These are informal notes for a course in Descriptive Set Theory given atthe University of Illinois at Chicago in Fall 2002. While I hope to give a fairlybroad survey of the subject we will be concentrating on problems about groupactions, particularly those motivated by Vaught’s conjecture. Kechris’
Classical Descriptive Set Theory
is the main reference for these notes.Notation: If
A
is a set,
A
<ω
is the set of all ﬁnite sequences from
A
. Suppose
σ
= (
a
0
,...,a
m
)
∈
A
<ω
and
b
∈
A
. Then
σ
b
is the sequence (
a
0
,...,a
m
,b
).We let
∅
denote the empty sequence. If
σ
∈
A
<ω
, then

σ

is the length of
σ
. If
f
:
N
→
A
, then
f

n
is the sequence (
f
(0)
,...,f
(
n
−
1)).If
X
is any set,
P
(
X
), the power set of
X
is the set of all subsets
X
.If
X
is a metric space,
x
∈
X
and
>
0, then
B
(
x
) =
{
y
∈
X
:
d
(
x,y
)
<
}
is the open ball of radius
around
x
.
Part I
Classical Descriptive Set Theory
1 Polish Spaces
Deﬁnition 1.1
Let
X
be a topological space. We say that
X
is
metrizable
if there is a metric
d
such that the topology is induced by the metric. We say that
X
is
separable
if there is a countable dense subset.A
Polish space
is a separable topological space that is metrizable by a complete metric.There are many classical examples of Polish spaces. Simple examples include
R
n
,
C
n
,
I
= [0
,
1], the unit circle
T
, and
Q
n p
, where
Q
p
is the
p
adic ﬁeld.
Example 1.2
Countable discrete sets are Polish Spaces.
Let
X
be a countable set with the discrete topology. The metric
d
(
x,y
) =
0 if
x
=
y
1 if
x
=
y
is a complete metric inducing the topology.If
d
is a metric on
X
, then
d
(
x,y
) =
d
(
x,y
)1 +
d
(
x,y
)is also a metric,
d
and
d
induce the same topology and
d
(
x,y
)
<
1 for all
x
.
Example 1.3
If
X
0
,X
1
,...
are Polish spaces, then
X
n
is a Polish space.
2