I was invited to give a plenary talk at the 2020 North American Annual Meeting of the Association for Symbolic Logic taking place at UC Irvine March 25-28, 2020. Due to the public health concerns over COVID-19, this meeting was cancelled and instead held as a virtual meeting.

*How to obtain lower bounds in set theory*

Computing the large cardinal strength of a given statement is one of the key research directions in set theory. Fruitful tools to tackle such questions are given by inner model theory. The study of inner models was initiated by Gödel’s analysis of the constructible universe $L$. Later, it was extended to canonical inner models with large cardinals, e.g. measurable cardinals, strong cardinals or Woodin cardinals, which were introduced by Jensen, Mitchell, Steel, and others.

We will outline three recent applications where inner model theory is used to obtain lower bounds in large cardinal strength for statements that do not involve inner models. The first result, in part joint with J. Aguilera, is an analysis of the strength of determinacy for certain infinite two player games of fixed countable length, the second result studies the strength of a model of determinacy in which all sets of reals are universally Baire, and the third result, joint with Y. Hayut, involves combinatorics of infinite trees and the perfect subtree property for weakly compact cardinals $\kappa$.