Isotrivial Mordell-Lang and finite automata

13 February 2018

About fifteen years ago, Thomas Scanlon and I gave a description of sets that arise as the intersection of a subvariety with a finitely generated subgroup inside a semiabelian variety over a finite field. Inspired by later work of Derksen on the positive characteristic Skolem-Mahler-Lech theorem, which turns out to be a special case, Jason Bell and I have recently recast those results in terms of finite automata. I will report on this work, as well as on the work-in-progress it has engendered, also with Bell, on an effective version of the isotrivial Mordell-Lang theorem.