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December 2010 Von Neumann, Gödel and complexity theory
Alasdair Urquhart
Bull. Symbolic Logic 16(4): 516-530 (December 2010). DOI: 10.2178/bsl/1294171130

Abstract

Around 1989, a striking letter written in March 1956from Kurt Gödel to John von Neumann came to light.It poses some problems about the complexity of algorithms; in particular, it asks a question that can be seen as the first formulation of the P=?NP question.This paper discusses some of the background to this letter, includingvon Neumann's own ideas on complexity theory.Von Neumann had already raised explicit questions about the complexity ofTarski's decision procedure for elementary algebra and geometry in a letterof 1949 to J. C. C. McKinsey.The paper concludes with a discussion of why theoretical computer science didnot emerge as a separate discipline until the 1960s.

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Alasdair Urquhart. "Von Neumann, Gödel and complexity theory." Bull. Symbolic Logic 16 (4) 516 - 530, December 2010. https://doi.org/10.2178/bsl/1294171130

Information

Published: December 2010
First available in Project Euclid: 4 January 2011

zbMATH: 1226.03004
MathSciNet: MR2724531
Digital Object Identifier: 10.2178/bsl/1294171130

Rights: Copyright © 2010 Association for Symbolic Logic

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Vol.16 • No. 4 • December 2010
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