Seminars & Colloquia Calendar

Download as iCal file

Topology/Geometry Seminar

Continuous sections of families of complex algebraic varieties

Nick Salter (Columbia)

Location:  Hill 525
Date & time: Tuesday, 02 October 2018 at 3:40PM - 4:40PM

Abstract:  Families of algebraic varieties exhibit a wide range of fascinating topological phenomena. Even families of zero-dimensional varieties (configurations of points on the Riemann sphere) and one-dimensional varieties (Riemann surfaces) have a rich theory closely related to the theory of braid groups and mapping class groups. In this talk, I will survey some recent work aimed at understanding one aspect of the topology of such families: the problem of (non)existence of continuous sections of "universal" families. Informally, these results give answers to the following sorts of questions: is it possible to choose a distinguished point on every Riemann surface of genus g in a continuous way? What if some extra data (e.g. a level structure) is specified? Can one instead specify a collection of n distinct points for some larger n? Or, in a different direction, if one is given a collection of n distinct points on CP^1, is there a rule to continuously assign an additional m distinct points? In this last case there is a remarkable relationship between n and m. For instance, we will see that there is a rule which produces 6 new points given 4 distinct points on CP^1, but there is no rule that produces 5 or 7, and when n is at least 6, m must be divisible by n(n-1)(n-2).

These results are joint work with Lei Chen.


Special Note to All Travelers

Directions: map and driving directions. If you need information on public transportation, you may want to check the New Jersey Transit page.

Unfortunately, cancellations do occur from time to time. Feel free to call our department: 848-445-6969 before embarking on your journey. Thank you.