- Apply for ASL Sponsorship of Logic Meeting
- 2019 Shoenfield Prizes
- 2019 Sacks Prize
- Mailing of Journals
- In memoriam: Harold Simmons
- The 2018 ASL Election
- 2019 Rutherford Lecture
- 2018 Leelavati Prize Video
- In memoriam: Terry Millar
Apply for ASL Sponsorship of Logic Meeting
To apply for ASL sponsorship of an upcoming logic meeting, contact Russell Miller, co-Secretary-Treasurer of the ASL by visiting this page: http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/~rmiller/ASLsponsorship.html Applications should be received at least six months in advance of the beginning of the meeting. If you have any questions or concerns, contact Russell or the ASL Business Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 Shoenfield Prizes
The ASL invites nominations for the Shoenfield Prizes for outstanding expository writing in the field of logic. There are two Shoenfield prizes, one for books and one for expository articles, each to be awarded simultaneously every three years; the Shoenfield Prizes were first awarded in 2007. Any book first published in the past 9 years may be considered for the book award. Any article published in the past 6 years
may be considered for the article award. Nominations should be submitted to Justin Moore (email@example.com), Chair of the ASL Committee on Prizes and Awards. The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Prizes is November 1, 2019.
The Shoenfield prizes were established by the ASL to honor the late Joseph R. Shoenfield for his many outstanding contributions to logic and to the ASL. Generations of logicians have especially valued Shoenfield's expository gifts, and his writings provide models of lucidity and elegance. The ASL administers the fund on which the Prize is based and makes the award upon the recommendation of its Committee on Prizes and Awards. For general information about the Prize, see http://aslonline.org/asl-information/prizes-and-awards/.
2019 Sacks Prize
The ASL invites nominations for the 2019 Sacks Prize for the most
outstanding doctoral dissertation in mathematical logic. Nominations
must be received by September 30, 2019.
The Sacks Prize was established to honor Professor
Gerald Sacks of MIT and Harvard for his unique contribution to
mathematical logic, particularly as adviser to a large number of
excellent Ph.D. students. The Prize was first awarded in 1994 and
became an ASL Prize in 1999. The Fund on which the Prize is based is now administered by the ASL and the selection of the recipient is made by the ASL Committee on Prizes and Awards. The Sacks Prize will consist of a cash award plus five years free membership in the ASL. For general information about the Prize, visit http://aslonline.org/asl-information/prizes-and-awards/.
Anyone who wishes to make a nomination for the 2019
Sacks Prize should consult the webpage http://aslonline.org/asl-information/prizes-and-awards/sacks-prize-recipients/sacks-prize-nominations-and-other-information/ for the precise details. A brief summary of the procedure is provided here.
Students who defend their dissertations (equivalent to the American doctoral dissertation) between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, are eligible for the Prize this year. This is an international prize, with no restriction on the nationality of the candidate or the university where the doctorate is granted. Nominations should be made by the thesis adviser, and consist of: name of student, title and 1--2 page description of dissertation, date and location of the thesis defense, letter of recommendation from the adviser, an electronic copy of the thesis in pdf form, or the address of a website from which an electronic copy in pdf form can be downloaded, and an independent second letter of recommendation. Nominations and questions about the Prize should be sent to the Committee Chair, Justin Moore; pdf files sent as attachments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org are preferred. The form of such letters and other pertinent details can be found at the website above, and need to be read prior to submitting a nomination. Correspondence should be addressed to Justin Moore, Dept. of Mathematics, 310 Malott Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Those wishing to contribute to the Sacks Prize Fund may send contributions to the ASL Business Office (see address at the top of this Newsletter). All such contributions are tax-deductible within the USA.
Mailing of Journals
To improve punctuality, Cambridge University Press has switched to a system of mailing the Journal of Symbolic Logic and the Bulletin of Symbolic Logic separately. In many quarters this will allow one to be dispatched several weeks earlier, while the other is still in production. The Review of Symbolic Logic will continue to be mailed separately from both of the others. The new system will not incur any additional cost to the ASL or its members.
In memoriam: Harold Simmons
We report the sad news that Harold Simmons passed away on October 10, 2018. Harold undertook his PhD on decision problems in algebra at the University of Bristol (1966). He then moved to the Department of Mathematics at the University of Aberdeen. In 1990, Harold joined the University of Manchester, and retired in 1996. After retirement, Harold continued productive work in the School of Computer Science in Manchester, publishing papers and books, and supporting the Mathematical Foundations group.
Harold was widely respected by the mathematical community for his contributions in logic, algebra, topology and category theory where his interests varied from the formal and syntactic, through computational and algorithmic aspects, to semantic and structural results. He contributed to a wide range of mathematical areas including categorical aspects of topology, computational aspects of logic and proof, type theory and model theory, recursion theory and ordinals, algebra including ring theory, sheaf theory, frame theory and duality, as well as work in other areas such as logical aspects of number theory. Altogether, this led to a long and varied publication list of high-quality, often seminal, papers and books.
Harold was capable of extended works of formalisation and creativity in mathematics, with a great insight and a dedication to the subject and to the mathematical community. He had a sense of quality in mathematical development and presentation, with a repeated mantra of "doing it properly''. He enjoyed teaching advanced and research topics, and dedicated considerable time to helping younger members of the community develop their mathematical skills. Harold served as Vice President of the British Logic Colloquium, and also as co-ordinator of the UK's Logic for Information Technology initiative, encouraging and enabling education and research, at graduate and senior level, in areas of logic pertaining to computer science. The funding was generous enough for him to lay on and organise regular instructional weekend workshops around the country. These were highly successful in helping to generate a UK-wide community of younger computer scientists, many of whom now occupy senior positions and all of whom remember fondly those workshops and the opportunities they created.
Harold was a dedicated supporter of Manchester City Football Club and indeed, acknowledged the influence of the club on his life in some of his publications. Academically serious, but with a great sense of humour, Harold was very much a character, and brought energy and life to any room he was in. He will be sadly missed.
The 2018 ASL Election
In the 2018 election, Julia Knight was elected as the next President of the ASL, and Phokion Kolaitis as the next Vice President. Denis Hirschfeldt and Andrťs Villaveces were elected to the Executive Committee, and Agata Ciabattoni and Andreas Weiermann were elected to the Council.
Each of their terms is for three years and began January 1, 2019.
2019 Rutherford Lecture
A video of Rod Downey's 2019 Rutherford Memorial Lecture is available at https://royalsociety.org.nz/news/video-logic-maths-and-modern-society. This lecture follows his 2018 Rutherford Medal, awarded by the Royal Society of New Zealand.
2018 Leelavati Prize Video
Ali Nesin was awarded the 2018 Leelavati Prize for his work creating the Math Village in Turkey. There is now a video about his work available from the International Mathematical Union at https://www.mathunion.org/imu-awards/leelavati-prize/leelavati-prize-2018.
In memoriam: Terry Millar
Longtime ASL member Terry Millar, professor emeritus, passed away on March 9, 2019 after a long and heroic battle with cancer. Millar was a faculty member in the Math Department, University of Wisconsin--Madison, from 1976 until his retirement in 2015. After dropping out of college to join the Marines for two years (including a brief stint as forward artillery observer in Vietnam), Millar entered a graduate program at Cornell and received his PhD in 1976 under the direction of Anil Nerode.
During the 1980's, Millar was one of the world's foremost researchers in computable model theory, an area that had been developed by the Novosibirsk school of algebra and logic led by Mal'cev and Ershov, and later by Goncharov, Nurtazin, and Peretyat'kin, as well as in the West by FrŲhlich, Shepherdson and Rabin, and later by Metakides, Nerode, Millar, Harrington, and Morley. For a decade, Millar proved some of the same results independently and often simultaneously as researchers in Novosibirsk, but left many questions open to this day. During this period, Millar was the advisor to twelve Ph.D. students who further advanced computable model theory.
The first general results in computable model theory were obtained by following the fundamental notions and results of classical model theory. A model with a computable domain is called computable (weakly constructive) if its atomic diagram is decidable, and is called decidable (strongly constructive) if its elementary diagram is decidable. In 1978, Millar published a seminal paper establishing the foundations of computable model theory. In that and later papers, he produced an extensive body of work on topics regarding the existence of decidable models and the properties of their types, effective versions of the omitting types theorem, decidability of prime, saturated, and homogeneous models, effective Vaught's theorem, and the study of decidable theories with only finitely many as well as with only countably many countable models.
For example, Millar proved that there is a complete decidable theory with a prime model and all types computable, which does not have a computable prime model. He introduced the notion of an almost decidable model and showed that if a complete decidable theory has fewer than continuum many types, then it has an almost decidable prime model. Millar also constructed a complete decidable theory with exactly two non-isomorphic decidable models. In a construction described by a reviewer as ingenious, Millar produced a decidable theory with all types computable, which has only countably many non-isomorphic countable models, and yet has a countable model (in fact, the saturated one) not isomorphic to a decidable one. Millar also proved that the decidability of the existential diagram for a computably categorical model is sufficient to preserve computable categoricity under expansions by finitely many constants.
Millar's other great talent, which he started pursuing in the late 1980's, was administration. He first served for many years as an Associate Dean for Physical Sciences in the UW Graduate School, and then served as an Assistant to the Provost. Up until his retirement, Millar played a key role, along with some UW physics professors, in several of the largest physics experiments, such as IceCube, GERS and CONDOR. He also became heavily involved in mathematics education and teacher training and was in charge of a number of large grants for multiple school districts across the country, including Madison's. Millar received the 2006 Madison Metropolitan School District Distinguished Service Award. A few semesters before his retirement, he returned full time to the UW math department to teach, and revived, in particular, the history of mathematics course using his expertise in both physics and mathematics.
Millar will be remembered for his dedication to family and students, his humor and stories, his athletic ability, his fondness for sports and music, his endless energy and drive, his integrity, and his remarkable intellectual and scientific curiosity and creativity.