**41**

votes

**5**answers

4k 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 ...

**73**

votes

**5**answers

6k views

### 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, "...

**35**

votes

**6**answers

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 ...

**18**

votes

**12**answers

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 ...

**0**

votes

**2**answers

278 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 ...

**57**

votes

**2**answers

5k views

### How would you solve this tantalizing Halmos problem?

$1-ab$ invertible $\implies$ $1-ba$ 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?
...

**40**

votes

**9**answers

11k 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 ...

**74**

votes

**2**answers

7k views

### When is the tensor product of two fields a field?

Consider two extension fields $K/k, L/k$ of a field $k$.
A frequent question is whether the tensor product ring $K\otimes_k L$ is a field. The answer is "no" and this answer is often justified by ...

**30**

votes

**12**answers

9k views

### Elementary / Interesting proofs of the Nullstellensatz

Is there an easy proof of the Nullstellensatz that avoids the standard Noether-normalization techniques?
One proof I know proves first the 'weak' Nullstellensatz which ensures that maximal ideals ...

**67**

votes

**1**answer

5k views

### A short proof for $\dim(R[T])=\dim(R)+1$

For a commutative ring $R$ we clearly have $\dim(R[T]) \geq \dim(R)+1$. If $R$ is noetherian, we have equality. Every proof I'm aware of uses quite a bit of commutative algebra and non-trivial ...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

3k 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 ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Criteria for irreducibility of polynomial

If $f, g\in \mathbb C[a,b]$ are polynomials in two variables, are there easy criteria that allow to see if $f(x,y)-g(t,z)\in \mathbb C[x,y,t,z]$ is irreducible?
Thank you very much,
best

**16**

votes

**5**answers

3k 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, ...

**31**

votes

**2**answers

2k 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 ...

**15**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...

**13**

votes

**4**answers

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/
...

**25**

votes

**2**answers

3k views

### Examples of algebraic closures of finite index

So there are easy examples for algebraic closures that have index two and infinite index: $\mathbb{C}$ over $\mathbb{R}$ and the algebraic numbers over $\mathbb{Q}$. What about the other indices?
...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

5k views

### Rank of a module

What's wrong with defining the rank of a finitely generated module over any (commutative) ring to be just the smallest number of generators? All books I know define rank only locally this way. But why ...

**9**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### When are dual modules free?

Let $A$ be a commutative integral domain, with fraction field $K$. Let $T$ be a torsion-free finitely generated $A$ module, so $T \otimes_A K$ is a finite dimensional vector space $V$. Let $T^*$ be ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Questions about spectra of rings of continuous functions

I have been thinking a bit about rings of continuous functions of various kinds -- how they motivate the more modern notion of the Zariski topology on the prime spectrum as well as how they fit into a ...

**9**

votes

**0**answers

417 views

### What is a good introduction to cluster algebras from surfaces?

What is a good reference for cluster algebras from surfaces, with a view to their connection to Teichmuller theory?
In my view, that means it should start off with unpunctured surfaces (and in fact,...

**6**

votes

**1**answer

378 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 ...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

856 views

### Is a retract of a free object free?

I wonder whether this is true in the categories of groups, monoids, commutative algebras, associative algebras, Lie algebras?

**11**

votes

**0**answers

395 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 ...

**8**

votes

**3**answers

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 ...

**6**

votes

**3**answers

763 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 ...

**6**

votes

**2**answers

792 views

### von neumann algebras and measurable spaces

I've read some pages on links between von neumann (VN) algebras and measurable spaces (Spectra of $C^*$ algebras and Non-commutative geometry from von Neumann algebras?), but I can't get the following:...

**4**

votes

**2**answers

928 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 $S=\left(\begin{array}{cc} A&B \\\ C&D\end{array}\right)$ ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

580 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 ...

**9**

votes

**1**answer

533 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

**1**answer

296 views

### an algebraic variety for a boolean circuit

There is a polynomial reduction from a $3-CNF$ $SAT$ problem to some system of polynomial equations over $\mathbb{F}_2$.
I mean there is polynomial reduction $F$ such that for every boolean ...

**4**

votes

**1**answer

281 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 ...

**0**

votes

**1**answer

286 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 $F_p[[...

**5**

votes

**1**answer

196 views

### Assuming $depth M\ge depth N$, what can one say about $depth M_p$ and $depth N_p$?

Let $(R,m)$ be a Noetherian local ring, $M$ and $N$ finite $R$-modules, $p$ a prime ideal, and $I$ an ideal such that $IM\neq M$.
Definition: The common length of the maximal $M$-sequences in $I$...

**3**

votes

**2**answers

217 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 $...

**45**

votes

**2**answers

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 $M$ ...

**50**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...

**33**

votes

**7**answers

4k 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 $\alpha\wedge\beta:=\frac{k!l!}...

**22**

votes

**6**answers

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 ...

**32**

votes

**3**answers

5k views

### 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 ...

**70**

votes

**11**answers

4k 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 ...

**35**

votes

**3**answers

4k views

### 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 can ...

**26**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### Flatness and local freeness

The following statement is well-known:
$A$ a commutative Noetherian ring, $M$ a finitely generated $A$-module. Than $M$ is flat if and only if $M_{\mathfrak{p}}$ is free for all $\mathfrak{p}$.
My ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

7k 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 $V(...

**14**

votes

**9**answers

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 ...

**28**

votes

**10**answers

7k 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?

**19**

votes

**5**answers

3k 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
...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

4k views

### Maximal ideals in the ring of continuous real-valued functions on R

For a compact space $K$, the maximal ideals in the ring $C(K)$ of continuous real-valued functions on $K$ are easily identified with the points of $K$ (a point defines the maximal ideal of functions ...

**10**

votes

**1**answer

821 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 ...

**30**

votes

**2**answers

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 ...