I was invited to give an invited address at the 2022 Winter Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic with the JMM in Seattle, Washington, January 5-8, 2022. Due to the pandemic situation the conference is postponed and will be held as a virtual meeting later in 2022. The ASL part of the meeting is cancelled and I have been invited to speak at the 2023 JMM in Boston instead.

Lower bounds in set theory

Computing the large cardinal strength of a given statement is one of the key research directions in set theory. Fruitful tools to tackle such questions are given by inner model theory. The study of inner models was initiated by Gödel’s analysis of the constructible universe $L$. Later, it was extended to canonical inner models with large cardinals, e.g. measurable cardinals, strong cardinals or Woodin cardinals, which were introduced and studied by Jensen, Mitchell, Steel, Woodin, Sargsyan, and others.

We will outline two recent applications where inner model theory is used to obtain lower bounds in large cardinal strength for statements that do not involve inner models. The first result, joint with Y. Hayut, involves combinatorics of infinite trees and the perfect subtree property for weakly compact cardinals $\kappa$. The second result studies the strength of a model of determinacy in which all sets of reals are universally Baire. Sargsyan conjectured that the existence of such a model is as strong as the existence of a cardinal that is both a limit of Woodin cardinals and a limit of strong cardinals. Larson, Sargsyan and Wilson showed that this would be optimal via a generalization of Woodin’s derived model construction. We will discuss a new translation procedure for hybrid mice extending work of Steel, Zhu and Sargsyan and use this to prove Sargsyan’s conjecture.