Theoretical Mathematics is the study of the philosophical and logical and/or algorithmic basis of mathematics, or, in a broader sense, the mathematical investigation of what underlies the philosophical theories concerning the nature of mathematics.

In order to clarify the foundations of mathematics, the fields of mathematical logic and set theory were developed.

- Mathematical logic includes the mathematical study of logic and the applications of formal logic to other areas of mathematics.
- Set theory is the branch of mathematics that studies sets or collections of objects.
- Category theory, which deals in an abstract way with mathematical structures and relationships between them, is still in development.

Mathematical Logic is a subfield of mathematics exploring the applications of formal logic to mathematics. It bears close connections to metamathematics, the foundations of mathematics, and theoretical computer science.

The unifying themes in mathematical logic include the study of the expressive power of formal systems and the deductive power of formal proof systems.

Since its inception, mathematical logic has both contributed to, and has been motivated by, the study of foundations of mathematics. This study began in the late 19th century with the development of axiomatic frameworks for geometry, arithmetic, and analysis. In the early 20th century it was shaped by David Hilbert's program to prove the consistency of foundational theories. Results of Kurt Gödel, Gerhard Gentzen, and others provided partial resolution to the program, and clarified the issues involved in proving consistency. Work in set theory showed that almost all ordinary mathematics can be formalized in terms of sets, although there are some theorems that cannot be proven in common axiom systems for set theory. Contemporary work in the foundations of mathematics often focuses on establishing which parts of mathematics can be formalized in particular formal systems (as in reverse mathematics) rather than trying to find theories in which all of mathematics can be developed.

- Model theory

In mathematics, model theory is the study of classes of mathematical structures (e.g. groups, fields, graphs, universes of set theory) from the perspective of mathematical logic. The objects of study are models of theories in a formal language. A set of sentences in a formal language is called a theory; a model of a theory is a structure (e.g. an interpretation) that satisfies the sentences of that theory. - Recursion theory

Computability theory, also known as recursion theory, is a branch of mathematical logic, of computer science, and of the theory of computation that originated in the 1930s with the study of computable functions and Turing degrees. The field has since expanded to include the study of generalized computability and definability. In these areas, recursion theory overlaps with proof theoryand effective descriptive set theory. - Proof theory

Proof theory is a major branch of mathematical logic that represents proofs as formal mathematical objects, facilitating their analysis by mathematical techniques. Proofs are typically presented as inductively-defined data structures such as plain lists, boxed lists, or trees, which are constructed according to the axioms and rules of inference of the logical system. As such, proof theory is syntactic in nature, in contrast to model theory, which is semantic in nature.

Set Theory is a branch of mathematical logic that studies sets, which informally are collections of objects.

Although any type of object can be collected into a set, set theory is applied most often to objects that are relevant to mathematics. The language of set theory can be used in the definitions of nearly all mathematical objects. From set theory's inception, some mathematicians have objected to it as a foundation for mathematics. The most common objection to set theory, one Kronecker voiced in set theory's earliest years, starts from the constructivist view that mathematics is loosely related to computation. A different objection put forth by Henri Poincaré is that defining sets using the axiom schemas of specification and replacement, as well as the axiom of power set, introduces impredicativity, a type of circularity, into the definitions of mathematical objects. Category theorists have proposed topos theory as an alternative to traditional axiomatic set theory. Topos theory can interpret various alternatives to that theory, such as constructivism, finite set theory, and computable set theory. Topoi also give a natural setting for forcing and discussions of the independence of choice from ZF, as well as providing the framework for pointless topology and Stone spaces. An active area of research is the univalent foundations and related to it homotopy type theory. Here, sets may be defined as certain kinds of types, with universal properties of sets arising from higher inductive types. Principles such as the axiom of choice and the law of the excluded middle appear in a spectrum of different forms, some of which can be proven, others which correspond to the classical notions; this allows for a detailed discussion of the effect of these axioms on mathematics.

- Combinatorial set theory

Combinatorial set theory concerns extensions of finite combinatorics to infinite sets. This includes the study of cardinal arithmetic and the study of extensions of Ramsey's theorem such as the Erdős–Rado theorem. - Descriptive set theory

Descriptive set theory is the study of subsets of the real line and, more generally, subsets of Polish spaces. It begins with the study of pointclasses in the Borel hierarchy and extends to the study of more complex hierarchies such as the projective hierarchy and the Wadge hierarchy. Many properties of Borel sets can be established in ZFC, but proving these properties hold for more complicated sets requires additional axioms related to determinacy and large cardinals. - Fuzzy set theory

In set theory as Cantor defined and Zermelo and Fraenkel axiomatized, an object is either a member of a set or not. In fuzzy set theory this condition was relaxed by Lotfi A. Zadeh so an object has a degree of membership in a set, a number between 0 and 1. For example, the degree of membership of a person in the set of "tall people" is more flexible than a simple yes or no answer and can be a real number such as 0.75. - Inner model theory

An inner model of Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory (ZF) is a transitive class that includes all the ordinals and satisfies all the axioms of ZF. The canonical example is the constructible universe Ldeveloped by Gödel. One reason that the study of inner models is of interest is that it can be used to prove consistency results. For example, it can be shown that regardless of whether a model Vof ZF satisfies the continuum hypothesis or the axiom of choice, the inner model L constructed inside the original model will satisfy both the generalized continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice. Thus the assumption that ZF is consistent (has at least one model) implies that ZF together with these two principles is consistent. - Large cardinals

A large cardinal is a cardinal number with an extra property. Many such properties are studied, including inaccessible cardinals, measurable cardinals, and many more. These properties typically imply the cardinal number must be very large, with the existence of a cardinal with the specified property unprovable in Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory. - Determinacy

Determinacy refers to the fact that, under appropriate assumptions, certain two-player games of perfect information are determined from the start in the sense that one player must have a winning strategy. The existence of these strategies has important consequences in descriptive set theory, as the assumption that a broader class of games is determined often implies that a broader class of sets will have a topological property. The axiom of determinacy (AD) is an important object of study; although incompatible with the axiom of choice, AD implies that all subsets of the real line are well behaved (in particular, measurable and with the perfect set property). AD can be used to prove that the Wadge degrees have an elegant structure. - Forcing

Paul Cohen invented the method of forcing while searching for a model of ZFC in which the continuum hypothesis fails, or a model of ZF in which the axiom of choice fails. Forcing adjoins to some given model of set theory additional sets in order to create a larger model with properties determined (i.e. "forced") by the construction and the original model. For example, Cohen's construction adjoins additional subsets of the natural numbers without changing any of the cardinal numbers of the original model. Forcing is also one of two methods for proving relative consistency by finitistic methods, the other method being Boolean-valued models. - Cardinal invariants

A cardinal invariant is a property of the real line measured by a cardinal number. For example, a well-studied invariant is the smallest cardinality of a collection of meagre sets of reals whose union is the entire real line. These are invariants in the sense that any two isomorphic models of set theory must give the same cardinal for each invariant. Many cardinal invariants have been studied, and the relationships between them are often complex and related to axioms of set theory. - Set-theoretic topology

Set-theoretic topology studies questions of general topology that are set-theoretic in nature or that require advanced methods of set theory for their solution. Many of these theorems are independent of ZFC, requiring stronger axioms for their proof. A famous problem is the normal Moore space question, a question in general topology that was the subject of intense research. The answer to the normal Moore space question was eventually proved to be independent of ZFC.

Category Theory formalizes mathematical structure and its concepts in terms of a labeled directed graph called a category, whose nodes are called objects, and whose labelled directed edges are called arrows (or morphisms). A category has two basic properties: the ability to compose the arrows associatively and the existence of an identity arrow for each object. The language of category theory has been used to formalize concepts of other high-level abstractions such as sets, rings, and groups. Category theory concepts are category, adjoint functors, commutative diagrams, concrete categories, functors, morphism, natural transformation, and universal properties

- Magmas (Algebra)

In abstract algebra, a magma (or groupoid; not to be confused with groupoids in category theory) is a basic kind of algebraic structure. Specifically, a magma consists of a set equipped with a single binary operation. The binary operation must be closed by definition but no other properties are imposed. - Topological Manifold

In topology, a branch of mathematics, a topological manifold is a topological space (which may also be a separated space) which locally resembles real n-dimensional space in a sense defined below. Topological manifolds form an important class of topological spaces with applications throughout mathematics. There are a number of different types of differentiable manifolds, differentiable manifold, smooth manifold, analytic manifold, and complex manifold. - Metric spaces

In mathematics, a metric space is a set for which distances between all members of the set are defined. Those distances, taken together, are called a metric on the set. A metric on a space induces topological properties like open and closed sets, which lead to the study of more abstract topological spaces. The most familiar metric space is 3-dimensional Euclidean space. In fact, a "metric" is the generalization of the Euclidean metric arising from the four long-known properties of the Euclidean distance. The Euclidean metric defines the distance between two points as the length of the straight line segment connecting them. Other metric spaces occur for example in elliptic geometry and hyperbolic geometry, where distance on a sphere measured by angle is a metric, and the hyperboloid model of hyperbolic geometry is used by special relativity as a metric space of velocities. - R-modules

In mathematics, a module is one of the fundamental algebraic structures used in abstract algebra. A module over a ring is a generalization of the notion of vector space over a field, wherein the corresponding scalars are the elements of an arbitrary given ring (with identity) and a multiplication (on the left and/or on the right) is defined between elements of the ring and elements of the module. Thus, a module, like a vector space, is an additive abelian group; a product is defined between elements of the ring and elements of the module that is distributive over the addition operation of each parameter and is compatible with the ring multiplication. - Rings

In mathematics, a ring is one of the fundamental algebraic structures used in abstract algebra. It consists of a set equipped with two binary operations that generalize the arithmetic operations of addition and multiplication. Through this generalization, theorems from arithmetic are extended to non-numerical objects such as polynomials, series, matrices and functions. A ring is an abelian group with a second binary operation that is associative, is distributive over the abelian group operation, and has an identity element(this last property is not required by some authors. By extension from the integers, the abelian group operation is called addition and the second binary operation is called multiplication - Sets

In mathematics, a set is a collection of distinct objects, considered as an object in its own right. For example, the numbers 2, 4, and 6 are distinct objects when considered separately, but when they are considered collectively they form a single set of size three, written {2,4,6}. The concept of a set is one of the most fundamental in mathematics. Developed at the end of the 19th century, set theory is now a ubiquitous part of mathematics, and can be used as a foundation from which nearly all of mathematics can be derived. In mathematics education, elementary topics from set theory such as Venn diagrams are taught at a young age, while more advanced concepts are taught as part of a university degree. - Groups

In mathematics, a group is an algebraic structure consisting of a set of elements equipped with an operation that combines any two elements to form a third element and that satisfies four conditions called the group axioms, namely closure, associativity, identity and invertibility. One of the most familiar examples of a group is the set of integers together with the addition operation, but the abstract formalization of the group axioms, detached as it is from the concrete nature of any particular group and its operation, applies much more widely. It allows entities with highly diverse mathematical origins in abstract algebra and beyond to be handled in a flexible way while retaining their essential structural aspects. The ubiquity of groups in numerous areas within and outside mathematics makes them a central organizing principle of contemporary mathematics. - Topological spaces

In topology and related branches of mathematics, a topological space may be defined as a set of points, along with a set of neighbourhoods for each point, satisfying a set of axioms relating points and neighbourhoods. The definition of a topological space relies only upon set theory and is the most general notion of a mathematical space that allows for the definition of concepts such as continuity, connectedness, and convergence. Other spaces, such as manifolds and metric spaces, are specializations of topological spaces with extra structures or constraints. Being so general, topological spaces are a central unifying notion and appear in virtually every branch of modern mathematics. The branch of mathematics that studies topological spaces in their own right is called point-set topology or general topology. - Uniform spaces

In the mathematical field of topology, a uniform space is a set with a uniform structure. Uniform spaces are topological spaces with additional structure that is used to define uniform propertiessuch as completeness, uniform continuity and uniform convergence. The conceptual difference between uniform and topological structures is that, in a uniform space, one can formalize certain notions of relative closeness and closeness of points. In other words, ideas like "x is closer to a than y is to b" make sense in uniform spaces. By comparison, in a general topological space, given sets A,B it is meaningful to say that a point x is arbitrarily close to A(i.e., in the closure of A), or perhaps that A is a smaller neighborhood of x than B, but notions of closeness of points and relative closeness are not described well by topological structure alone. - Vector spaces

In algebra, given a ring R, the category of left modules over R is the category whose objects are all left modules over R and whose morphisms are all module homomorphisms between left R-modules. For example, when R is the ring of integers Z, it is the same thing as the category of abelian groups. The category of right modules is defined in a similar way. The category K-Vect (some authors use VectK) has all vector spaces over a fixed field K as objects and K-linear transformations as morphisms. Since vector spaces over K (as a field) are the same thing as modules over the ring K, K-Vect is a special case of R-Mod, the category of left R-modules. Much of linear algebra concerns the description of K-Vect. For example, the dimension theorem for vector spaces says that the isomorphism classes in K-Vect correspond exactly to the cardinal numbers, and that K-Vect is equivalent to the subcategory of K-Vect which has as its objects the free vector spaces Kn, where n is any cardinal number.

In Theory of Computation (theoretical computer science and mathematics), the theory of computation is the branch that deals with how efficiently problems can be solved on a model of computation, using an algorithm. The field is divided into three major branches: automata theory and language, computability theory, and computational complexity theory, which are linked by the question: "What are the fundamental capabilities and limitations of computers?". In order to perform a rigorous study of computation, computer scientists work with a mathematical abstraction of computers called a model of computation. There are several models in use, but the most commonly examined is the Turing machine. Computer scientists study the Turing machine because it is simple to formulate, can be analyzed and used to prove results, and because it represents what many consider the most powerful possible "reasonable" model of computation (see Church–Turing thesis). It might seem that the potentially infinite memory capacity is an unrealizable attribute, but any decidable problem solved by a Turing machine will always require only a finite amount of memory. So in principle, any problem that can be solved (decided) by a Turing machine can be solved by a computer that has a finite amount of memory.

- Automata theory

Automata theory is the study of abstract machines (or more appropriately, abstract 'mathematical' machines or systems) and the computational problems that can be solved using these machines. These abstract machines are called automata. Automata comes from the Greek word (Αυτόματα) which means that something is doing something by itself. Automata theory is also closely related to formal language theory, as the automata are often classified by the class of formal languages they are able to recognize. An automaton can be a finite representation of a formal language that may be an infinite set. Automata are used as theoretical models for computing machines, and are used for proofs about computability. - Computability theory

Computability theory deals primarily with the question of the extent to which a problem is solvable on a computer. The statement that the halting problemcannot be solved by a Turing machine is one of the most important results in computability theory, as it is an example of a concrete problem that is both easy to formulate and impossible to solve using a Turing machine. Much of computability theory builds on the halting problem result. Another important step in computability theory was Rice's theorem, which states that for all non-trivial properties of partial functions, it is undecidable whether a Turing machine computes a partial function with that property. - Computational complexity theory

Complexity theory considers not only whether a problem can be solved at all on a computer, but also how efficiently the problem can be solved. Two major aspects are considered: time complexity and space complexity, which are respectively how many steps does it take to perform a computation, and how much memory is required to perform that computation. In order to analyze how much time and space a given algorithm requires, computer scientists express the time or space required to solve the problem as a function of the size of the input problem.

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