine who may invade. Each nation wants to be as big as possible, but nations do NOT want to be invaded; they would rather stay the same size than be annexed. Assume that the leaders of all the nations are completely rational. There are five strong nations and one weak nation. Will the weak nation be invaded? Explain why or why not.

SAFECRACKING PUZZLE: There is a combination safe with four switches on the front, each with three positions (low, medium, and high). If the switches are set into an opening combination, then when you try to open the safe, it will open; otherwise, no dice. In general, there are 3^4 = 81 possible combinations. However, this is a cheap safe; and only two of the switches actually matter; if you set those two switches right, the safe will open. Unfortunately, you do not know which are the important switches or which positions work. What is the minimum number of combinations you must try that will *guarantee* to open the safe? What is your plan?


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