Commutative rings, modules, ideals, homological algebra, computational aspects, invariant theory, connections to algebraic geometry and combinatorics.

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63
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5answers
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What do epimorphisms of (commutative) rings look like?

(Background: In any category, an epimorphism is a morphism $f:X\to Y$ which is "surjective" in the following sense: for any two morphisms $g,h:Y\to Z$, if $g\circ f=h\circ f$, then $g=h$. Roughly, ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a “geometric” intuition underlying the notion of normal varieties?

I first got concious of the notion of normal varieties around 3 years ago and despite the fact that by now I can manipulate with it a bit, this notion still puzzles me a lot. One thing that strikes me ...
48
votes
2answers
4k views

How would you solve this tantalizing Halmos problem?

1-ab invertible => 1-ba invertible has a slick power series "proof" as below, where Halmos asks for an explanation of why this tantalizing derivation succeeds. Do you know one? Geometric series. In ...
32
votes
5answers
1k views

On the universal property of the completion of an ordered field

I have been trying to write up some notes on completion of ordered fields, ideally in the general case (i.e., not just completing $\mathbb{Q}$ to get $\mathbb{R}$ but considering the completion via ...
0
votes
2answers
263 views

Rank of a $ \mathbb{Z}_{p}[[T]] $ module

Let $p$ be a prime and $M$ is a finitely generated $ \mathbb{Z}_{p}[[T]] $ module. Suppose $M[p]$ denotes the $p$-torsion of $M$. Then $M[p]$ and $M/(p)$ are both $ F_{p}$ vector spaces. So we can ...
36
votes
9answers
9k views

Irreducibility of polynomials in two variables

Let $k$ be a field. I am interested in sufficient criteria for $f \in k[x,y]$ to be irreducible. An example is Theorem A of this paper. Does anyone know of similar results in the same vein? How about ...
25
votes
9answers
5k views

Rings in which every non-unit is a zero divisor

Is there a special name for the class of (commutative) rings in which every non-unit is a zero divisor? The main example is $\mathbf{Z}/(n)$. Are there other natural or interesting examples?
16
votes
12answers
2k views

Homological Algebra for Commutative Monoids?

Homological algebra for abelian groups is a standard tool in many fields of mathematics. How much carries over to the setting of commutative monoids (with unit)? It seems like there is a notion of ...
7
votes
1answer
596 views

geometric interpretation and differences of Gorenstein rings, Complete intersections and regular rings

Let $R$ be a local Noetherian ring. What is the geometric interpretation of: 1- Gorenstein rings 2- Complete intersections 3- Regular rings? and how can I realize differences by geometric ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Duals and Tensor products

Let $A$ be a commutative ring with a unit element. Let $M$ and $N$ be $A$-modules. Let $M^v$ and $N^v$ be the dual modules. In general, do we have $M^v \otimes N^v \cong (M\otimes N)^v$? It is ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Noether's normalization lemma over a ring A

Given a field $k$ and a finitely generated $k$-algebra $R$ without zero divisors, one knows that there exist $x_1, \ldots, x_n$ algebraically independent such that $R$ is integral over $k[x_1, \ldots, ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

A finitely generated $\mathbb{Z}$-algebra that is a field has to be finite

I was trying to understand completely the post of Terrence Tao on Ax-Grothendieck theorem. http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2009/03/07/infinite-fields-finite-fields-and-the-ax-grothendieck-theorem/ ...
30
votes
2answers
1k views

Is every Noetherian Commutative Ring a quotient of a Noetherian Domain?

This was an interesting question posed to me by a friend who is very interested in commutative algebra. It also has some nice geometric motivation. The question is in two parts. The first, as stated ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Intuition for thinking about $R$-module of Kähler differentials, universal receptacles, derivations?

Suppose $k$ is a field of characteristic zero, and $R$ is a $k$-algebra. The $R$-module of Kähler differentials $\Omega_{R/k}$ of $R$ over $k$ with generators $\{dr\}_{r \in R}$ is the module subject ...
5
votes
1answer
374 views

dual of Z^I for uncountable I

Let $I$ be an infinite set. There is a homomorphism of abelian groups $\mathbb{Z}^{(I)} \to \hom(\mathbb{Z}^I,\mathbb{Z})$ which sends the basis element $e_i$ to the projection $p_i$. If $I$ is ...
6
votes
3answers
729 views

Are epimorphisms from a division ring isomorphisms ?

According to Corollary 1.2(3) of the paper Silver: Noncommutative Localizations and Applications. J. of Alg. 7(1964), 44-67: If $R$ is a (commutative) field and $\alpha: R \to S$ an epimorphism in ...
4
votes
2answers
733 views

Iterated calculation of determinants

Given a $4 \times 4$ matrix $S$ over a commutative ring $R$. I want to consider it as a $2\times 2$ matrix over $M_2(R)$. Lets say $S=\left(\begin{array}{cc} A&B \\\ C&D\end{array}\right)$ ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

A proof for a statement about polynomial automorphism

I already got a proof for the fact that if a polynomial map is surjective then it is also injective. However, I used the invariant dimension of a ring and I want a simpler proof. Bravo for any try. ...
10
votes
0answers
332 views

What is the state of art in Groebner bases

How big polynomial systems can we deal with? How do you know when you don't even have to try? Motivation: Recently I tried to solve a problem posed in another MO question and ultimately I got stuck ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Zero divisor conjecture and idempotent conjecture

Let $G$ be a torsion-free group and $C$ the ring of complex numbers. The zero divisor (idempotent, resp.) conjecture is that there is no nontrivial zerodivisor (idempotent, resp.) in $CG$. The wiki ...
15
votes
1answer
473 views

Is the regularity of finitely generated rings decidable?

Q: Is there an algorithm to decide whether a given finitely generated (over $\mathbb{Z}$) commutative ring is regular? I mean by regular that the localization at every prime ideal is a regular local ...
11
votes
2answers
923 views

Is every projective $\mathbf{Z}[x]$-module free?

Is every finitely generated projective $\mathbf{Z}[x]$-module free?
0
votes
1answer
277 views

Iwasawa invariants

Suppose $M$ is a finitely generated torsion $Z_p[[T]]$-module; the torsion comes from the $\mu$-invariant and the $\lambda$-invariant. Consider $M/(p)$ and $M[p]$ ($p$-torsion of $M$) which are ...
9
votes
1answer
517 views

Homomorphisms from powers of Z to Z

I believe it is known that if I is a set of non-measurable cardinality, then any homomorphism $Z^I\to Z$ factors through a finite power. Here $Z$ is the group of integers. Can anyone give a ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

Transcendence degree of the surreals over the subfield generated by the ordinals

Consider the Grothendieck ring $K[\Omega]$ of the semiring $\Omega$ of all ordinals under the operations of natural sum and product. Its quotient field $K(\Omega)$ is naturally a subfield of the ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

Divisibility of the degree of an extension by the degree of its residual field

Let $A$ be an integrally closed domain whose quotient field is $K$, $L$ be a finite Galois extension of $K$, and $B$ be the integral closure of $A$ in $L$. Let $M_A$ be a maximal ideal of $A$, and ...
1
vote
0answers
146 views

Descending chain condition for radical ideals

For which integral domains $R$ (not filed) the ring $R[x_1, \ldots, x_n]$ satisfies descending chain condition for radical ideals? I am not expert in Ring Theory and I need an answer to construct some ...
42
votes
2answers
2k views

a categorical Nakayama lemma?

There are the following Nakayama style lemmata: (the classical Nakayama lemma) Let $R$ be a commutative ring with $1$ and $M$ a finitely generated $R$-module. If $m_1, \ldots, m_n$ generate $M$ ...
41
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the insight of Quillen's proof that all projective modules over a polynomial ring are free?

One of the more misleadingly difficult theorems in mathematics is that all finitely generated projective modules over a polynomial ring are free. It involves some of the most basic notions in ...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

Algebraic stacks from scratch [closed]

I have a pretty good understanding of stacks, sheaves, descent, Grothendieck topologies, and I have a decent understanding of commutative algebra (I know enough about smooth, unramified, étale, and ...
26
votes
3answers
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What is the “intuition” behind “brave new algebra”?

Y.I. Manin mentions in a recent interview the need for a “codification of efficient new intuitive tools, such as … the “brave new algebra” of homotopy theorists”. This makes me puzzle, because I ...
64
votes
11answers
3k views

Can a non-surjective polynomial map from an infinite field to itself miss only finitely many points?

Is there an infinite field $k$ together with a polynomial $f \in k[x]$ such that the associated map $f \colon k \to k$ is not surjective but misses only finitely many elements in $k$ (i.e. only ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there a preferable convention for defining the wedge product?

There are different conventions for defininig the wedge product $\wedge$. In Kobayashi-Nomizu, there is $\alpha\wedge\beta:=Alt(\alpha\otimes\beta)$, in Spivak, we find ...
32
votes
3answers
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Does “finitely presented” mean “always finitely presented”? (Answered: Yes!)

Precisely, if an R-module M has a finite presentation, and Rk → M is some unrelated surjection (k finite), is the kernel necessarily also finitely generated? Basically I want to believe I ...
13
votes
9answers
1k views

What representative examples of modules should I keep in mind?

So here's my problem: I have no intuition for how a "generic" module over a commutative ring should behave. (I think I should never have been told "modules are like vector spaces.") The only ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views

When is the product of two ideals equal to their intersection?

Consider a ring $A$ and an affine scheme $X=SpecA$ . Given two ideals $I$ and $J$ and their associated subschemes $V(I)$ and $V(J)$, we know that the intersection $I\cap J$ corresponds to the union ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

To prove the Nullstellensatz, how can the general case of an arbitrary algebraically closed field be reduced to the easily-proved case of an uncountable algebraically closed field?

In his answer to a question about simple proofs of the Nullstellensatz (Elementary / Interesting proofs of the Nullstellensatz), Qiaochu Yuan referred to a really simple proof for the case of an ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does the (S2) property of a ring correspond to the Hartogs phenomenon?

Hartogs Theorem says every function whose undefined locus is of codim 2 can be extend to the whole domain. I saw people saying this corresponds to the (S2) property of a ring. But I can't see why this ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Noetherian rings of infinite Krull dimension?

Since Noetherian rings satisfy the ascending chain condition, every such ring must contain infinitely many chains of prime ideals s.t. the heights of these chains are unbounded. The only example I ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I define the product of two ideals categorically?

Given a commutative ring $R$, there is a category whose objects are epimorphisms surjective ring homomorphisms $R \to S$ and whose morphisms are commutative triangles making two such epimorphisms ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

Classification of finite commutative rings

Is there a classification of finite commutative rings available? If not, what are the best structure theorem that are known at present? All I know is a result that every finite commutative ring is a ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Can a quotient ring R/J ever be flat over R?

If R is a ring and J⊂R is an ideal, can R/J ever be a flat R-module? For algebraic geometers, the question is "can a closed immersion ever be flat?" The answer is yes: take J=0. For a less ...
33
votes
1answer
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Categorical definition of the ideal product within the category of rings

This is an extension of this question. Let $I,J$ be ideals of a ring $R$; every ring is commutative and unital here. Is it possible to define $R \to R/(I*J)$ out of $R \to R/I$ and $R \to R/J$ in ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Nilradicals without Zorn's lemma

It's well known that the nilradical of a commutative ring with identity $A$ is the intersection of all the prime ideals of $A$. Every proof I found (e.g. in the classical "Commutative Algebra" by ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Simple example of a ring which is normal but not CM

I try to keep a list of standard ring examples in my head to test commutative algebra conjectures against. I would therefore like to have an example of a ring which is normal but not Cohen-Macaulay. ...
23
votes
5answers
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Explicit elements of $K((x))((y)) \setminus K((x,y))$

In an answer to the popular question on common false beliefs in mathematics Examples of common false beliefs in mathematics. I mentioned that many people conflate the two different kinds of formal ...
16
votes
2answers
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Extra principal Cartier divisors on non-Noetherian rings? (answered: no!)

On the way to defining Cartier divisors on a scheme $X$, one sheafifies a presheaf base-presheaf of rings $\mathcal{K}'(U)=Frac(\mathcal{O}(U))$ on open affines $U$ to get a sheaf $\mathcal{K}$ of ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

When a formal power series is a rational function in disguise

Given a formal power series $f \in k[[X]]$, where $k$ is a commutative field, is there any good way to tell whether or not $f\in k(X)$? Edit: To clarify, "good way to tell" means "computable ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Ideals of the ring of smooth functions

The ring $C^\infty(M)$ of smooth functions on a smooth manifold $M$ is a topological ring with respect to the Whitney topology and the usual ring operations. Is it possible to describe, maybe under ...
9
votes
2answers
762 views

Complete intersections and flat families

If I have a flat family $f \colon X \to T$ such that some fiber is (locally) a complete intersection, does that imply that there is an open set $U$ in $T$ such that the fibers above $U$ are (locally) ...