Address to the Pittsburgh City Council July 14, 2017

This is the transcript of my testimony to the Pittsburgh City Council in support of the Pittsburgh Sanctuary City Coalition’s campaign.

Presupposition And Quantification June 18, 2017

What is the meaning of implication (for instance)? As with any logical construct, we must first lay down what counts as an instance of the implication-form, and only then may we begin to propound the conditions under which an individual instance shall be considered true or evident. This basic formula of definition in two stages is due to Per Martin-Löf, and is reflected not only in the distinction between propositionhood and truth of a proposition, but also in the concepts of “good” (comprehensible) judgment and evident judgment.

2/19 Address on Indigenous Liberation February 21, 2017

This is the transcript of an address on national liberation struggles of indigenous peoples which I gave at a Pittsburgh rally organized by ANSWER Coalition on February 19, 2017.

Structural and Contextual Dynamics September 16, 2016

It is a common refrain here at Carnegie Mellon University that structural operational semantics (SOS) is the best form of dynamics, and that contextual dynamics (“Indiana-style semantics”) do not combat the bureaucratic tendency in the way that they are usually claimed to do. This is true in one formulation of contextual dynamics, but I would like to demonstrate a more fine-grained approach that is an improvement on both SOS and standard contextual dynamics.

Some Remarks on Dialectics in Mathematics June 22, 2016

Dialectical materialism, far from being merely the definitive theory of political and historical movement, also serves as the guiding light for the progressive mathematician in its manifestation as the science of adjoint functors in category theory.

As Lawvere stated in his influential note Quantifiers and Sheaves, the essential move in mathematics is to identify the principal contradictions of a theory in the form of pairs of adjoint functors, and to “weaponize” them as slogans to drive the further development (and generalization) of the thing. In this note, I would like to make a few remarks about the pervasiveness of dialectical phenomena, both in the mathematics itself as well as in the practical engagement in mathematical activity.

Spreads, Fans and Bars over Containers July 5, 2015

This post is an introduction to the container-oriented generalization of the core Brouwerian (co)data structures, inspired by Ghani, Hancock and Pattinson.1 I am not introducing anything novel; I’m merely taking their framework and showing how to round up the usual suspects of Brouwerian mathematics in their generalized, “family-friendly” setting. I am using Constable et al’s Computational Type Theory + Induction-Recursion as my metalanguage,2 but other variants of type theory may be used as well.

Modernized LCF: The Logic of Goals and Tactics July 3, 2015

Here, I present a judgemental reconstruction of LCF-style tactic systems, called Modernized LCF, which admits various extensions including validations (checkable certificates). The purpose is to present the structure and meaning of refinement proof directly as a logical theory with a meaning explanation, in contrast to the standard practice of taking refinement proof as an extra-logical “finishing touch”.

Oregon Programming Languages Summer School, 2015 June 27, 2015

This year’s Oregon Programming Languages Summer School, organized by Bob Harper, Greg Morrisett and Zena Ariola, has come to a close after two amazing weeks. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who made my time here so pleasant, with special regards to Bob Harper and Mark Bickford, who patiently answered my numerous questions about Nuprl and Brouwerian mathematics.

Note on Diaconescu’s Theorem April 24, 2015

Briefly, Diaconescu’s theorem states that the axiom of choice & extensionality together suffice to imply the principle of the excluded middle (PEM). In 100 Years of Zermelo’s Axiom of Choice, Martin-Löf distinguishes an intensional version of AC from an extensional one, and argues that whilst the former is a theorem of intuitionistic type theory, the latter leads to taboo. In this note, I hope to clarify a few matters, and demonstrate that the matter at hand is not so much extensionality, but infelicitous interpretation of quantifiers. When viewed through this lens, it becomes evident that the problem all along was setoids, not extensionality.

Dependent Types for Pragmatics October 18, 2014

I am pleased to make available the result of joint research with Darryl McAdams, our new paper Dependent Types for Pragmatics which is currently under review for publication in the Journal of Logic, Language and Information. I’d like to discuss a few aspects of the work which I consider important, lending additional emphasis to foundational aspects of type theory which I fear were lost in the presentation, which was meant for a general Linguistics audience.

Synthetic Judgement in Interactive Proof: In Defense of Tactics August 14, 2014

Whilst the judgements of type theory are preferred to be analytic, the practice of operating a proof assistant is inherently and unavoidably synthetic, and is always accompanied by some manner of refinement and tactics: and so the question is never whether to use tactics, but rather how much pain one intends to experience in the process of using them: this is inextricable from the activity of proving.

Interview with Peter Dybjer: types and testing August 13, 2014

I’m so pleased to be able to announce the first fruit of a joint project with David Christiansen and Darin Morrison, which is an interview of Peter Dybjer for The Type Theory Podcast. We spoke to Peter about QuickCheck-style testing and its relation to proofs and verification in type theory. Subscribe to the RSS feed or follow us on Twitter if you are interested in listening to discussions with researchers, because we have more to come.

The Circle Is Not Contractible: A Short Proof February 1, 2014

To those of us without a background in topology, it may have initially been surprising that the unit circle \(S^1\) is not contractible. In this post, I’ll outline a homotopy type-theoretic proof for why this is in fact the case.

Ditransitives & Datives Without Movement: A Multi-Modal Approach December 14, 2013

The issue of verbs which appear to take multiple arguments has long been a sticking point for Chomskyan grammarians, with various proposals having taken shape. Here, I’ll describe current approaches in transformational grammar, and demonstrate another approach in Multi-Modal Combinatorial Categorial Grammar. Finally, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of each approach.

A Primer of Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis: Some Exercises from Ch. 1 November 7, 2013

As I read Bell’s A Primer of Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis, I thought it would be useful for me to write down my workings of the exercises as I went. The proofs are in the language of Intuitionistic Type Theory; according to common practice, I will sometimes omit arguments from application which can easily be inferred from the others.

Hyperbaton & Resource Sensitivity in Combinatory Categorial Grammar October 26, 2013

Baldridge’s Multi-Modal extension of Steedman’s CCG attempts to account for variation in rule applicability entirely within the lexicon, by annotating slash types (function arrows) with modalities, which license different combining rules: \(\bullet\) licenses only simple application, \(\diamond\) simple application and harmonic composition/substitution, \(\times\) simple application and permuting composition/substitution, and \(\star\) licenses all rules. I demonstrate that further refinement is needed in order to have a grammar which suffices for the most basic hyperbata of Ancient Greek (and Latin).

Proof-Relevant MCCG: an approach to scrambling in Ancient Greek September 2, 2013

Within a type-theoretic grammar, we must eventually deal with the issue of argument-ordering in languages which have (relatively) free word order. One approach, considered unsatisfactory, is to provide multiple categorial types for a word, giving the different orders in which it may accept its arguments; this is embeddable within a minimal CCG calculus. Another is to make copious use of the type raising operator combined with composition to construct mountains of unsatisfied clauses: this is less than optimal, however, given that the type raising operator itself is problematic for reasons outside the scope of this short exposition. So today, I shall present two different modest extensions to CCG which address this issue, namely something old and something new.

Combinatory Categorial Grammar for Ancient Greek May 20, 2013

This is the first in a series I intend to write in regard to the syntax of Ancient Greek hyperbaton, and what can be done about it formally using a combinatory categorial grammar1. We will begin with a pathological example of \(Y_1\) hyperbaton from Sophocles’ Trachinian Women:

τὴν Εὐρυτείαν οἶσθα δῆτα παρθένον;
the-*acc* of-Eurytus-*acc* know-*2.sing* of-course girl-*acc*

“You of course know the daughter of Eurytus…?” (Trachinian Women, l. 1219)

Derivative and Novel Speeches in Plato’s Symposium May 19, 2013

The six speeches of the Symposium may be divided into two sets: on the one hand, there is Phaedrus’s speech and those which are derivative of his, and on the other hand, there are the novel speeches; and these are the ones which reject the previous approaches and propose unique theories of Eros.

A Survey of Phrase Projectivity in the Antigone April 28, 2013

In this paper, I demonstrate how, and to what degree, phrase projectivity corresponds with register and meter in Sophocles’s Antigone, by developing a quantitative metric \(\wp\) for projectivity and comparing it across lyrics, trimeters and anapaests using the data provided by the Perseus Ancient Greek Dependency Treebank. In the appendices, the formal algorithm for the computations done herein is developed in Haskell.