James Holland


Main Page Class Material Resources GOST Seminar Schedule About Me
Room 618, Hill Center
Department of Mathematics
110 Frelinghuysen Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854

The Graduate Operated Set Theory (GOST) Seminar

1:30 PM to 2:30 PM on Wednesdays

Until university operating status returns to normal, GOSTS will be held online via Canvas. Email me to recieve an invitation to the course page.

The seminar will run from 2021-01-27 to 2021-04-28.

2021 (Spring) Schedule of Speakers

2021-04-28 James Holland "Going Over Gap Forcing"
Abstract: Introduced by J. D. Hamkins, gap forcing isn't so much a forcing notion as a property of forcing notions, and a very useful one at that. The main idea is the non-introduction of large cardinals with large forcings. Such results are known for small forcings of course, but the generalization is very useful especially to long Easton support iterations. In this talk, I'll go over the relevant concepts and results as proven in Hamkins' original paper "Gap Forcing".
2020-04-20 Brian Pinsky "Symmetric Models are HOD" [Part 5]
2020-04-14 Brian Pinsky "Symmetric Models are HOD" [Part 4]
2020-04-07 Brian Pinsky "Symmetric Models are HOD" [Part 3]
Abstract: Today we will examine models of the form \(\mathrm{HOD}(M\cup X)\). Using results from last time, we can show they all look like \(M[x]\) (meaning "the smallest model containing \(M\) and \(x\)"; not a forcing extension). We'll need this next week to describe symmetric models.
2020-03-31 Brian Pinsky "Symmetric Models are HOD" [Part 2]
Abstract: In this talk, we'll finish showing the action of \(\mathrm{Aut}(B)\) on generics is transitive. Then we'll use that to give a purely combinatorial description of the boolean value \(\|x \in OD(M,y)\|\).
2020-03-24 Brian Pinsky "Symmetric Models are HOD" [Part 1]
Abstract: As we've seen earlier this year, there are a few ways to build models where AC fails. Classically, this was done using a group action on the forcing poset to define sufficiently symmetric names. Another approach was to look at \(\mathrm{HOD}\) sets in a sufficiently interesting model. It turns out these approaches are actually the same; that is, every symmetric extension between \(M\) and \(M[G]\) has the form \(\mathrm{HOD}(M[x])\) for some \(x\) in \(M[G]\), and every model \(\mathrm{HOD}(M[x])\) is the symmetric model with respect to some group action on the filter. Our goal in these talks is to prove this interesting theorem of Grigorieff.
For the first talk, we will look closer at \(\mathrm{Aut}(P)\) when \(P\) is a boolean algebra for forcing, and we'll try to describe \(\|x\in OD(M,y)\|\) explicitly.
GOSTS did not occur on 2021-03-17 due to spring break, nor on 2020-03-10 because we didn't feel like it.
2021-03-03 Takehiko Gappo "Application of Foreman's duality theorem"
Abstract: In the standard consistency proof of the existence of a precipitous ideal, the precipitous ideal is induced by a generic elementary embedding, which is obtained by a lift up argument. To show its precipitousness, the calculation of its quotient algebra is crucial.
This argument, actually, can be regarded as a very special case of Foreman’s duality theorem.
In this talk, I will explain what Foreman’s duality theorem says and how to use it. For example, the preservation theorem of Kakuda and Baumgartner-Taylor will be shown as its corollaries.
2021-02-24 Brian Pinsky "A Topos View of Forcing" [Part 2]
Abstract: In this talk, I'll sketch a proof that \(\mathrm{Sh}(\mathbb{P})\) is a topos. I'll try to describe the internal logic of \(\mathbb{P}\), and we'll see that it think it satisfies a large fragment of ZFC (stated in it's internal language). I hope this will give a nice view of why \(\mathrm{ro}(\mathbb{P})\) comes up so naturally. If there's time, I'll also try to define a way due to Mitchell of constructing a real model of ZFC inside a topos.
2021-02-17 Brian Pinsky "A Topos View of Forcing" [Part 1]
Abstract: In this talk, I'll define a sheaf on a poset (takes most of the time), and how the topos of sheaves on \(\mathbb{P}\) is related to the class of \(\mathbb{P}\)-names. This is useful to know about if you ever want to convince algebraic geometry people that your work about forcing is somehow relevant to them.
2021-02-10 James Holland "Descriptive Set Theory" [Part 5]
Abstract: Prewellorders are a result of maps into ordinals.  If we examine such maps with definability restrictions, we get a rich theory about these in relation to large cardinal and determinacy assumptions.  These bring in new concepts like scales and various properties of pointclasses.  Our main goal will be to introduce these topics enough to show that the perfect set property on \(\boldsymbol{\Pi}^1_1\) implies that \(\omega_1\) is inaccessible to the reals, the converse to what was proven in the previous talk in the series.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2021-02-03 James Holland "Defining the Ground Model"
Abstract: The ability to reference the ground model in forcing is a very useful result that is often used without worrying about how it's actually done. In this talk, I will go over the needed concepts and present a proof of it.
Notes: Slides used
2021-01-27 James Holland "Iterated Forcing" [Part 5]
Abstract: Forcing the failure of AC via Cohen forcing is a pretty well-known theorem that involves a lot of new concepts worthy of discussion.  In particular, I will discuss product forcing, (weak) homogeneity, and how these relate to common forcing notions.  Then I will show how all of this comes together in forcing the failure of AC (in an inner model).
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory].

2020 (Fall) Schedule of Speakers

2020-12-16 Keith Weber "Infinite Time Turing Machines" [Part 2]
Abstract: In the second session, I introduce Hamkins and Lewis' notions of "writable ordinals" (codes for ordinals that can be written by an ITTM program with input 0) and "clockable ordinals" (the possible run-times of an ITTM program with input 0). I prove various theorems about writable and clockable ordinals, including the supremum of the writable ordinals is admissible and the limit of admissibles, and that no clockable ordinal is admissible. I conclude with Philip Welch's proof that the suprememum of the writable ordinals is the supremum of the clockable ordinals.
2020-12-09 Keith Weber "Infinite Time Turing Machines" [Part 1]
Abstract: In this series of talks, I will introduce a model of computation proposed by Joel Hamkins and Andy Lewis. Infinite time Turing machines (ITTMs) are an analog of Turing machines that can run for transfinitely many stages. In the first session, I will describe how ITTMs operate and discuss which types of sets of integers and pointclasses that ITTMs can decide.
2020-12-02 James Holland "Introduction to Determinacy Mini-Talk"
Abstract: A short introduction to the basic consequences of determinacy is given. This includes the usual three basic properties of sets of reals: the perfect set property, the Baire property, and Lebesgue measurability.
Notes: Slides used.
2020-12-02 Navin Aksornthong "Nontransferable statements from ZFA" [Part 2]
2020-11-25 Navin Aksornthong "Nontransferable statements from ZFA" [Part 1]
Abstract: Recall permutation models which are models of ZFA, set theory with atoms. We can make permutation models which some weak forms of the Axiom of Choice fail while the other hold. And, we were able to transfer those independent results to ZF. However, not all of such results can be transfer to ZF.
2020-11-18 James Holland "Descriptive Set Theory" [Part 4]
Abstract: The Lévy hierarchy of formulas gives us absoluteness for \(\Delta_1\)-definable relations. Going beyond this is not possible in general, but the definability results of the lightface hierarchies suggest another direction to go: absoluteness of analytical relations. In this talk, we will show Shoenfield's theorem of \(\Sigma^1_2\)-absoluteness, and then see how this relates to \(\mathrm{L}\) and results like \(\Sigma^1_1\)-boundedness.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-11-11 James Holland "Descriptive Set Theory" [Part 3]
Abstract: The lightface versions of the boldface hierarchies are introduced with a discussion of computability over polish spaces. We also relate these hierarchies to sets of reals definable over arithmetic and over (fragments of) set theory; connecting description, computability, and topology.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-11-04 James Holland "Descriptive Set Theory" [Part 2]
Abstract: We investigate three interesting properties sets of reals can have and think about what sets have these properties through the lens of the boldface hierarchies. In particular, we think about the concepts of the perfect set property, involving lots of set theory; the Baire property, involving lots of topology; and Lebesgue measurability, involving analysis.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-10-28 James Holland "Descriptive Set Theory" [Part 1]
Abstract: Descriptive set theory is a broad field, but all parts of it talk about and attempt to categorize how complex sets of reals are. What this means practically speaking is looking at the Borel and Projective hierarchies. Typically, rather than looking at \(\mathbb{R}\) directly, we study Polish spaces like Baire or Cantor space. In this talk, the basic theory of Polish spaces and their Borel and Projective hierarchies are introduced.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-10-21 Brian Pinsky "ZFA and the Independence of Choice-like Principles" [Part 3]
2020-10-13 Brian Pinsky "ZFA and the Independence of Choice-like Principles" [Part 2]
2020-10-07 Brian Pinsky "ZFA and the Independence of Choice-like Principles" [Part 1]
Abstract: The independence of choice from ZF was open for a long time, since it requires forcing. However, most of the actual work was done way back in the 1920s. The idea is in ZFA set theory (ZF with a set of non-empty atoms with no elements), a group can act on the atoms, and thus act on the whole universe (on the other hand, ZF models can't have automorphisms).
In this first talk I'll go through the machinery used to build a few permutation models of ZFA where AC fails (to varying degrees). Then we'll talk about how, by having a group act on a forcing poset, you can start to do this in ZF. The general theorem I'd like to prove is that any (rank initial segment of a) ZFA model is \(\in\)-isomorphic to a (rank initial segment of a) ZF model, which greatly simplifies a lot of arguments. We'll see if I get there Wednesday; it may be early next week.
In subsequent talks, I'd like to work towards the surprising theorem that it is consistent "choice from families of triples" is true, while "choice from families of pairs" is false.
2020-09-30 James Holland "Iterated Forcing" [Part 4]
Abstract: Martin's Axiom is an important axiom in set theory because of its great number of consequences and ease of use. One practical use of iterated forcing is proving the consistency of MA (without CH). This talk covers the proof, also introducing some general theory along the way.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-09-23 James Holland "Iterated Forcing" [Part 3]
Abstract: We continue the discussion of support, finishing the topic of the direct limit and introducing the inverse limit. Then if there's time, the idea of factoring is introduced.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-09-16 James Holland "Iterated Forcing" [Part 2]
Abstract: With two-step iterations defined, we can look at longer iterations and various ways of dealing with the limit stage in terms of support. We can then think about what properties these limit iterations have based on the (names for) preorders we force with and the support we allow.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]
2020-09-09 James Holland "Iterated Forcing" [Part 1]
Abstract: Results using forcing in set theory are often easier to phrase using iterated forcing. In this series, I will explain and motivate the very technical definitions of iterated forcing. The first talk in this series will focus on two-step iterations, looking at basic definitions, preservation properties, and canonical names.
Notes: Slides used, adapted from [Some Notes on Set Theory]

2020 (Spring) Schedule of Speakers

2020-04-29 Takehiko Gappo "Basic Theory of Mitchell–Steel Mice" [Part 6]
Abstract: We'll finally prove the comparison lemma, which is the most important basic result in inner model theory.
2020-04-22 Brian Pinsky "Cichoń's Diagram Part 2- Random Forcing"
Abstract: I'll go over random forcing. This means reminding you how boolean valued models work with forcing, and a bunch of measure theory facts you'd forgotten. Then we'll iterate and construct a model where \(\mathrm{cov}(\mathcal{N})\) is \(\aleph_\omega\).
2020-04-15 Takehiko Gappo "Basic Theory of Mitchell–Steel Mice" [Part 5]
Abstract: We'll cover the content that we didn't have time to explain the last time, i.e., a normal iteration game.
2020-04-08 Brian Pinsky "Cichoń's Diagram" [Part 1]
Abstract: Cichoń's diagram is a partial order describing the ZFC-provable relationships between 10 cardinal invariants of the continuum, relating null sets, comeager sets, and the bounding and dominating numbers. A classical set theory problem, completed in 1999, was to prove that Cichoń's diagram completely describes these cardinals; i.e., for any not-obviously-inconsistent assignment of invariants to \(\aleph_1\) and \(\aleph_2\), constructing a model with those as the cardinaliites. In this talk, we will prove the relationships in Cichoń's diagram. If time permits, we'll also start describing some forcings used to show the inequalities can be strict; although that will be our main topic next time.
2020-04-01 Takehiko Gappo "Basic Theory of Mitchell–Steel Mice" [Part 4]
Abstract: We introduce a fine structural version of ultrapowers and iteration trees. Iteration trees should be regarded as a result of an iteration game, where two players will choose extenders and cofinal branches. A winning strategy for the player who chooses branches in this game is called an iteration strategy. Then we finally reach the definition of a mouse.
GOSTS did not occur on 2020-03-18 due to spring break, nor on 2020-03-25 due to university operating status. From this point up, the seminar is held online.
2020-03-11 James Holland "The Theory of Forcing" [Part 2]
Abstract: With basic terminology out of the way, I will go through some simple examples of forcing posets, and the consequences of forcing with them. The hope is to give not only an intuition with forcing arguments, but also an intuition for why certain posets look the way they do.
Notes: [The Theory of Forcing].
2020-03-04 Takehiko Gappo "Basic Theory of Mitchell–Steel Mice" [Part 3]
Abstract: Standard fine structural notions will be defined for (coded) potential premice. Our definition is more or less the same as Mitchell–Steel's book, but we adopt Schlutzenberg's simplification. If time permits, I will explain the big picture of Mitchell–Steel's theory.
2020-02-26 James Holland "The Theory of Forcing" [Part 1]
Abstract: I will go over the basic terminology and theory of forcing. Forcing is a fundamental technique in set theory mostly used for establishing consistency results. The technique, however, involves a lot of technical definitions and is often a student's first foray into more advanced set theory. So I hope to give some perspective into these definitions, showing why they make sense and are natural to consider.
Notes: [The Theory of Forcing].
2020-02-19 Takehiko Gappo "Basic Theory of Mitchell–Steel Mice" [Part 2]
Abstract: After going over the definition of a potential premouse (ppm), the amenable code of a ppm will be introduced to develop fine structure theory nicely.
2020-02-12 James Holland "An Introduction to Measures and Ultrapowers"
Abstract: Ultrafilters can be seen in a variety of places around mathematics, especially within set theory. For our purposes, ultrafilters give rise to ultraproducts, and these have a nice relationship with elementary embeddings. This goes over the basics of what exactly these are and some of the common techniques used when studying them.
Notes: [Measures and Ultrapowers].
2020-02-05 Takehiko Gappo "Basic Theory of Mitchell–Steel Mice" [Part 1]
Abstract: A mouse is the central notion in inner model theory. I'll try to give a fully-detailed explanation of the basic theory of mice in Mitchell–Steel style. I'll also point out many errors in old literature.
2020-01-29 James Holland "The Basics of Skolem Hulls, and Transitive/Mostowski Collapses"
Abstract: Often used without thinking, skolem hulls and their transitive collapses are basic tools in a set theorist's toolkit. I will go over the basic ideas, and applications (mostly just with \(\mathrm{L}\)) if time permits.
Notes: [The Basics of Skolem Hulls and Transitive/Mostowski Collapses], which is more-or-less just a selection from [Some Notes on Set Theory].