There are several ways of producing manifolds,say:

1.orbits space of group action

2.connected sum of manifolds

3.underlying topological space of nonsingular algebraic set

....

here,i am interested in the 3rd one.

A well known theorem due to Nash and Tognoli says that Every compact smooth manifold is diffeomorphic to a nonsingular real algebraic set.

My question is: Given a manifold $M$,How to find an algebraic set EXPLICITLY whose underlying topological space is diffeomorphic to $M$?

For example, can we find a specific real algebraic set corresponding to an orientable riemann surface of genus $g$?

Thanks for the very useful answers and comments.

I am a student interested in the topology of manifolds and just came to realize so many manifolds could come from algebraic varieties,so the topology of algebraic varieties would be an interesting topic.

A naive idea could be: The topology of algebraic varieties should be determined by the algebra,i.e. the polynomials which generate the ideal corresponding to the variety.

In practice,i guess,it would be quite a hard problem to read topology from algebra,and in many cases,the other direction is also of interest,i.e.to get algebraic information of the variety by studying the topology of the underlying space.

In the very interesting survey on the topology of real and algebraic varieties given by Janos Kollar

https://web.math.princeton.edu/~kollar/FromMyHomePage/tanig.ps

He calls these two directions as Realization problem and Recognition Problem respectively.

To be more precise,realization problem studies which topological space could be realized as the underlying space of a projective algebraic variety,and recognition problem studies which algebraic properties are determined by its underlying topological space.

These two problems clearly summaries the interplay of algebra and topology in the algebraic variety.

Now my question is:

What's the status of the realization problem,i.e. How much topology could be read from the algebra and how?

new; please do not do that: it is much better to ask a new question separately, and in it reference this one. – Mariano Suárez-Alvarez♦ Sep 2 '13 at 1:22