Past Logic Seminar

10 November 2016
Dugald Macpherson

I will describe joint work with Katrin Tent, in which we consider a profinite group equipped with a uniformly definable family of open subgroups. We show that if the family is `full’ (i.e. includes all open subgroups) then the group has NIP theory if and only if it has NTP_2 theory, if and only if it has an (open) normal subgroup of finite index which is a direct product of finitely many compact p-adic analytic groups (for distinct primes p). Without the `fullness’ assumption, if the group has NIP theory then it  has a prosoluble open normal subgroup of finite index.

3 November 2016
Natalia Garcia-Fritz

In 2000, Vojta solved the n-squares problem under the Bombieri-Lang conjecture, by explicitly finding all the curves of genus 0 or 1 on the surfaces related to this problem. The fundamental notion used by him is $\omega$-integrality of curves. 
In this talk, I will show a generalization of Vojta's method to find all curves of low genus in some surfaces, with arithmetic applications.
I will also explain how to use $\omega$-integrality to obtain a bound of the height of a non-constant morphism from a curve to $\mathbb{P}^2$ in terms of the number of intersections (without multiplicities) of its image with a divisor of a particular kind. This proves some new special cases of Vojta's conjecture for function fields.

13 October 2016
Ehud Hrushovski

Van den Dries has proved the decidability of the ring of algebraic integers, the integral closure of the ring of integers in
the algebraic closure of the rationals.  A well-established analogy leads to ask the same question for the ring of complex polynomials.
This turns out to go the other way, interpreting the rational field.    An interesting structure on the
limit of Jacobians of all complex curves is encountered along the way. 

16 June 2016
Dario Garcia

The concept of pseudofinite dimension for ultraproducts of finite structures was introduced by Hrushovski and Wagner. In this talk, I will present joint work with D. Macpherson and C. Steinhorn in which we explored conditions on the (fine) pseudofinite dimension that guarantee simplicity or supersimplicity of the underlying theory of an ultraproduct of finite structures, as well as a characterization of forking in terms of droping of the pseudofinite dimension. Also, under a suitable assumption, it can be shown that a measure-theoretic condition is equivalent to loc

9 June 2016
Victoria Gould

p, li { white-space: pre-wrap; } A {\em monoid} is a semigroup with identity. A {\em finitary property for monoids} is a property guaranteed to be satisfied by any finite monoid. A good example is the maximal condition on the lattice of right ideals: if a monoid satisfies this condition we say it is {\em weakly right noetherian}. A monoid $S$ may be represented via mappings of sets or, equivalently and more concretely, by {\em (right) $S$-acts}. Here an $S$-act is a set $A$ together with a map $A\times S\rightarrow A$ where $(a,s)\mapsto as$, such that

for all $a\in A$ and $s,t\in S$ we have $a1=a$ and $(as)t=a(st)$. I will be speaking about finitary properties for monoids arising from model theoretic considerations for $S$-acts.


Let $S$ be a monoid and let $L_S$ be the first-order language of $S$-acts, so that $L_S$ has no constant or relational symbols (other than $=$) and a unary function symbol $\rho_s$ for each $s\in S$. Clearly $\Sigma_S$ axiomatises the class of $S$-acts, where

\[\Sigma_S=\big\{ (\forall x)(x\rho_s \rho_t=x\rho_{st}):s,t\in S\big\}\cup\{ (\forall x)(x\rho_1=x)



Model theory tells us that $\Sigma_S$

has a model companion $\Sigma_S^*$ precisely when the class

${\mathcal E}$ of existentially closed $S$-acts is axiomatisable and

in this case, $\Sigma_S^*$ axiomatises ${\mathcal E}$. An old result of Wheeler tells us that $\Sigma_S^*$ exists if and only if for every finitely generated right congruence $\mu$ on $S$, every finitely generated $S$-subact of $S/\mu$ is finitely presented, that is, $S$ is {\em right coherent}. Interest in right coherency also arises from other considerations such as {\em purity} for $S$-acts.

Until recently, little was known about right coherent monoids and, in particular, whether free monoids are (right) coherent.

I will present some work of Gould, Hartmann and Ru\v{s}kuc in this direction: specifically we answer positively the question for free monoids.


Where $\Sigma_S^*$ exists, it is known to be

stable, and is superstable if and only if $S$ is weakly right noetherian.

By using an algebraic description of types over $\Sigma_S^*$ developed in the 1980s by Fountain and Gould,

we can show that $\Sigma_S^*$ is totally

transcendental if and only if $S$ is weakly right noetherian and $S$ is {\em ranked}. The latter condition says that every right congruence possesses a finite Cantor-Bendixon rank with respect to the {\em finite type topology}.

Our results show that there is a totally transcendental theory of $S$-acts for which Morley rank of types does not coincide with $U$-rank, contrasting with the corresponding situation for modules over a ring.

26 May 2016

I will consider automorphism groups of countable structures acting continuously on compact spaces: the viewpoint of topological dynamics. A beautiful paper of Kechris, Pestov and Todorcevic makes a connection between this and the ‘structural Ramsey theory’ of Nesetril, Rodl and others in finite combinatorics. I will describe some results and questions in the area and say how the Hrushovski predimension constructions provide answers to some of these questions (but then raise more questions). This is joint work with Hubicka and Nesetril.

19 May 2016
Marcus Tressl

An abelian l-group G is essentially a partially ordered subgroup of functions from a set to a totally ordered abelian group such

that G is closed under taking finite infima and suprema. For example, G could be the continuous semi-linear functions defined on the open
unit square, or, G could be the continuous semi-algebraic functions defined in the plane with values in (0,\infty), where the group
operation is multiplication. I will show how G, under natural geometric assumptions, can be interpreted (in a weak sense) in its lattice of
zero sets. This will then be applied to the model theory of natural divisible abelian l-groups. For example we will see that the
aforementioned examples are elementary equivalent. (Parts of the results have been announced in a preliminary report from 1987 by F. Shen
and V. Weispfenning.)