I shall be special guest at Drunk Science: Infinity, an experimental comedy show in Brooklyn, during which three intoxicated comedians will compete to offer the best dissertation defense on the topic of my research.

The event will take place Thursday, June 23, 2016, (doors 7pm, show 8pm) at the Littlefield performance and art space, 622 Degraw Street between 3rd and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. Tickets from $5. (Get tickets now, since the shows often sell out.)

Update: What a riot it was! I really had a lot of fun.

Vika Gitman, Roman Kossak and Miha Habič have been very kind to organize what they have called Set Theory Day, to be held Friday March 11 at the CUNY Graduate Center in celebration of my 50th birthday. This will be an informal conference focussing on the research work of my various PhD graduate students, and all the lectures will be given by those who were or are currently a PhD student of mine. It will be great! I am very pleased to count among my former students many who have now become mathematical research colleagues and co-authors of mine, and I am looking forward to hearing the latest. If you want to hear what is going on with infinity, then please join us March 11 at the CUNY Graduate Center!

I am pleased to announce the upcoming conference at Harvard celebrating the 60th birthday of W. Hugh Woodin. See the conference web site for more information. Click on the image below for a large-format poster.

Famed choreographer George Balanchine was reputed to have said, “don’t think, dear: just do”. The idea that champion performers switch off their brains to achieve their best has taken hold in popular imagination. Just do it promises an existential zone where real players hit the heights whilst the rest shuffle to the back of the pack. We explore Expert action, a philosophical football punted between those for automatic responses and those who hear the whirring cogs.

As a part of the undergraduate course in abstract algebra (MTH 339), which I am teaching this semester at the College of Staten Island, we shall hold a Rubik’s cube competition on November 14th. In class, I have used the Rubik’s cube as a source of examples to explain various group-theoretic concepts, and I have encouraged the students to learn to solve the cube. Several have now already mastered it, and there seems lately to be a lot of Rubik’s cube activity in the math department. (I am giving extra credit for any student who can solve a scrambled cube in my office.)

Several students have learned how to solve the cube from the following video, which explains one of the layer-based solution methods:

The Competition. On November 14, 2013, we will have the Rubik’s cube competition, with several rounds of competition, to see who can solve the cube the fastest. Prizes will be awarded, and best of all, there will be free pizza!

Results Of the Competition

The event has now taken place. We had 15 competitors, from all around the College and beyond. We organized two qualifying heats of 7 and 8 competitors, respectively, taking the top four from each qualtifying heat to form the quarterfinalist competitors. The top four of these formed the semifinalist competitors. And the top two of these headed off in the championship round. The champion, Sam Obisanya, won all the rounds in which he competed, and his cube was a blaze of lightning color as he solved it. Honorable mention goes especially to Oveen Joseph, who faced Sam in the championship round and who came out to the college from middle school I.S.72, where he is in the 7th grade, and also to Justin Mills, who had extremely fast times.

Quarterfinals:

Itiel Cohen (CSI math major)

William George (CSI math major)

Oveen Joseph (middle school I.S.72, 7th grade)

Wing Yang Law (CSI math major)

Justin Mills (CSI psychology major)

Mike Siozios (CSI math major)

Sam Obisanya (CSI nursing major)

James Yap (CSI math major)

Semifinals:

Oveen Joseph

Justin Mills

Sam Obisanya

James Yap

Championship round:

Oveen Joseph

Sam Obisanya

Final Champion:

Sam Obisanya

Congratulations to our champion and to all the competitors.

The Fall 2012 MAMLS Meeting will take place at Rutgers University on October 6-7, 2012. The invited speakers include Clinton Conley, Andrew Marks, Antonio Montalban, Justin Moore, Saharon Shelah, Dima Sinapova and Anush Tserunyan.

The lectures will take place in Room 216 in Scott Hall on College Avenue Campus. For those of you who are coming by train, Scott Hall is a short walk from the train station.

Abstract. The field of mathematical logic sometimes seems to be fracturing into ever-finer subdisciplines, with little connection between them, and many logicians now identify themselves by their specific subdiscipline. On the other hand, certain new themes have appeared which tend to unify the diverse discoveries of the many subdisciplines. This discussion will address these trends and ask whether one is likely to dominate the other in the long term. Will logic remain a single field, or will it split into many unrelated branches?

The panelists will be Prof. Gregory Cherlin, myself, Prof. Rohit Parikh, and Prof. Jouko Väänänen, with the discussion moderated by Prof. Russell Miller. Questions and participation from the audience are encouraged.

As preparation for this panel discussion, please suggest points or topics that might brought up at the panel discussion, by posting suitable comments below. Perhaps we’ll proceed with our own pre-discussion discussion here!