Set-theoretic forcing as a computational process, Midwest Computability Seminar, Chicago, May 2023

This is a talk for the MidWest Computability Seminar conference held May 2, 2023 at the University of Chicago. The talk will be available via Zoom at

Abstract: I shall explore several senses in which set-theoretic forcing can be seen as a computational process on the models of set theory. Given an oracle for the atomic or elementary diagram of a model (M,∈M) of set theory, for example, there are senses in which one may compute M-generic filters G⊂ℙ∈M over that model and compute the diagrams of the corresponding forcing extensions M[G]. Meanwhile, no such computational process is functorial, for there must always be isomorphic alternative presentations of the same model of set theory that lead by the computational process to non-isomorphic forcing extensions. Indeed, there is no Borel function providing generic filters that is functorial in this sense. This is joint work with myself, Russell Miller and Kameryn Williams.

The paper is available on the arxiv at

The talk took place in “The Barn” in the upper space between the Reyerson Laboratory and Eckhart Hall, where the University of Chicago Department of Mathematics is located: