BEST 2015

March 12, 2015


DATE:     June 15 – 17, 2015
WHERE: San Francisco State University

The 22-nd annual meeting of BEST will be hosted at San Francisco State University as a symposium of the 96th annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science – Pacific Division (AAAS-PD). Contributed and invited talks at BEST will be held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

In addition to invited speakers, the conference program has reserved speaking slots for students, post docs and pre-tenure tenure track faculty. NSF supported funding to assist up to ten student speakers, four post-doc speakers and two pre-tenure tenure track faculty speakers is available. For details on applying to the BEST program committee for these, please visit the conference website. In addition, the AAAS-PD provides up to $150 in travel funding for students. Please see the BEST conference website for more details on these also. There are a number of deadlines associated with applications for a travel grant.

Currently confirmed plenary speakers for BEST 2015 are:

  • Dr. Rodrigo Dias, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Dr. Mirna Dzamonja, East Anglia University, U.K.
  • Dr. Aleksandra Kwiatkowska, UCLA
  • Dr. Spencer Unger, UCLA
  • Dr. Trevor Wilson, Miami University, OH

Special features of BEST 2015 include:

In addition to the BEST symposium there are several other symposia and workshops of interest offered at the AAAS-PD annual meeting. On Monday, June 15, the AAAS-PD organized an evening at the California Academy of Sciences on Tuesday, June 16, the AAAS-PD hosts a banquet at which awards of excellence are given to student speakers selected by a panel of judges.

Student, post-doc and pre-tenure tenure track speakers are strongly encouraged to apply to BEST for an NSF-funded travel award. The travel expenses (airfare and lodging) of awarded speakers will be reimbursed up to the maximum amount of the award, and registration fees of awardees will be reimbursed.


BEST seeks to promote student participation in the conference via short (20 minute) presentations. To this end there are ten (10) NSF funded BEST travel awards  available for students. To apply for one of these awards, please follow the instructions given at the BEST website.

In addition to the BEST travel awards, up to 20 travel awards of up to $150 each are also available from the AAAS-PD to help students (including students participating in BEST) defray travel expenses to participate in the AAAS-PD annual meeting. Winners of these AAAS-PD travel awards will be announced at the AAAS-PD student award banquet. Student participants will be guests at this banquet.


BEST also seeks to be a forum for early career set theoretic scholars. In particular there are NSF funded BEST travel awards available for post-docs, and for pre-tenure tenure track faculty. To apply for one of these awards, please follow the instructions given at the BEST website.


The BEST schedule will also have a number of slots for 25 minute contributed talks. Anyone wishing to speak at BEST 2015 should submit an abstract as soon as possible (preferably prior to April 05) at the abstract submission site. It is strongly recommended to also contact one of the organizers as soon as possible to indicate interest/intention in presenting a talk  at BEST 2015.

Important deadlines:

DEADLINE 1: REGISTRATION: Please consult for registration costs and
deadlines. Registration fees depend on date of registration. We kindly request that Ph.D. mathematicians planning to participate in BEST 2015 consider acting as judges for the student presentations. The registration form has a place where willingness to act as a judge can be indicated.

There are also a number of excursions available that can be indicated on the registration form. Also consider attending the awards banquet in support of our student speakers – meal choices are available on the registration form.

DEADLINE 2: ABSTRACTS: Atlas Conferences, Inc. is providing abstract services for BEST 2015. Abstracts submitted by April 1 will appear in the proceedings of the annual conference of the AAAS-PD. See here for details on abstract submission.

DEADLINE 3: TRAVEL GRANTS: Presenting students, post-docs or pre-tenure tenure track faculty, please complete the application process to BEST by May 15. See the BEST 2015 website for details. Students, the deadline for the AAAS-PD student travel grants is May 1, 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.

Organized by Liljana Babinkostova, Andres E. Caicedo, Sam Coskey, and Marion Scheepers.

For any questions, please contact an organizer or e-mail

Woodin conference

March 11, 2015


The conference in honor of Hugh Woodin’s 60th birthday will take place at Harvard University, on March 27-29, 2015. The meeting is partially supported by the Mid-Atlantic Mathematical Logic Seminar and the National Science Foundation. Funding is available to support participant travel. Please write to to apply for support, and to notify the organizers if you are planning to attend.

The list of speakers is as follows:

  • H. Garth Dales
  • Qi Feng
  • Matthew D. Foreman
  • Ronald Jensen
  • Alexander S. Kechris
  • Menachem Magidor
  • Donald A. Martin
  • Grigor Sargsyan
  • Theodore A. Slaman
  • John R. Steel.

We expect to publish proceedings of the conference, together with select additional research and survey papers, through the series Contemporary Mathematics, of the AMS. The editors of the proceedings are myself, James Cummings, Peter Koellner, and Paul Larson. Please contact me for information regarding the proceedings.

Additional information can be found at the conference website.

Isabel Barbara

March 1, 2015


Born March 1st, at 6:09am. 5 pounds 14.9 ounces, 19 inches.


311, 403/503 – Update

March 1, 2015

Our daughter decided to rush things up a bit, and is being born right now. You probably will have someone else covering class for a couple of weeks, sorry for the inherent inconvenience. I’ll be updating as I know more.

[Edit (11:00am): Isabel. Office hours are cancelled March 3 and 10.]

403/503 – HW6

February 24, 2015

This exercise is due Tuesday, March 3, at the beginning of lecture.

Recall that the nth Jordan block for \lambda, J(\lambda,n), is the n\times n matrix whose entries along the main diagonal are \lambda, along the diagonal immediately below the main one are 1, and all other entries are 0. For example, J(5,4) is the matrix

\displaystyle \left(\begin{array}{cccc}5&0&0&0\\ 1&5&0&0\\ 0&1&5&0\\ 0&0&1&5\end{array}\right).

Find a general formula for the powers of Jordan blocks, i.e., compute J(\lambda,n)^k.

Baby shower

February 12, 2015

My wife had a surprise baby shower at work.


Just a bit more than a month to go.

“A survey of the density topology on the reals”

February 12, 2015

Stuart Nygard, one of my current Master’s students, just returned from attending this year’s Winter School in Abstract Analysis. He gave a survey talk on the general topic of his thesis, the density topology. His slides can be found here.

Slides of most of the talks can also be downloaded at the conference website, here. Sadly, there do not seem to be slides for the tutorials on the analysis section.


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