# Posts in the category Synthetic computability

### On fixed-point theorems in synthetic computability

- 07 November 2019
- Synthetic computability, Publications

I forgot to record the fact that already two years ago I wrote a paper on Lawvere's fixed-point theorem in synthetic computability:

Andrej Bauer:

On fixed-point theorems in synthetic computability. Tbilisi Mathematical Journal, Volume 10: Issue 3, pp. 167–181.

It was a special issue in honor of Professors Peter J. Freyd and F. William Lawvere on the occasion of their 80th birthdays.

Lawvere's paper "Diagonal arguments and cartesian closed categories proves a beautifully simple fixed point theorem.

Theorem:(Lawvere)If $e : A \to B^A$ is a surjection then every $f : B \to B$ has a fixed point.

*Proof.* Because $e$ is a surjection, there is $a \in A$ such that $e(a) = \lambda x : A \,.\, f(e(x)(x))$, but then $e(a)(a) = f(e(a)(a)$. $\Box$

Lawvere's original version is a bit more general, but the one given here makes is very clear that Lawvere's fixed point theorem is the diagonal argument in crystallized form. Indeed, the contrapositive form of the theorem, namely

Corollary:If $f : B \to B$ has no fixed point then there is no surjection $e : A \to B^A$.

immediately implies a number of famous theorems that rely on the diagonal argument. For example, there can be no surjection $A \to \lbrace 0, 1\rbrace^A$ because the map $x \mapsto 1 - x$ has no fixed point in $\lbrace 0, 1\rbrace$ -- and that is Cantors' theorem.

It not easy to find non-trivial instances to which Lawvere's theorem applies. Indeed, if excluded middle holds, then having a surjection $e : A \to B^A$ implies that $B$ is the singleton. We should look for interesting instances in categories other than classical sets. In my paper I do so: I show that countably based $\omega$-cpos in the effective topos are countable and closed under countable products, which gives us a rich supply of objects $B$ such that there is a surjection $\mathbb{N} \to B^\mathbb{N}$.

Enjoy the paper!

→ continue reading### Reductions in computability theory from a constructive point of view

- 19 July 2014
- Constructive math, Logic, Synthetic computability, Talks

Here are the slides from my Logic Coloquium 2014 talk in Vienna. This is joint work with Kazuto Yoshimura from Japan Advanced Institute for Science and Technology.

**Abstract: **In constructive mathematics we often consider implications between non-constructive reasoning principles. For instance, it is well known that the Limited principle of omniscience implies that equality of real numbers is decidable. Most such reductions proceed by reducing an instance of the consequent to an instance of the antecedent. We may therefore define a notion of *instance reducibility*, which turns out to have a very rich structure. Even better, under Kleene’s function realizability interpretation instance reducibility corresponds to Weihrauch reducibility, while Kleene’s number realizability relates it to truth-table reducibility. We may also ask about a constructive treatment of other reducibilities in computability theory. I shall discuss how one can tackle Turing reducibility constructively via Kleene’s number realizability.

**Slides with talk notes: ** lc2014-slides-notes.pdf

### Synthetic Computability (MFPS XXIII Tutorial)

- 24 May 2007
- Constructive math, Synthetic computability, Talks, Tutorial

A tutorial presented at the *Mathematical Foundations of Programming Semantics XXIII* Tutorial Day.

### First Steps in Synthetic Computability Theory (Fischbachau)

- 18 September 2005
- Synthetic computability, Talks

At the EST training workshop in Fischbachau, Germany, I gave two lectures on syntehtic computability theory. This version of the talk contains material on recursive analysis which is not found in the MFPS XXI version of a similar talk.

**Abstract:**

Computability theory, which investigates computable functions and computable sets, lies at the foundation of logic and computer science. Its classical presentations usually involve a fair amount of Goedel encodings. Consequently, there have been a number of presentations of computability theory that aimed to present the subject in an abstract and conceptually pleasing way. We build on two such approaches, Hyland’s effective topos and Richman’s formulation in Bishop-style constructive mathematics, and develop basic computability theory, starting from a few simple axioms. Because we want a theory that resembles ordinary mathematics as much as possible, we never speak of Turing machines and Goedel encodings, but rather use familiar concepts from set theory and

topology.

**Download slides:** est.pdf

### First Steps in Synthetic Computability Theory (MFPS XXI)

- 08 May 2005
- Publications, Synthetic computability, Talks

**Abstract:** Computability theory, which investigates computable functions and computable sets, lies at the foundation of computer science. Its classical presentations usually involve a fair amount of Gödel encodings which sometime obscure ingenious arguments. Consequently, there have been a number of presentations of computability theory that aimed to present the subject in an abstract and conceptually pleasing way. We build on two such approaches, Hyland’s effective topos and Richman’s formulation in Bishop-style constructive mathematics, and develop basic computability theory, starting from a few simple axioms. Because we want a theory that resembles ordinary mathematics as much as possible, we never speak of Turing machines and Gödel encodings, but rather use familiar concepts from set theory and topology.

**Presented at:** Mathematical Foundations of Programming Semantics XXI, Birmingham, 2004 (invited talk).

**Download paper:** synthetic.pdf, synthetic.ps.gz

**Download slides:** synthetic-slides.pdf