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Conference Proceeding

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DeSymbol is a program that translates first-order predicate logic expressions into English. It is intended to be a practice tool for students who are learning logic for the first time or who are trying to refresh their memories if they need to use symbolic logic for an upper-level course. Students start with an English sentence and translate it by hand into symbolic logic notation; then they can check their work by using DeSymbol to translate their notation back into English. If the English sentence produced by DeSymbol differs significantly from the original English sentence, this helps the student to see what error was made in the logic expression. The latest version of DeSymbol adds support for prepositions, so that the student can now test expressions such as as on(a,b)and∀X∀Y(on(X,Y)→under(Y,X)). It also now supports a wider variety of idiomatic translations, including improved translations of common student mistakes. For example, the student who begins with the English sentence “All cats are mammals” and writes the expression∀X(cat(X)∧mammal(X))will see DeSymbol re-translate the expression as “Everything is a cat and a mammal”, which helps the student to see why the expression is incorrect.



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