The Special Lecture Series 2016, Topic: “What Computers Can Never Do”

y Prof. Dr. Joseph Manning,

Department of Computer Science,

University College Cork, Ireland

On Thursday 22 September 2016, 3.00 P.M. – 4.30 P.M.

At Training room No. 1/5 (Train 5), 1st floor,

School of Information Technology,

King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi




Over the past several decades, the speed and capacity of computer hardware, and the sophistication of computer software, have both improved at a truly astonishing rate. And this trend is set to continue well into the future, with more powerful computers and more advanced applications constantly being developed.

          We can barely imagine the capabilities that will be available to us even ten years from now. Yet in spite of these advances, there are certain clear-cut tangible problems that computers cannot presently solve, and in fact, regardless of any possible future breakthroughs, will never be able to solve.

This talk will describe some of these problems, which rank amongst the most fundamental and important in all of Theoretical Computer Science. Elementary proofs of their uncomputability will be presented, and the profound implications of these surprising results will be discussed. 

          The ideas presented do not require any prior background in programming, since the few basic concepts needed will be developed in the talk itself. It should be of interest not only to students of Computer Science, but also to students of Mathematics and even Philosophy.

 4 5

Joseph Manning is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at University College Cork, Ireland.

He holds both BSc and MSc degrees in Mathematical Science from University College Cork; an MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, Canada; and a PhD degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, USA.

His research interests are in the field of Computational Discrete Mathematics, in particular Graph Algorithms and Graph Drawing.


Link to show the document :