Yiannis N. Moschovakis


Yiannis Nicholas Moschovakis (Greek: Γιάννης Μοσχοβάκης; born January 18, 1938) is a set theorist, descriptive set theorist, and recursion (computability) theorist, at UCLA.

Yiannis N. Moschovakis
Yiannis Moschovakis.jpg
Yiannis Nicholas Moschovakis

(1938-01-18) January 18, 1938 (age 84)
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison
Known forEffective descriptive set theory
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorStephen Kleene
Doctoral studentsAlexander S. Kechris
Phokion G. Kolaitis

His book Descriptive Set Theory (North-Holland) is the primary reference for the subject. He is especially associated with the development of the effective, or lightface, version of descriptive set theory, and he is known for the Moschovakis coding lemma that is named after him.


Moschovakis earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1963 under the direction of Stephen Kleene, with a dissertation entitled Recursive Analysis. In 2015 he was elected as a fellow of the American Mathematical Society "for contributions to mathematical logic, especially set theory and computability theory, and for exposition".[1]

For many years he has split his time between UCLA and the University of Athens (he retired from the latter in July 2005).

Moschovakis is married to Joan Moschovakis, with whom he gave the 2014 Lindström Lectures at the University of Gothenburg.[2]


  • Elementary induction on abstract structures. North-Holland. 1974.[3] 2nd edn. Dover. 2008. ISBN 9780486152011.
  • Descriptive set theory. North-Holland. 1980. ISBN 9780444853059.[4] 2nd edn. 2005. Second edition available online
  • Notes on set theory. North-Holland. 1994. ISBN 9783540941804. 2nd edn. 2005.


  1. ^ 2016 Class of the Fellows of the AMS, American Mathematical Society, retrieved 2015-11-16.
  2. ^ "The Lindström Lectures - Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden". flov.gu.se. Archived from the original on 2013-11-11.
  3. ^ Barwise, K. Jon (1975). "Review: Elementary induction on abstract structures, by Y. Moschovakis". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 81 (6): 1031–1035. doi:10.1090/s0002-9904-1975-13893-6.
  4. ^ Jech, Thomas (1981). "Review: Descriptive set theory, by Y. Moschovakis". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (N.S.). 5 (3): 339–349. doi:10.1090/s0273-0979-1981-14952-1.

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