Deductions 1.1 - A New Way to Learn Natural Deduction Proofs in Logic

October 22, 2009 in Software (F)

[] Claremont, California - Wandering Mango follows up a successful introduction of Deductions with a 1.1 release. This update features a major change in program architecture, so that the program may now be used "out-of-the-box" with several logic textbooks:

(i) The Logic Book by Merrie Bergmann, James Moor and Jack Nelson (McGraw-Hill, 2008)
(ii) A Modern Formal Logic Primer by Paul Teller (Prentice Hall, 1989)
(iii) Modern Logic by Graeme Forbes (Oxford, 1994)
(iv) A Serious Introduction to Mathematical Logic by Tony Roy (Self-published, 2009)

Deductions may also be configured to work with many other systems of natural deduction.

Written for Mac OS X 10.5/10.6, Deductions was developed to help students learn how to construct proofs in formal logic. The interface of Deductions is carefully designed to ease the transition from lectures and textbooks to working with a computer, and provides detailed help every step of the way. It is priced at $19.99 for a student license, $24.99 for a single-user license, and $29.99 for a workstation license.

Deductions aims to solve the three problems that make proofs the most difficult component of formal logic courses: not knowing whether rules are applied correctly, getting stuck in the middle of a proof, and uncertainty about the rules and strategies. Deductions addresses these issues by flagging errors, including a hint engine to make suggestions about how to complete a proof, and having multimedia tutorials to help students through complex rules.

Features Highlights:

1. Flagging Errors - Deductions flags errors in proofs as soon as they occur. This is important, because when students are first learning proofs, they are often not sure how to apply certain rules, and frequently end up practising mistakes. By flagging errors, Deductions prevents students from learning the wrong rules.

2. Hint Engine - Deductions provides hints about how to complete proofs. A common frustration of students is that they get stuck in the middle of a proof. Deductions has a hints feature which looks at the proof the student is working on, and suggests how to make progress.

3. Multimedia Tutorials - Deductions comes with a set of multimedia tutorials. There are so many rules for constructing proofs that it often difficult for students to keep all the details straight. Deductions comes with a set of video tutorials, divided into two groups: how to use Deductions to learn logic, and how to use the logic rules.

4. Flexibility - Deductions is designed to work with many different logic systems and textbooks. Both standard and alternative symbols are included, as well as rules that may be turned on and off individually.

5. Modern Design - Deductions provides a modern interface. As a new entry into a field that has not seen many updates in recent years (many logic programs are written for DOS, Windows 9x, or are rudimentary Java applets), Deductions is designed and written for a modern operating system (Mac OS X). Deductions leverages the technologies of Mac OS X to provide a clean user interface, drag-and-drop support, and a comprehensive help system.

6. More Efficient than Paper - Deductions takes care of the editing details. When working on paper, especially in large proofs, proofs must be reworked to add or remove lines, existing justifications must be renumbered, and so on. These details are necessary for the proof to work, but have little to do with learning or understanding proofs. Deductions takes care of these housekeeping tasks by automatically adjusting proofs when lines are added, removed or moved.

Release of Deductions 1.1: October 20, 2009
Requirements: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
Pricing: $19.99 (student), $25.99 (single-user), $29.99 (workstation, for educational institutions)

Wandering Mango is an independent software developer based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 2009, the current focus of Wandering Mango is creating software for research and education in formal logic.