• Rod Adams  An Early History of Recursive Functions and Computability from Gödel to Turing, Docent Press, 2011

Recursion is a common computer programming construct and is found widely in mathematics and yet it is a slippery logical construct. Can it really make any sense to define a function in terms of itself? Drawing on personal communication with the pioneers, Adams examines in detail the machinations in the symbolic logic community as it tried to get a grip on recursive function theory.


Docent Press publishes original books focused on the history of mathematics and computing. Our current and forthcoming titles encompass biographic studies of major figures such as Bertrand Russell, Charles S. Peirce and Mina Rees as well as histories of mathematical topics such as nomography, recursive functions and computability, the mediant, and mathematical education.


  • Maria Manzano  Extensions of First-Order Logic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Tracts in Theoretical Computer Science, no. 19, 1996/2005