Joel David Hamkins

Professor of Mathematics, Philosophy and Computer Science at the City University of New York

Joel David Hamkins (Ph.D., C. Phil., University of California at Berkeley; B.S., California Institute of Technology) is professor of mathematics, of philosophy and of computer science at the City University of New York, affiliated with the College of Staten Island and the doctoral faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center in midtown Manhattan.  He has held faculty positions around the world: at UC Berkeley, CUNY, Kobe University (Japan), Carnegie Mellon University, University of Muenster (Germany), University of Amsterdam (Netherlands), New York University and elsewhere.  Professor Hamkins undertakes research in mathematical logic, particularly set theory, with a focus on the mathematics and philosophy of the infinite.  Much of his work has concentrated on the large cardinal axioms, the strongest-known mathematical hypotheses of infinity, and he has introduced several new infinity concepts. He has investigated the interaction of large cardinals with forcing, the set-theoretic method for constructing alternative mathematical universes, with alternative truths, and he has defended a multiverse perspective on mathematical truth in the emerging debate on pluralism in the philosophy of set theory.  He has undertaken fundamental work in the theory of infinitary computability, introducing (with A. Lewis and J. Kidder) the theory of infinite-time Turing machines, and he has made contributions to the theory of infinitary utilitarianism.  Recently, he has been thinking about infinite chess, which is chess played on an infinite chess board stretching without bound in every direction.

Participant In:

The Span of Infinity

Saturday, October 25, 2014
2:30-4:30 pm

Past Event

Perhaps no thing conceived in the mind has enjoyed a greater confluence of cosmological, mathematical, philosophical, psychological, and theological inquiry than the notion of the infinite. The epistemological tension between the concrete and the ideal, between the phenomenological and the ontological, is nowhere clearer in outline yet more obscure in content. These inherent paradoxes limn… read more »