I gave a talk in the CUNY Set Theory Seminar at CUNY, New York, on May 08, 2020. This seminar took place virtually via zoom.

How to obtain lower bounds in set theory

Abstract: 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 by Jensen, Mitchell, Steel, 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, in part joint with J. Aguilera, is an analysis of the strength of determinacy for certain infinite two player games of fixed countable length, and the second result, joint with Y. Hayut, involves combinatorics of infinite trees and the perfect subtree property for weakly compact cardinals $\kappa$. Finally, we will comment on obstacles, questions, and conjectures for lifting these results higher up in the large cardinal hierarchy.