Andrew Brooke-Taylor

Picture of Andrew Brooke-Taylor

I am an Associate Professor in the School of Mathematics of the University of Leeds.

I currently have 3 doctoral students, Bea Adam-Day, Alexandra Gouveia, and Carla Simons. Previously I supervised Stamatis Dimopoulos, John Howe and Richard Matthews.


The short, sweet, layman's summary of my research is that I study infinity. There's an excellent introductory video on YouTube made by Vsauce that starts very basic but goes pretty deeply into the concepts involved.

In more technical detail, I mainly work in set theory and its applications to other areas of mathematics, and am especially interested in large cardinal axioms. These posit the existence of cardinals (infinities) so large that they cannot be proven to exist from the standard axioms (assumptions) for mathematics. By assuming that such large cardinals do exist, we strengthen the theory, and so are able to draw more conclusions and do more mathematics than we could otherwise.

I have particularly worked on applications of set theory to category theory and algebraic topology; indeed, this was the topic of the EPSRC Early Career Fellowship I held from 2013 to 2018. The same part of category theory that arises in this work - the theory of accessible categories, which is significantly affected by large cardinal assumptions - also turns out to be relevant in the context of abstract model theory.

Another part of set theory whose applications I am interested in is the study of Borel reducibility as a way to gauge complexity, for example in my work with Sheila Miller and Filippo Calderoni on quandles, which are algebraic invariants for knots. I currently hold an EPSRC grant aiming to categorify central aspects of this theory.

In a point-set topology vein, I recently resolved the old question of precisely when the product of two CW complexes (endowed with the product topology) is itself a CW complex.

Slides from selected talks


Connections between set theory and topology

Connections between set theory and category theory

Other research


Probably the best source for my papers is my arXiv author page. They are reviewed on my author page at MathSciNet (subscription required), and there is a fairly up-to-date list of them with links to the published, journal versions at the bottom of my standard School of Mathematics webpage.

Conference and workshop organisation

Last updated: 2021-12-15