The theory of infinite games, with examples, including infinite chess
Joel David Hamkins
The City University of New York
This will be a talk on April 30, 2013 for a joint meeting of the Yeshiva University Mathematics Club and the Yeshiva University Philosophy Club. I will give a general introduction to the theory of infinite games, suitable for mathematicians and philosophers. What does it mean to play an infinitely long game? What does it mean to have a winning strategy for such a game? Is there any reason to think that every game should have a winning strategy for one player or another? Could there be a game, such that neither player has a way to force a win? Must every computable game have a computable winning strategy? I will present several game paradoxes and example infinitary games, including an infinitary version of the game of Nim, and several examples from infinite chess.
Professor Hamkins (Ph.D. 1994 UC Berkeley) conducts research in mathematical and philosophical logic, particularly set theory, with a focus on the mathematics and philosophy of the infinite. He has been particularly interested in the interaction of forcing and large cardinals, two central themes of contemporary set-theoretic research. He has worked in the theory of infinitary computability, introducing (with A. Lewis and J. Kidder) the theory of infinite time Turing machines, as well as in the theory of infinitary utilitarianism and, more recently, infinite chess. His work on the automorphism tower problem lies at the intersection of group theory and set theory. Recently, he has been preoccupied with various mathematical and philosophical issues surrounding the set-theoretic multiverse, engaging with the emerging debate on pluralism in the philosophy of set theory, as well as the mathematical questions to which they lead, such as in his work on the modal logic of forcing and set-theoretic geology.