## New directions in the higher infinite

In July
2017, ICMS hosted a workshop on** ****New directions in the higher infinite****.**

This workshop aimed to build and maintain a network of young set theorists and senior researchers, so as to establish working contacts and help disseminate knowledge.

This workshop had a slightly different format from usual with a series of
tutorials throughout the week, complemented with some invited talks and a
poster session.

* *

*Delegates from the New
directions in the higher infinite workshop, Old College, Edinburgh, July 2017*

On the free afternoon some of the delegates set off to climb Edinburgh's extinct volcano, Arthur's Seat. As you can see, they were lucky with the weather!

*Delegates enjoying the views from
Arthur Seat, Edinburgh, July 2017 *

*(photo by Matthew Foreman)*

Whilst the workshop was on, we took the opportunity to speak to some of the delegates.

**Sylvia Stelia, University of University
of Bern**

#### Tell me about today's event and your role in it

That’s the 10th instalment of the Young Set Theory Workshop and I was invited to give a talk.

#### What brought you to this area of research?

When I was a master student I had the opportunity to attend courses in Logic and Set Theory and I definitely loved them: here mathematics and metamathematics intertwine and that’s a very interesting aspect to me.

#### Other than exploring maths, what are the benefits of taking part?

Definitely one of them is meeting researchers, discuss math with them, establish working contacts and share knowledge. So networking

#### What will you take back to your [day job/research/studies]?

I will take back “homeworks”, some answers, a lots of questions and enthusiasm. The tutorials were very interesting and of course I need/ would like to study more about. I asked questions about my work I got some useful answers. Then of course many new questions to think about.

**Have you met interesting people,
and if so, what connections have you made?**

Sure! I actually arrived with two questions I met this year and I was very happy to have the opportunity to discuss them with researchers and professors. I really need to thanks the organisers for making that possible

#### Do you have any advice for first-time ICMS attendees?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions to other researchers.

#### Have you been to many other conferences? How does ICMS differ?

Yes, I have been to quite a number of conferences but none like the ICMS one. It was nice that it was in a building that where we could use different rooms. Also since lunch was provided most days it meant you got an opportunity to talk to all people attending the conference.

#### If you could solve one maths problem, what would it be?

That’s a difficult question. I guess instead of solving one of the big maths problem, I would prefer to find connections about different fields.

#### Do you have any thoughts regarding how we can raise the profile of maths?

My feeling is that in the school (at least in Italy) having a bad grade in maths is more acceptable than having a bad grade in humanities. I guess that’s because many people just characterise maths as something puzzling and therefore it is completely “understandable” to avoid it. Maybe trying to make things accessible is one possibility.

#### Do you have any thought on how diversity in mathematics can be improved?

I guess helping connections within people from different countries like exchange programs and conferences with special grants for people coming from developing countries.

#### Who is your favourite mathematician and why?

Paul Erdös. I found very impressive all the works I read. His style was to solve extremely complicated problems in a very elegant and clear way.

#### Andrew Brooke-Taylor, University of Leeds

Andrew is a University Academic Fellow at the University of Leeds.

**Tell me about today's
event and your role in it**** **

I am one of the scientific organisers for the conference.

**What brought you to this area of research?**** **

This area is well suited to me. I started out as an algebraic topologist, but found myself spending time on nit-picky details. As a foundational theory, set theory really lets you get to the bottom of such details and move on from there. I saw the light and switched fields, and have no regrets.

**Other than exploring maths, what are the benefits of
taking part?**

** **It’s been
really good for building the set theory community, specifically the next
generation of set theorists. Getting
to know everyone is great. The sheer
number of younger participants is pleasing.
That is partly due to the format of the meeting, with a mix of
tutorials and invited speakers. Also,
whilst here, I was able to take a day trip to Glasgow to visit a circus
school and get some flying trapeze practice in!

**What will you take
back to your [day job/research/studies**]?

There have been a couple of nuggets in talks I want to chase up in my research.

**Have you met
interesting people, and if so, what connections have you made?**

** **Plenty of
interesting people… I knew quite a few
before but it is good to catch up again. It is good to know who is working on
what.

**Do you have any advice for first-time ICMS
attendees?**

I’ve been to ICMS once before at a European Set Theory meeting 2011/12. This is my first time in this building. My advice would be to make the most of your time here.

** ****Have you been to many other conferences? How does ICMS
differ?**

** **I
probably attend too many! The workshop
this week has a very special focus on young people. As an organiser it has been wonderful,
everything has run so smoothly.

**If you could solve one maths problem, what
would it be**?

So, this is definitely a crazy idea, but I’d like something like finding a solution to the Navier Stokes Equation using set theory. That would be a dream come true. But, let’s be clear I am not expecting this to happen!!

**Do you have any thoughts regarding how we
can raise the profile of maths**?

I think things like BBC documentaries can be a good way of communicating ideas. Unfortunately, you only see these maths related documentaries occasionally.

**Do you have any thought on how diversity in
mathematics can be improved**?

This is a difficult question and I don’t really have an answer!

**Who is your favourite mathematician and why**?

Cédric Villani. He is full of energy and connects with the public so well. So much so, he is now in the French parliament - he is really connected with the world.