ESF Research Conferences

ESF Mathematics Conference in Partnership with EMS and ERCOM


Chaired by


Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Professor Grzegorz Plebanek, University of Wroclaw, Poland

Professor Ralf Schindler, University of Münster, Germany

Professor Boban Velickovic, University of Paris VII, France


5-10 July 2009
Participants are expected to arrive on 5 July and depart on 10 July after breakfast.


Mathematical Research and Conference Center, Bedlewo, Poland
The Mathematical Research and Conference Center is located in Będlewo, 26 km southwest from Poznań. The Center is situated in a charming spot on the border of the Wielkopolski National Park. The complex spans 9 hectars, including a strictly preserved forest area. The Center itself is located in two buldings: a neo-gothic palace built in 1866, and a modern and fully equipped hotel.

Practical Information Guide PDF (397 KB)

Final Programme and List of Accepted Participants

Set theory grew out of mathematical analysis through Georg Cantor’s work on sets of uniqueness of trigonometric series in the late 19th century and was soon established as the foundation of all of mathematics. Over the last century it has developed into a vibrant and important subject of its own. On the one hand it deals with questions of mathematical logic of deep foundational importance such as the choice of axioms for mathematics and the questions of relative consistency of mathematical theories. On the other hand techniques of set theory are applied in many areas of mathematics such as classical analysis, general topology, measure theory, Banach space theory, abstract algebra, ergodic theory, and dynamical systems.

The conference will be in honor of Ronald Jensen's lifelong achievements in set theory. Through his work, Jensen has been shaping current day set theory in an outstanding way. His seminal work in the late 60s and in the 70s on the fine structure, the covering property, and the coding capacity of the constructible hierarchy produced a completely new understanding of the set theoretical universe. But it was only a starting point for Jensen's later achievements, which led to the general theory of inner models with large cardinals, their fine structural analysis, the study of their covering properties, and the realisation that the structures of inner model theory are intimately intertwined with hypotheses from descriptive set theory. Nowadays, inner model theory is a prominent research area with its own goals but which also provides other areas of set theory with its forceful tools to bring about deep structural insights that could not have been accomplished otherwise.

The conference focuses on three main topics. The first topic is inner model theory and large cardinals.  While the usual axioms ZFC of set theory are sufficient for most of mathematics, it is well known that they are incomplete and in particular do not decide some of the basic questions of set theory such as the Continuum Hypothesis, its generalisations and variations. Set theorists have been searching for natural extensions of these axioms, which would decide these open problems. There are two basic types of additional axioms which are considered: large cardinal axioms, which postulate that the set theoretic universe is “tall”, and forcing axioms which postulate a certain form of saturation of the set theoretic universe. Both of these directions reinforce Gödel’s basic intuition that additional axioms of set theory should be certain forms of maximality principles.

The second direction is descriptive set theory, which studies properties of definable sets of reals, and more generally Polish spaces. In recent years a number of important developments have brought descriptive set theory closer to ergodic theory, dynamical systems and the theory of group representations. These connections are achieved through the study of orbit equivalence relations and the corresponding quotient spaces. While these spaces are singular, i.e. the Borel structure on them is degenerate, it is possible to study their properties by lifting them to the original space.

Finally, combinatorial set theory deals with uncountable structures without any definability restrictions. This study concentrates on the one hand on independence results, obtained by the methods of forcing and large cardinals, and on the other hand on the complimentary picture of ZFC results obtained through classical combinatorics or by the method of pcf-theory. The interplay of the two forms the intricate nature of the universe of sets, some of whose most important properties have been understood only recently and many of which remain a mystery. Recent progress has solved many long outstanding questions.

The three topics outlined above are naturally intertwined and overlapping. We can list as a fourth scientific topic of the conference applications of set theory to Banach spaces, measure theory, general topology, and other neighboring areas.

Menachem Magidor will give a Special Lecture on the work of Ronald Jensen.

All young researchers are strongly encouraged to bring a poster & participate in the Poster Sessions.

Abstracts, Posters & Short Oral Contributions

There will be no short talks. All other abstracts have been accepted as posters.

List of Accepted Posters PDF (75 KB)

Posters can be fixed with pins onto poster panels. The size of the poster panels is 140 cm high X 100 cm wide. The Organising Committee suggests that the posters are presented the following way:

• 1-6 (maximum) standard A4 pages,
• letters and drawings should be readable from a good distance.

Group Transportation & Practical Information Guide

Detailed information on all practical aspects of the conference (access to site, registration & fee payments, accommodation, travel reimbursements...) is available from the Practical Information Guide. Please read it fully and carefully...

Practical Information Guide PDF (397 KB)

Two buses will be arranged on arrival day from Poznan airport, via Poznan railway station to Będlewo. The journey takes approximately 1 hour, depending on traffic.

Bus departure times – Sunday 5 July
From Poznan airport: 1st bus: 16:00; 2nd bus: 18:00
From Poznan railway station: 1st bus: 16:30; 2nd bus: 18:30

Airport departure point: the meeting point is located in front of the airport building.
Railway Station departure point: the meeting point is located a 200M walk from the front of the train station building. Upon exiting the station, walk directly ahead about 200M and you will come to a parking area for buses.

The coaches will have a sign in the window indicating “ESF Research Conferences” for easy recognition.

Group transportation back to Poznan airport and railway station will be arranged in a similar way for the departure day.

Bus departure times – Friday 10 July:
From the conference center: 08.00 and 09.00

Please note that SINGLE accommodation can only be guaranteed to invited speakers. All other participants will have to share a TWIN room. In case single rooms would become available at the time of the conference, rooms will be attributed on a “first come, first served” basis. Only the TWIN conference fee should be paid to the ESF when registering. The supplement for single should be paid to the venue directly. Should you wish to be put on waiting list for single accommodation, please contact Ms Anne Guehl.

Registration Form

For accepted participants and invited speakers only

ALL participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in a Registration Form

Registration Form
Closing date for registration & fee payment: 8 June 2009

What conference fee covers

Basic expenses comprise:

  • registration and meeting costs;
  • accommodation in twin room sharing with another participant;
  • all meals, coffee breaks and drinks included;
  • participation in the excursion and the conference dinner;
  • group transportation from/to the nearest airport.
To Pay
Conference fee will be covered by ESF and its partners0 €
AssistedConference Fee will be partially covered by ESF and its partners212.50 €
Early Bird
Registration and payment NO LATER THAN 24 May425 €
Registration and payment between 25 May and 8 June525 €
Conference participation without accommodation345 €

Extra costs:

To Pay
Industry Supplement
For participants working in industry, 100 € will automatically be added to the fee
Plus 100 €
Single Room SupplementSome single rooms may be available upon request. An additional cost of 70 € will be charged for an upgrade to a single room. The supplement is payable directly to the hotel.

70 €

Late Registration SupplementAn additional 150 € will be charged if participants register after 8 JunePlus 150 €


Should you need to cancel your participation, please contact the Conference Officer immediately. If notice of cancellation is received more than two weeks before the conference, all but EUR 100 will be reimbursed. No refund is possible if notice of cancellation is received less than two weeks before the conference.

ESF Contact

Administrative Coordinator

Phone: +33 (0)3 88 76 71 52
Fax: +32 (0)3 88 36 69 87
Please quote 09-306 in any correspondence.


This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with the The European Mathematical Society (EMS) and the European Research Centres on Mathematics (ERCOM)

With Support From

(New Frontiers of Infinity: Mathematical,
Philosophical and computational Prospects)