In 1937 Quine introduced an interesting, rather unusual, set theory called New Foundations - NF for short. Since then the consistency of NF has been a problem that remains open today. But there has been considerable progress in our understanding of the problem. In particular NF was shown, by Specker in 1962, to be equiconsistent with a certain theory, TST^+ of simple types. Moreover Randall Holmes, who has been a long-term investigator of the problem, claims to have solved the problem by showing that TST^+ is indeed consistent. But the working manuscripts available on his web page that describe his possible proofs are not easy to understand - at least not by me.

# Past Logic Seminar

I will explain the framework of quasiminimal structures and quasiminimal classes, and give some basic examples and open questions. Then I will explain some joint work with Martin Bays in which we have constructed variants of the pseudo-exponential fields (originally due to Boris Zilber) which are quasimininal and discuss progress towards the problem of showing that complex exponentiation is quasiminimal. I will also discuss some joint work with Adam Harris in which we try to build a pseudo-j-function.

In a series of recent papers David Masser and Umberto Zannier proved the relative Manin-Mumford conjecture for abelian surfaces, at least when everything is defined over the algebraic numbers. In a further paper with Daniel Bertrand and Anand Pillay they have explained what happens in the semiabelian situation, under the same restriction as above.

At present it is not clear that these results are effective. I'll discuss joint work with Philipp Habegger and Masser and with Harry Schimdt in which we show that certain very special cases can be made effective. For instance, we can effectively compute a bound on the order of a root of unity t such that the point with abscissa 2 is torsion on the Legendre curve with parameter t.

**Note change of room**

Classical anabelian geometry shows that for hyperbolic curves the etale fundamental group encodes the curve provided the base field is sufficiently arithmetic. In higher dimensions it is natural to replace the etale fundamental group by the etale homotopy type. We will report on progress obtained in this direction in a recent joint work with Alexander Schmidt.

**Joint seminar with Number Theory. Note unusual time and place**

Standard commutative algebra is based on the notions of commutative monoid, Abelian group and commutative ring. In recent years, motivations from category theory, algebraic geometry, and mathematical logic led to the development of an area that may be called commutative 2-algebra, in which the notions used in commutative algebra are replaced by their category-theoretic counterparts (e.g. commutative monoids are replaced by symmetric monoidal categories). The aim of this talk is to explain the analogy between standard commutative algebra and commutative 2-algebra, and to outline how this suggests counterparts of basic aspects of algebraic geometry. In particular, I will describe some joint work with Andre’ Joyal on operads and analytic functors in this context.

In joint work with Todor Tsankov, we show that the automorphism groups of countable, omega-categorical structures have Kazhdan's property (T). The proof uses Tsankov's work on the unitary representations of these groups, together with a construction of a particular free subgroup of the automorphism group.

There is a tight fit between type theories à la Martin-Löf and constructive set theories such as Constructive Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, CZF, and its extension as well as classical Kripke-Platek set theory and extensions thereof. The technology for determining their (exact) proof-theoretic strength was developed in the 1990s. The situation is rather different when it comes to type theories (with universes) having the impredicative type of propositions Prop from the Calculus of Constructions that features in some powerful proof assistants. Aczel's sets-as-types interpretation into these type theories gives rise to rather unusual set-theoretic axioms: negative power set and negative separation. But it is not known how to determine the proof-theoretic strengths of intuitionistic set theories with such axioms via familiar classical set theories (though it is not difficult to see that ZFC plus infinitely many inaccessibles provides an upper bound). The first part of the talk will be a survey of known results from this area. The second part will be concerned with the rather special computational and proof-theoretic behavior of such theories.

A compact space is a Rosenthal compactum if it can be embedded into the space of Baire class 1 functions on a Polish space. Those objects have been well studied in functional analysis and set theory. In this talk, I will explain the link between them and the model-theoretic notion of NIP and how they can be used to prove new results in model theory on the topology of the space of types.

NOTE CHANGE OF TIME AND PLACE

It is known by results of Macintyre and Chatzidakis-Hrushovski that the theory ACFA of existentially closed difference fields is decidable. By developing techniques of difference algebraic geometry, we view quantifier elimination as an instance of a direct image theorem for Galois formulae on difference schemes. In a context where we restrict ourselves to directly presented difference schemes whose definition only involves algebraic correspondences, we develop a coarser yet effective procedure, resulting in a primitive recursive quantifier elimination. We shall discuss various algebraic applications of Galois stratification and connections to fields with Frobenius.

We present some recent work - joint with Arno Fehm - in which we give an `existential Ax-Kochen-Ershov principle' for equicharacteristic henselian valued fields. More precisely, we show that the existential theory of such a valued field depends only on the existential theory of the residue field. In residue characteristic zero, this result is well-known and follows from the classical Ax-Kochen-Ershov Theorems. In arbitrary (but equal) characteristic, our proof uses F-V Kuhlmann's theory of tame fields. One corollary is an unconditional proof that the existential theory of F_q((t)) is decidable. We will explain how this relates to the earlier conditional proof of this result, due to Denef and Schoutens.