Jason Zesheng Chen

why, hello, nice to see you here!


A bespectacled angler under the Golden Gate Bridge. Good views and good weather: plenty. Fish: none.

My name is Zesheng Chen; my friends and family call me Jason. I am a PhD candidate at the Deparment of Logic and Philosophy of Science, UC Irvine. My advisor is Toby Meadows.

As a logician, I study the relationship between computation, complexity, and exorbitantly large infinities: if an object can be easily computed/defined, must it behave nicely? As a philosopher, I analyze the ways mathematicians consider something to be evidence or justifications for something else, especially what that something else is.

I also specialize in the history of set theory, especially descriptive set theory from its emergence to the present. Curiously, this line of research has made me somewhat competent in the history of mathematics, logic, and computer science in the Soviet Union.

I’m currently conducting dissertation research on three things:

  1. confluence phenomena in mathematics (“what do people mean when they say the have a Church-Turing Thesis for this or that?”)
  2. the historical development of the theory of Borel equivalence relations (“when did descriptive set theorists turn to classification?”), and
  3. the use of metamathematical methods in descriptive set theory.

Born and raised in Shenzhen, China, I went to University of Southern California as an undergrad, where I studied linguistics, philosophy, and Middle Eastern languages. In my spare time I sometimes do a bit of expository writing for the general public. Below you can find some of my social media.