Motivic homotopy theory gives a way of viewing algebraic varieties and topological spaces as objects in the same category, where homotopies are parametrised by the affine line. In particular, there is a notion of $\mathbb A^1$ contractible varieties. Affine spaces are $\mathbb A^1$ contractible by definition. The Koras-Russell threefold KR defined by the equation $x + x^2y + z^2 + t^3 = 0$ in $\mathbb A^4$ is the first nontrivial example of an $\mathbb A^1$ contractible smooth affine variety. We will discuss this example in some detail, and speculate on whether one can use motivic homotopy theory to distinguish between KR and $\mathbb A^3$.

# Past Algebraic Geometry Seminar

We give a description of the category of ordinary K3 surfaces over a finite field in terms of linear algebra data over Z. This gives an analogue for K3 surfaces of Deligne's description of the category of ordinary abelian varieties over a finite field, and refines earlier work by N.O. Nygaard and J.-D. Yu. Two important ingredients in the proof are integral p-adic Hodge theory, and a description of CM points on Shimura stacks in terms of associated Galois representations. References: arXiv:1711.09225, arXiv:1707.01236.

Varieties admitting Frobenius splittings exhibit very nice properties.

For example, many nice properties of toric varieties can be deduced from

the fact that they are Frobenius split. Varieties admitting a diagonal

splitting exhibit even nicer properties. In this talk I will give an

overview over the consequences of the existence of such splittings and

then discuss criteria for toric varieties to be diagonally split.

Given a smooth variety X containing a smooth divisor Y, the relative Gromov-Witten invariants of (X,Y) are defined as certain counts of algebraic curves in X with specified orders of tangency to Y. Their intrinsic interest aside, they are an important part of any Gromov-Witten theorist’s toolkit, thanks to their role in the celebrated “degeneration formula.” In recent years these invariants have been significantly generalised, using techniques in logarithmic geometry. The resulting “log Gromov-Witten invariants” are defined for a large class of targets, and in particular give a rigorous definition of relative invariants for (X,D) where D is a normal crossings divisor. Besides being more general, these numbers are intimately related to constructions in Mirror Symmetry, via the Gross-Siebert program. In this talk, we will describe a recursive formula for computing the invariants of (X,D) in genus zero. The result relies on a comparison theorem which expresses the log Gromov-Witten invariants as classical (i.e. non log-geometric) objects.

Some natural moduli problems give rise to stacks with infinite stabilizers. I will report on recent work with Dan Edidin where we give a canonical sequence of saturated blow-ups that makes the stabilizers finite. This generalizes earlier work in GIT by Kirwan and Reichstein, and on toric stacks by Edidin-More. Time permitting, I will also mention a recent application to generalized Donaldson-Thomas invariants by Kiem-Li-Savvas.

We study Hilbert schemes of points on a smooth projective Calabi-Yau 4-fold X and define DT4 invariants by integrating the Euler class of a tautological vector bundle against the virtual class. We conjecture a formula for their generating series, which we prove in certain cases when L corresponds to a smooth divisor on X. A parallel equivariant conjecture for toric Calabi-Yau 4-folds is proposed. This conjecture is proved for smooth toric divisors and verified for more general toric divisors in many examples. Combining the equivariant conjecture with a vertex calculation, we find explicit positive rational weights, which can be assigned to solid partitions. The weighted generating function of solid partitions is given by exp(M(q) − 1), where M(q) denotes the MacMahon function. This is joint work with Martijn Kool.

We develop a structure theory for del Pezzo surfaces that are regular but geometrically non-normal, based on work of Reid, but now independence on the p-degree of the ground field. This leads to existence results, as well as non-existence results for ground fields of p-degree one. In turn, we settle questions arising from Koll'ar's analysis on the structure of Mori fiber spaces in dimension three. This is joint work with Andrea Fanelli.

Following Grothendieck's vision that many cohomological invariants of of an algebraic variety should be captured by a common motive, Voevodsky introduced a triangulated category of mixed motives which partially realises this idea. After describing this category, I will explain how to define the motive of certain algebraic stacks in this context. I will then report on joint work in progress with Victoria Hoskins, in which we study the motive of the moduli stack of vector bundles on a smooth projective curve and show that this motive can be described in terms of the motive of this curve and its symmetric powers.

Starting from the seminal paper of Caporaso-Harris-Mazur, it has been proved that if Lang's Conjecture holds in arbitrary dimension, then it implies a uniform bound for the number of rational points in a curve of general type and analogue results in higher dimensions. In joint work with Kenny Ascher we prove analogue statements for integral points (or more specifically stably-integral points) on curves of log general type and we extend these to higher dimensions. The techniques rely on very recent developments in the theory of moduli spaces for stable pairs, a higher dimensional analogue of pointed stable curves.

If time permits we will discuss how very interesting problems arise in dimension 2 that are related to the geometry of the log-cotangent bundle.