Syllabus for Logic and Computers

Instructor: Dr. John F. Santore
Phone: 508-531-2226
Office: Science Center 333

Instructor Web Page:
Course Web Page:

Office Hours:

Mon 10-11am
Tues 7:30-8:30pm (after this evening class)
Wed 2-3pm
Fri 10-11am
or by appointment

I also will take appointments if you cannot make my other office hours, however, I generally have meetings and work prepared for a day or two ahead so plan on about 48 hours from the time I get your request to us being able to meet.

Course Description:

This course provides an introduction to logic and explores its use in developing computer programs. Students will learn how to transform general ideas into fascinating demonstrable results in utilizing logical thinking.

Out Comes:

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand computer memory structure and
  • Understand how data are stored in memory
  • Understand the representation and use of primitive data types and built-in data structures
  • Understand what a variable is and how it is associated with a memory location as    well as how its value is changed
  • Create algorithms for solving simple problems
  • Be familiar with the elements of algorithm design: functions, control structures,   
           if/else, loops, recursion
  • Be familiar with the elements of interactive programming: event handling
  • Be familiar with the basic data structures: lists, arrays
  • Understand the intellectual foundations, conceptual frameworks, and methodologies of logic
  • Define what an argument is
  • Distinguish argument from non argument
  • Construct arguments consistent with best practices in a discipline
  • Formulate constructive responses to criticism.
  • Differentiate between valid and invalid arguments
  • Identify formal/structural features of valid argumentation
  • Recognize the more common fallacies to be avoided in reasoning
  • Identify what kinds of reasons are relevant to what kinds of propositions
  • Recognize/identify/understand the relevance of systems of logical reasoning for major foundational projects for acquisition and increase of knowledge
  • Recognize/identify/understand the function of logic in the context of theories  of/issues about meaning, knowledge, values and/or reality
  • Apply logical reasoning to controversies in ethics, politics, science, and/or religion


The Fallacy Detective Edition: workbook

Author: Bluedorn and BluedornISBN: 978-0974531571

Class Requirements and grading:

Programming projects: 25%
Logic Problems: 25%
Exams: 40%
Everything else (quizzes, participation etc): 10%

Project work:

Since you can't really understand a programming language, or the important logic concepts without working and practicing with them by writing programs or working out problems, there will be several  projects in this class.

There will be a number of projects  in this course. Each lab is to be completed individually.  Projects are to be turned in on time. Late projects will be penalized 50% for each day that they are late (i.e if you turn it in the day after it is due, your best possible score is 50%, a second day late will receive 25% credit for a perfect lab. It is therefore almost always best to submit whatever you have on time.

Logic Problems:

This part of the grade includes short papers where you will analyze a problem as well as problem sets. The Problems section will include both exercising our capacity to prove a conclusion any our ability to spot and dispute bad logic.


There will be two exams, a midterm and a final exam. The midterm be worth 20% of your final grade. The final will be work 20% of your final grade. Exams will be given on at their assigned times. If you have a legitimate reason for missing an exam, see your instructor before the scheduled exam time to arrange for reasonable accommodation. If you miss the exam without prior approval, you will forfeit the exam. (emergency room visits and the like excepted of course)

The midterm exam is scheduled on Tuesday Oct 17th

The final exam will be scheduled by the university. It is Tuesday, December 12 for this class.

Students with special needs:

Anyone who has special needs should contact me in the first week of classes so that reasonable accommodations can be agreed on.

Academic Integrity:

See   for a complete description of the academic integrity procedure at Bridgewater.

Academic integrity will be taken very seriously in this class. All individual work must be your own. If you cheat or otherwise represent the work of others as your own. You will receive an F for the course.

Guidelines for proper academic integrity:

Discussing problems with your classmates can help you understand the problems and kinds of solutions to those problems that you will learn about in this class. In an effort to make in clear what sort of discussions are appropriate and encouraged in this class and which cross the line to academic dishonesty I use the following guidelines: You may discuss any out of class problem I assign in this class with your classmates or other so long as no one is using any sort of recording implement including, but not limited to, computers, phones, pens, pencils, tablets etc. This lets you talk about theoretical solutions without sharing the actual implementations. As soon as anyone in the group is typing, writing etc, all conversations must stop. You may look at someone else's program code only very briefly in order to spot a simple syntax error. As a rule of thumb, if you find yourself looking at someone else's code for more than about 30-45 seconds it is probably time to stop. If you are having trouble with your program, come to the instructors office hours for more help. We'll use the same guidelines for any out of class logic assignments to start the semester. If I find it doesn't work out, I will adjust the guidelines with lots of notice.

All in class exams and quizzes are closed book and closed neighbor. If you are found using a data storage device of any kind during one of these evaluations, you will  fail for the course.

Standards for in class behavior:

You are all adults and are expected to act as adults in this class. While questions are encouraged in this class, if a particular line of questioning is taking us too far afield, I will ask the student to come by my office hours or to see me after class.

Cell phones, pagers, electronic organizers and other devises should be silenced while in class. If you work of EMS or something similar, please turn your cell phones/ pagers etc to vibrate mode so that you are not disrupting others in the class.

In the unlikely case of trouble makers in the class, those who are simply attempting to disrupt the class will be asked to stop; those who will not, will be referred to the college for appropriate action.

I do not take regular attendance. Because of the census day regulations, I'll have to take occasional attendance. You are adults and are paying for this class. If you miss a class, you are expected to get notes from a classmate and familiarize yourself with the material that was covered before returning to class. I do find from dealing with students in the past that attendance at lecture is highly correlated with doing well in my classes.

At this point the instructor will give his standard "this is not high school you are responsible for your performance but I'll be glad to help those who seek it" speech.

Tentative Schedule:

Week Topic Assignment
Week 1 Intro intro assignment
Week 2 Basic Programming/into to logic and listening first program
Week 3 Red Herring Fallacies/exploring the sensors and I/O in app inventor
logic assignment 1
Week 4 Other ways of avoiding the question/loops and control flow
second program
Week 5 Basic logic and conditions in arguments/logic in programming logic assignment 2
Week 6 Unwarranted assumptions I/functions in app inventor
third program
Week 7 Unwarranted assumptions II/functions and parameters part 2
Week 8 midterm
logic assignment 3
Week 9 Deductive Arguments/lists and lots of data
forth program
Week 10 Proof by contradiction/games and animations
logic assignment 4
Week 11 Statistical Fallacies I/working with multiple screens
fifth program
Week 12 Statistical Fallacies II/working with data
logic project 5
Week 13 Recognizing Propaganda I/using media
last program
Week 14 Recognizing Propaganda II/building bigger programs last  logic assignment      
Week 15 let's see what we can do here.