The Berkeley Seminar


The Topos Institute Berkeley Seminar is a weekly, informal seminar on topics relevant to the Topos Institute community, held at our Berkeley Campus. Unless otherwise noted, the talks will begin at 4pm PT on Mondays.

RSVP at the Google Form here. Please note that, unlike many academic departments, the Wells Fargo building is a secured space, so if you don’t remember to RSVP you’re likely to be delayed on arrival.

Talks are often recorded and posted to our Berkeley Seminar YouTube playlist. Links to recordings and slides from past talks are also available below.

The Structure of Inference in Transformers

Adam Shai
Apr 29, 2024

Category theory over a minimalist or no foundation

Giovanni Sambin
Apr 22, 2024


Max Collard
Apr 15, 2024

Products in double categories, revisited

Evan Patterson (Topos Institute)
Apr 8, 2024

Pattern runs on matter

Sophie Libkind (Topos Institute)
Mar 25, 2024

Doctrine-specific ur-algorithms

Mohamed Barakat (University of Siegen)
Mar 18, 2024

Recording Slides

A Theoretical Computer Science Perspective on Consciousness and Artificial General Intelligence

Lenore Blum (CMU)
Feb 12, 2024

Probing the Developmental Landscape of Neural Networks

Jesse Hoogland (Timaeus)
Feb 5, 2024

The 2-category of categories, controls, and flows

David Spivak (Topos)
Jan 29, 2024

Semantic Foundations of Polarity Tagging

Larry Moss (Indiana)
Jan 22, 2024


Structured Data: A Principled Approach

Owen Lynch (Topos)
Jan 15, 2024


Color Logic: a language for CT education and research

Christian Wells (Riverside)
Dec 4, 2023


Collaborative Editing via Category Theory

David Espinosa
Nov 27, 2023


Provenance Analysis for First-order Model Checking

Val Tannen (Pennsylvania)
Nov 6, 2023


Network Mathematics for Beginners

Valeria de Paiva (Topos)
Oct 30, 2023

Recording Slides

Computation in Continuous Dynamics

Sophie Libkind (Topos)
Oct 23, 2023


My 70 Years with Heyting Algebras

Dana Scott (Topos)
Oct 16, 2023

Recording Slides

Classical Mechanics, Poisson Geometry, Factorization Algebras, and Operads

Eugene Rabinovich
Oct 9, 2023

Cartesian double theories: A double-categorical framework for categorical doctrines

Evan Patterson (Topos)
Sep 25, 2023

Recording Slides

All concepts are defects

Alex Sorokin
Sep 18, 2023


GATs and the semantics of dependent type theory

Kevin Arlin (Topos)
Sep 11, 2023

Recording Slides

All You Need is Relative Information

Shaowei Lin (Topos)
Aug 28, 2023

Constructing dynamic monoidal categories

Samantha Jarvis (CUNY/Topos)
Aug 21, 2023


Entropy and Energy

Owen Lynch (Topos)
Aug 14, 2023

Topological Quantum Gates in Homotopy Type Theory

David Jaz Myers (NYU Abu Dhabi)
Aug 7, 2023


Formalizing Unit Systems and Physical Quantities for Programming Languages using Applied Category Theory

Vincent Reverdy (CNRS)
Jul 24, 2023


Combinatorial Approaches to Multiphysics: Discrete Exterior Calculus Applied to Partial and Ordinary Differential Equations

Luke Morris (Florida/Topos)
Jul 17, 2023

Approximate Vector Bundles

Jose Perea (Northeastern)
Jul 10, 2023


How to use ChatGPT as a research and communications tool

David Spivak (Topos)
Jul 5, 2023

Linear Logic is a Language for Structured Data

Stephen Mell (Pennsylvania/Topos)
Jun 26, 2023


Amortized Analysis via Coinduction

Harrison Grodin (CMU/Topos)
Jun 12, 2023

Type classes, Monads, and a Big Idea

Philip Wadler (Edinburgh)
Jun 5, 2023

Algebraic Theories and Computer Algebra

Owen Lynch (Topos)
May 30, 2023


Scientific and software engineering examples of applied category theory

Kris Brown (Topos)
May 15, 2023


Wanted: an Org^m enriched operad

David Spivak (Topos)
May 8, 2023



Vincent Wang (Oxford)
May 1, 2023

Dagger linear logic for categorical quantum mechanics

Priyaa Srinivasan (NIST)
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Chain complexes of sets: homology made simple

Brandon Shapiro (Topos)
Apr 17, 2023


Higher-dimensional Calculus of Fractions

Chris Kapulkin (Western Ontario)
Apr 10, 2023


Category Theory and Engineering Design: A Computational Support Challenge

Eswaran Subrahmanian (Carnegie Mellon)
Apr 10, 2023

Categories as ideas

Bartłomiej Skowron (Wrocław)
Apr 3, 2023


Automating discovery in experimental science

Gabriel Reder (Chalmers)
Mar 27, 2023

Reasoning Under Uncertainty

Adele Lopez
Mar 7, 2023

Metagames and imprecise probability

Nisan Stiennon
Feb 27, 2023


My (nonlinear) scientific career path: a project-based approach

Anh Thai Nhan
Feb 22, 2023

The microservices operad -OR- the free monad monad is a module over the cofree comonad comonad

David Spivak (Topos Institute)
Feb 21, 2023


A Medley of Machine Learning and Statistics

Aditya Makkar
Feb 15, 2023


Concreteness From Pedagogy to Brown Representability

Kevin Arlin
Jan 27, 2023


Co- and Contra-categories

Alexander Gietelink Oldenziel
Jan 23, 2023


A Sketch of a Program for a Type System for Probabilistic Conformational Molecular Computing, A Computadic Introduction to Shulman's PTT, and Variations on PTT for Semicartesian and Markov Categories

Paul Lessard
Dec 19, 2022

Recording Slides

Effect Handlers and Bicomodules

David Spivak (Topos Institute)
Dec 12, 2022


Double Lawvere Theories

Evan Patterson (Topos Institute)
Dec 5, 2022

Cubical Setting for Discrete Homotopy Theory

Daniel Carranza
Nov 21, 2022


An Algebraic Approach to Bidirectional Elaboration

Reed Mullanix
Nov 14, 2022


Grothendieck Constructions and Universal Maps

Brandon Shapiro (Topos Institute)
Oct 31, 2022

Does recursion help? (In honor of Dana Scott's 90th birthday)

Gordon Plotkin
Oct 11, 2022

Recording Slides

Games with Cats

Matteo Capucci (University of Strathclyde)
Oct 10, 2022


Space-time tradeoffs of lenses and optics via higher category theory

Bruno Gavranovic (University of Strathclyde)
Oct 3, 2022


Assembly in the Algebraic K-theory of Lawvere Theories

Anna Marie Bohmann (Vanderbilt University)
Sep 26, 2022

Lightning Talks

Sep 19, 2022

Towards a Categorical Treatment of Economics

Fernando Tohme (Universidad Nacional del Sur)
Sep 15, 2022

Recording Slides

Dialectica constructions and lenses

Jonathan Weinberger (Johns Hopkins University)
Sep 12, 2022


A Categorical Formulation of Predictive Processing

Sean Tull (Cambridge Quantum)
Sep 9, 2022

Double-categorical databases and knowledge representation

Evan Patterson (Topos Institute)
Sep 6, 2022


A type theory for (∞,1)-categories.

Jonathan Weinberger (Johns Hopkins University)
Sep 6, 2022

Recording Slides

Composition of Port-Hamiltonian Systems

Owen Lynch (Topos Institute)
Aug 29, 2022


Applications of category theory to automated planning and program compilation in robotics

Angeline Aguinaldo (Topos Institute)
Aug 22, 2022

Recording Slides

The Digital Abacus

Paul Dancstep
Aug 18, 2022

Lightning Talks

Aug 15, 2022

Duoidal Structures for Space and Time

Brandon Shapiro (Topos Institute)
Aug 1, 2022

Where Poly's structure comes from

David Spivak (Topos Institute)
Jul 11, 2022


Axioms for the category of Hilbert spaces

Andre Kornell (Tulane University)
Jul 5, 2022

The topology, geometry, and combinatorics of ReLU neural network functions

Elisenda Grigsby (Boston College)
Jun 29, 2022

Computation, communication, and ontology maps

Scott Viteri (Stanford University)
Jun 27, 2022


The free monad, cofree comonad, and topological space associated to a polynomial

David Spivak (Topos Institute)
Jun 13, 2022


Equality is Coalgebraic

Giuseppe Rosolini
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Recording Slides

Ask Me Anything about AI Existential Risk

Andrew Critch (UC Berkeley)
May 9, 2022

Measuring the Complexity of Countable Objects

Antonio Montalban (UC Berkeley)
May 2, 2022

Recording Slides

Combinatorial Representation of Scientific Knowledge

Kris Brown
Apr 28, 2022

Recording Slides

Enrichment of General Categorical Structures

Brandon Shapiro (Topos Institute)
Apr 18, 2022

Retina-inspired Representations of Natural Signals

Chris Hillar (Awecom, Inc.)
Apr 11, 2022

Clifford algebra and rigid motions

Alok Singh
Apr 4, 2022

Happy Birthday AlgebraicDynamics!

Sophie Libkind (Stanford University)
Mar 28, 2022

Recording Slides

Adaptives: evolving systems of organized contributions

Brandon Shapiro (Topos Institute)
Mar 14, 2022


Categories by proxy and the limits of Para

Toby St Clere Smithe (Topos Institute)
Mar 7, 2022


Dependent Optics

Eigil Rischel (University of Strathclyde)
Feb 28, 2022


Principles and pitfalls of designing software for applied category theory

Evan Patterson (Topos Institute)
Feb 14, 2022

Recording Slides

Modeling decentralized markets using (mostly free) categories

Wesley Phoa (Capital Group)
Feb 7, 2022

Recording Slides

Integrating machine learning into scientific spatial and temporal modeling

Aditi Krishnapriyan (UC Berkeley)
Jan 31, 2022

Natural Language Inference: for humans and machines

Valeria de Paiva (Topos Institute)
Jan 24, 2022

Recording Slides

Familial and Polynomial Functors for Higher Category Theories

Brandon Shapiro (Cornell)
Dec 13, 2021

Partially observing graphs - when can we infer underlying community structure?

Fiona Skerman (Uppsala)
Dec 6, 2021

Path Space Monomials: Signatures and Applications to Sequential Data

Darrick Lee (EPFL)
Aug 17, 2021

Invitation to the next dimension: 2D doesn't mean double the work, only twice as much

tslil clingman (Johns Hopkins University)
Aug 10, 2021


Algebraic Property Graphs

Joshua Meyers (Indiana University)
Aug 3, 2021

Structured vs Decorated Cospans

John Baez (UC Riverside and Topos)
Jul 28, 2021


The Universal Library: A novel approach to teaching category theory

Paul Dancstep
Jul 20, 2021


Seven scribbles in applied category theory

Spencer Breiner (NIST)
Jul 13, 2021


Diary of a software engineer using categories

Angeline Aguinaldo (Johns Hopkins/University of Maryland)
Jul 6, 2021


The Algebraic Julia Ecosystem, a categorical approach to technical computing

James Fairbanks (University of Florida)
Jun 29, 2021

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