Algebraic Geometry Seminar Fall 2016

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The seminar meets on Fridays at 2:25 pm in Van Vleck B305.

Here is the schedule for the previous semester and for the next semester.

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Fall 2016 Schedule

date speaker title host(s)
September 16 Alexander Pavlov (Wisconsin) Betti Tables of MCM Modules over the Cones of Plane Cubics local
September 23 PhilSang Yoo (Northwestern) Classical Field Theories for Quantum Geometric Langlands Dima
October 7 Botong Wang (Wisconsin) Enumeration of points, lines, planes, etc. local
October 14 Luke Oeding (Auburn) Border ranks of monomials Steven
October 28 Adam Boocher (Utah) Bounds for Betti Numbers of Graded Algebras Daniel
November 4 Lukas Katthaen Finding binomials in polynomial ideals Daniel
November 11 Daniel Litt (Columbia) Arithmetic restrictions on geometric monodromy Jordan
November 18 David Stapleton (Stony Brook) Hilbert schemes of points and their tautological bundles Daniel
December 2 Rohini Ramadas (Michigan) Dynamics on the moduli space of pointed rational curves Daniel and Jordan
December 9 Robert Walker (Michigan) Uniform Asymptotic Growth on Symbolic Powers of Ideals Daniel

Abstracts

Alexander Pavlov

Betti Tables of MCM Modules over the Cones of Plane Cubics

Graded Betti numbers are classical invariants of finitely generated modules over graded rings describing the shape of a minimal free resolution. We show that for maximal Cohen-Macaulay (MCM) modules over a homogeneous coordinate rings of smooth Calabi-Yau varieties X computation of Betti numbers can be reduced to computations of dimensions of certain Hom groups in the bounded derived category D(X). In the simplest case of a smooth elliptic curve embedded into projective plane as a cubic we use our formula to get explicit answers for Betti numbers. In this case we show that there are only four possible shapes of the Betti tables up to a shifts in internal degree, and two possible shapes up to a shift in internal degree and taking syzygies.


PhilSang Yoo

Classical Field Theories for Quantum Geometric Langlands

One can study a class of classical field theories in a purely algebraic manner, thanks to the recent development of derived symplectic geometry. After reviewing the basics of derived symplectic geometry, I will discuss some interesting examples of classical field theories, including B-model, Chern-Simons theory, and Kapustin-Witten theory. Time permitting, I will make a proposal to understand quantum geometric Langlands and other related Langlands dualities in a unified way from the perspective of field theory.

Botong Wang

Enumeration of points, lines, planes, etc.

It is a theorem of de Brujin and Erdős that n points in the plane determines at least n lines, unless all the points lie on a line. This is one of the earliest results in enumerative combinatorial geometry. We will present a higher dimensional generalization to this theorem. Let E be a generating subset of a d-dimensional vector space. Let W_k be the number of k-dimensional subspaces that is generated by a subset of E. We show that W_k\leq W_{d-k}, when k\leq d/2. This confirms a "top-heavy" conjecture of Dowling and Wilson in 1974 for all matroids realizable over some field. The main ingredients of the proof are the hard Lefschetz theorem and the decomposition theorem. I will also talk about a proof of Welsh and Mason's log-concave conjecture on the number of k-element independent sets. These are joint works with June Huh.

Luke Oeding

Border ranks of monomials

What is the minimal number of terms needed to write a monomial as a sum of powers? What if you allow limits? Here are some minimal examples:

4xy = (x+y)^2 - (x-y)^2

24xyz = (x+y+z)^3 + (x-y-z)^3 + (-x-y+z)^3 + (-x+y-z)^3

192xyzw = (x+y+z+w)^4 - (-x+y+z+w)^4 - (x-y+z+w)^4 - (x+y-z+w)^4 - (x+y+z-w)^4 + (-x-y+z+w)^4 + (-x+y-z+w)^4 + (-x+y+z-w)^4

The monomial x^2y has a minimal expression as a sum of 3 cubes:

6x^2y = (x+y)^3 + (-x+y)^3 -2y^3

But you can use only 2 cubes if you allow a limit:

6x^2y = \lim_{\epsilon \to  0} \frac{(x^3 - (x-\epsilon y)^3)}{\epsilon}

Can you do something similar with xyzw? Previously it wasn't known whether the minimal number of powers in a limiting expression for xyzw was 7 or 8. I will answer this and the analogous question for all monomials.

The polynomial Waring problem is to write a polynomial as linear combination of powers of linear forms in the minimal possible way. The minimal number of summands is called the rank of the polynomial. The solution in the case of monomials was given in 2012 by Carlini--Catalisano--Geramita, and independently shortly thereafter by Buczynska--Buczynski--Teitler. In this talk I will address the problem of finding the border rank of each monomial.

Upper bounds on border rank were known since Landsberg-Teitler, 2010 and earlier. We use symmetry-enhanced linear algebra to provide polynomial certificates of lower bounds (which agree with the upper bounds). This work builds on the idea of Young flattenings, which were introduced by Landsberg and Ottaviani, and give determinantal equations for secant varieties and provide lower bounds for border ranks of tensors. We find special monomial-optimal Young flattenings that provide the best possible lower bound for all monomials up to degree 6. For degree 7 and higher these flattenings no longer suffice for all monomials. To overcome this problem, we introduce partial Young flattenings and use them to give a lower bound on the border rank of monomials which agrees with Landsberg and Teitler's upper bound. I will also show how to implement Young flattenings and partial Young flattenings in Macaulay2 using Steven Sam's PieriMaps package.


Adam Boocher

Let R be a standard graded algebra over a field. The set of graded Betti numbers of R provide some measure of the complexity of the defining equations for R and their syzygies. Recent breakthroughs (e.g. Boij-Soederberg theory, structure of asymptotic syzygies, Stillman's Conjecture) have provided new insights about these numbers and we have made good progress toward understanding many homological properties of R. However, many basic questions remain. In this talk I'll talk about some conjectured upper and lower bounds for the total Betti numbers for different classes of rings. Surprisingly, little is known in even the simplest cases.


Lukas Katthaen (Frankfurt)

In this talk, I will present an algorithm which, for a given ideal J in the polynomial ring, decides whether J contains a binomial, i.e., a polynomial having only two terms. For this, we use ideas from tropical geometry to reduce the problem to the Artinian case, and then use an algorithm from number theory. This is joint work with Anders Jensen and Thomas Kahle.


David Stapleton

Fogarty showed in the 1970s that the Hilbert scheme of n points on a smooth surface is smooth. Interest in these Hilbert schemes has grown since it has been shown they arise in hyperkahler geometry, geometric representation theory, and algebraic combinatorics. In this talk we will explore the geometry of certain tautological bundles on the Hilbert scheme of points. In particular we will show that these tautological bundles are (almost always) stable vector bundles. We will also show that each sufficiently positive vector bundles on a curve C is the pull back of a tautological bundle from an embedding of C into the Hilbert scheme of the projective plane.

Rohini Ramadas

The moduli space M_{0,n} parametrizes all ways of labeling n distinct points on P^1, up to projective equivalence. Let H be a Hurwitz space parametrizing holomorphic maps, with prescribed branching, from one n-marked P^1 to another. H admits two different maps to M_{0,n}: a ``target curve'’ map pi_t and a ``source curve map pi_s. Since pi_t is a covering map, pi_s(pi_t^(-1)) is a multi-valued map — a Hurwitz correspondence — from M_{0,n} to itself. Hurwitz correspondences arise in topology and Teichmuller theory through Thurston's topological characterization of rational functions on P^1. I will discuss their dynamics via numerical invariants called dynamical degrees.

Robert Walker

Symbolic powers ($I^{(N)}$) in Noetherian commutative rings are mysterious objects from the perspective of an algebraist, while regular powers of ideals ($I^s$) are essentially intuitive. However, many geometers tend to like symbolic powers in the case of a radical ideal in an affine polynomial ring over an algebraically closed field in characteristic zero: the N-th symbolic power consists of polynomial functions "vanishing to order at least N" on the affine zero locus of that ideal. In this polynomial setting, and much more generally, a challenging problem is determining when, given a family of ideals (e.g., all prime ideals), you have a containment of type $I^{(N)} \subseteq I^s$ for all ideals in the family simultaneously. Following breakthrough results of Ein-Lazarsfeld-Smith (2001) and Hochster-Huneke (2002) for, e.g., coordinate rings of smooth affine varieties, there is a slowly growing body of "uniform linear equivalence" criteria for when, given a suitable family of ideals, these $I^{(N)} \subseteq I^s$ containments hold as long as N is bounded below by a linear function in s, whose slope is a positive integer that only depends on the structure of the variety or the ring you fancy. My thesis (arxiv.org/1510.02993, arxiv.org/1608.02320) contributes new entries to this body of criteria, using Weil divisor theory and toric algebraic geometry. After giving a "Symbolic powers for Geometers" survey, I'll shift to stating key results of my dissertation in a user-ready form, and give a "comical" example or two of how to use them. At the risk of sounding like Paul Rudd from "Ant-Man," I hope this talk will be awesome.