Logic and Combinatorics: Joint Summer Research Conference on Applications of Mathematical Logic to Finite Combinatorics

Series: Contemporary Mathematics (No. 65)
In recent years, several remarkable results have shown that certain theorems of finite combinatorics are unprovable in certain logical systems. These developments have been instrumental in stimulating research in both areas, with the interface between logic and combinatorics being especially important because of its relation to crucial issues in the foundations of mathematics which were raised by the work of Kurt Godel. Because of the diversity of the lines of research that have begun to shed light on these issues, there was a need for a comprehensive overview which would tie the lines together. This volume fills that need by presenting a balanced mixture of high quality expository and research articles that were presented at the August 1985 AMS-IMS-SIAM Joint Summer Research Conference, held at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.With an introductory survey to put the works into an appropriate context, the collection consists of papers dealing with various aspects of 'unprovable theorems and fast-growing functions'. Among the topics addressed are: ordinal notations, the dynamical systems approach to Ramsey theory, Hindman's finite sums theorem and related ultrafilters, well quasiordering theory, uncountable combinatorics, nonstandard models of set theory, and a length-of-proof analysis of Godel's incompleteness theorem. Many of the articles bring the reader to the frontiers of research in this area, and most assume familiarity with combinatorics and/or mathematical logic only at the senior undergraduate or first-year graduate level.