**32**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Meaning/Origin of Seiberg-Witten Equations/Invariants

Having now seen and "understood" (quotes necessary) the Seiberg-Witten equations on a closed oriented Riemannian 4-manifold $X$, I have no real understanding of where they came from.
We take an ...

**30**

votes

**13**answers

6k views

### What is a good introductory text for moduli theory?

Hi,everyone. I am looking for an introductory textbook on moduli theory,about the background on algebraic geometry,I have read Hartshorne chapter1~4. could you please show some good books or roadmap ...

**30**

votes

**5**answers

3k views

### Maryam Mirzakhani's works

Maryam Mirzakhani has made several contributions to the theory of moduli spaces of Riemann surfaces.
Mirzakhani was awarded the Fields Medal in 2014 for "her outstanding contributions to the dynamics ...

**30**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Intuition behind moduli space of curves

For a genus g compact smooth surface $M$, an algebraic structure is the same as a complex structure is the same as a conformal structure. So the moduli space of smooth curves should be the same as the ...

**30**

votes

**4**answers

2k views

### Curves which are not covers of P^1 with four branch points

The following interesting question came up in a discussion I was having with Alex Wright.
Suppose given a branched cover C -> P^1 with four branch points. It's not hard to see that the field of ...

**28**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Mumford conjecture: Heuristic reasons? Generalizations? … Algebraic geometry approaches?

The Mumford conjecture states that for each integer $n$, we have: the map $\mathbb{Q}[x_1,x_2,\dots] \to H^\ast(M_g ; \mathbb{Q})$ sending $x_i$ to the kappa class $\kappa_i$, is an isomorphism in ...

**27**

votes

**2**answers

658 views

### Volume of the unitary group

I saw a very remarkable asymptotic formula (or a conjecture?) for the volume of of the unitary group $ U(n)$ which is the following:
$$\log[\mathrm{Volume}(U(n))] \sim_{n\rightarrow \infty} ...

**27**

votes

**1**answer

856 views

### Why is there no Brauer scheme?

Let $X$ be a proper scheme over a base field $k$ (one could consider more general settings, but I am primarly interested in a "geometric" situation with $k$ being algebraically closed).
Then the ...

**27**

votes

**1**answer

848 views

### Is $M_g$ finitely covered by a scheme over the integers?

This question was prompted by my almost-answer to the question Does smooth and proper over $\mathbb Z$ imply rational? , but I never got around to asking this until now.
It is well known that $M_g$, ...

**25**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Is the moduli space of curves defined over the field with one element?

There are various frameworks around which enlarge the category of rings to include more exotic objects such as the 'field with one element,' $\mathbb{F}_1$. While these frameworks differ in their ...

**25**

votes

**0**answers

514 views

### Why do H_4 and M_4 have the same virtual Euler characteristic?

Here's a funny coincidence:
The virtual (or "orbifold") Euler characteristic of $\mathcal M_g$ is known by the work of Harer and Zagier: one has $\chi(\mathcal M_g) = \zeta(1-2g)/(2-2g)$.
Now ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### How were moduli spaces defined before functors?

People today in algebraic geometry will typically define a moduli space to be the space which represents the functor of families of whatever object they are interested in studying.
However, I am ...

**22**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### Help motivating log-structures

I'm currently reading a thesis that uses log-structures. I should mention that this is my first encounter with them, and the thesis (as well as my expertise) is scheme-theoretic (in fact ...

**20**

votes

**6**answers

2k views

### Does the moduli space of smooth curves of genus g contain an elliptic curve

Let $M_g$ be the moduli space of smooth projective geometrically connected curves over a field $k$ with $g\geq 2$. Note that $M_g$ is not complete.
Does $M_g$ contain an elliptic curve?
The answer ...

**20**

votes

**4**answers

1k views

### Betti numbers of moduli spaces of smooth Riemann surfaces

Where can I find a list of the known Betti numbers of the moduli spaces $\mathcal{M}_{g,n}$ of genus $g$ Riemann surfaces with $n$ marked points? I need it to cross check results by an implemented ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

974 views

### Do hyperKahler manifolds live in quaternionic-Kahler families?

A geometry question that I thought about more seriously a few years ago... thought it'd be a good first question for MO.
I'm aware that there are a number of Torelli type theorems now proven for ...

**19**

votes

**2**answers

790 views

### Different interpretations of moduli stacks

I'm taking my first steps in the language of stacks, and would like something cleared up. The intuitive idea of moduli spaces is that each point corresponds to an object of what we're trying to ...

**19**

votes

**1**answer

782 views

### Conformal blocks vector bundles on $\overline{M}_{g}$ in terms of generalized theta functions?

Conformal field theory uses representation theory to produce various vector bundles on the Deligne-Mumford compactified moduli spaces $\overline{M}_{g}$ and $\overline{M}_{g,n}$, known as bundles of ...

**18**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### What can you do with a compact moduli space?

So sometime ago in my math education I discovered that many mathematicians were interested in moduli problems. Not long after I got the sense that when mathematicians ran across a non compact moduli ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Is a 'generic' variety nonsingular? Or singular?

I'd like to know whether there's some coherent meaning of 'generic' for which one can say that a 'generic' variety over an algebraically closed field $K$, say, is nonsingular or singular. We could ...

**18**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### When is a classification problem “wild”?

I hope someone can point me to a quick definition of the following terminology.
I keep coming across wild and tame in the context of classification problems, often adorned with quotes, leading me to ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

735 views

### What's “bad” about unstable sheaves?

To construct a (coarse or fine) moduli space that is separated, one usually throw away some class of the object in question. For moduli of sheaves people talk about (semi-)stability. A coherent sheaf ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

605 views

### Do mapping classes have gonality?

(This question was discussed by people at the PCMI workshop on moduli spaces, without any clear resolution, so I thought I'd throw it open to MO.)
The hyperelliptic mapping class group is (by ...

**17**

votes

**0**answers

374 views

### Other examples of computations using transfer of structure from the chains to the homology?

There is a `long' history of transfer (up to homotopy!) of algebraic structure from a dg _ algebra A to its homology H(A) (e.g. Kadeishvili for the associative case and Heubschmann for the Lie case). ...

**16**

votes

**9**answers

6k views

### Teichmuller Theory introduction

What is a good introduction to Teichmuller theory, mapping class groups etc., and relation to moduli space of curves or Riemann surfaces?

**16**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Conceptual understanding of the Gross-Zagier theorem.

The Gross-Zagier paper "Heegner points and derivatives of $L$-series", is really computational and hard to plow through. It seems it is futile to read it as such and one must look for a more ...

**15**

votes

**4**answers

908 views

### Details for the action of the braid group B_3 on modular forms

I'm reading Terry Gannon's Moonshine Beyond the Monster, and in section 2.4.3 he hints at (but does not explicitly describe) a way to extend the action of $SL_2(\mathbb{Z})$ on modular forms to an ...

**15**

votes

**1**answer

607 views

### Number of curves over a finite field

Let $K$ be a finite field. Is there a formula for the number of isomorphism classes of genus $g$ smooth curves over $K$?
In other words does there exists a formula for the number of rational points ...

**14**

votes

**4**answers

954 views

### Introductory text for the non-arithmetic moduli of elliptic curves

I'm looking for an introduction to the non-arithmetic aspects of the moduli of elliptic curves. I'd particularly like one that discusses the $H^1$ local system on the moduli space (whether it's $Y(1)$ ...

**14**

votes

**5**answers

845 views

### Arithmetic dynamics and dynamics on moduli spaces

The following question is more of a request for pointers to suitable literature on introductory material for arithmetic dynamics and dynamics on moduli spaces.
In my dissertation, I have been ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

945 views

### Does the moduli space of genus three curves contain a complete genus two curve

Inspired by the question
Does the moduli space of smooth curves of genus g contain an elliptic curve
and its amazing answers, I ask (pure out of curiosity) whether the moduli space $M_3$ of (smooth ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Why is the degree:rank ratio of a vector bundle called its “slope”?

Whenever one studies moduli spaces of vector bundles on curves, one of the first things to be introduced is the "slope" of a vector bundle, i.e., its degree:rank ratio. Is there a nice (preferably ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

420 views

### Special fiber of $X(p)$ in characteristic $p$

Let $p \geq 5$ be a prime. Let $Y(p)$ be the fine moduli space representing elliptic curves + basis of the $p$-torsion over $\mathbb{Q}_p$ and let $Y_1(p)$ be the fine moduli space representing ...

**14**

votes

**3**answers

486 views

### Which mapping class group representations come from algebraic geometry?

Let $\Gamma_g$ be the mapping class group of a closed oriented surface $\Sigma$ of genus $g$. There is a natural surjection $t \colon \Gamma_g \to \mathrm{Sp}(2g,\mathbf Z)$ which sends a mapping ...

**14**

votes

**2**answers

587 views

### A historical question: Hurwitz, Luroth, Clebsch, and the connectedness of M_g

The connectedness of the moduli space M_g of complex algebraic curves of genus g can be proven by showing that it is dominated by a Hurwitz space of simply branched d-fold covers of the line, which in ...

**14**

votes

**1**answer

687 views

### Coarse moduli spaces over Z and F_p

I would like to know to what extent it is possible to compare fibers over $\mathbb{F}_p$ of coarse moduli spaces over $\mathbb{Z}$, and coarse moduli spaces over $\mathbb{F}_p$. I ask a more precise ...

**13**

votes

**2**answers

976 views

### Are Jacobians principally polarized over non-algebraically closed fields?

How does one define the Torelli map $M_g \to A_g$ of moduli stacks? On geometric points a curve maps to its principally polarized Jacobian.
So what I am asking is: if I have a curve $C$ over a ...

**13**

votes

**3**answers

688 views

### Are there graph models for other moduli spaces?

Recall that a ribbon graph is a graph with a cyclic ordering at each vertex and such that each vertex has valence greater than or equal to 3. This cyclic ordering exactly gives one the information to ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

516 views

### Does a degeneration always have a larger-dimensional automorphism group?

Suppose $\newcommand{\X}{\mathcal{X}}\X$ is an algebraic stack over a field $k$, $\xi$ is a $k$-point which has another $k$-point $x$ in its closure ($x$ is an isotrivial degeneration of $\xi$). ...

**13**

votes

**1**answer

523 views

### Arithmetic and moduli spaces of higher genus curves

Modular curves (as moduli of elliptic curves with level structure) play a key role in the study of the arithmetic of elliptic curves. The higher genus curves have very different arithmetic, but I ...

**12**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Deformations of semisimple Lie algebras

In the questions Is "semisimple" a dense condition among Lie algebras? and What is the Zariski closure of the space of semisimple Lie algebras?, something equivalent to the following is ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

561 views

### Hyperelliptic loci in Teichmueller spaces

Let ${\cal M}_g$ be the moduli space of smooth complex genus $g$ curves, let ${\cal H}_g\subset {\cal M}_g$ be the hyperelliptic locus and set ${{\cal H}}'_g$ to be the preimage of ${\cal H}_g$ in the ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Is there an algebraic construction of the Quillen (determinant) Line Bundle?

Let's consider the moduli space of representations of $\pi=\pi_1(\Sigma)$ (a surface group) into $G$ (a lie group). Call this $X=\operatorname{Hom}(\pi,G)$, and let ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Picard Groups of Moduli Problems

First, yes, I've seen Mumford's paper of this title. I'm actually interested in specific ones, and looking for really the most elementary/elegant proof possible.
I'm told that for $g\geq 2$ it is ...

**12**

votes

**2**answers

494 views

### Is there Harer stability for moduli of curves with level structure?

The famous Harer stability theorem asserts that the homology group $H_d(\mathcal{M}_{g,n},\mathbf{Z})$ is independent of g and n in the range $0 \leq 2d < g-1$. This is proven by analyzing the maps ...

**12**

votes

**6**answers

1k views

### Why and how are moduli spaces of (semi)stable vector bundles well-behaved?

The slope of a vector bundle E is defined as mu(E) = deg(E)/rank(E). Then a vector bundle E is called semistable if mu(E') ≤ mu(E) for all proper sub-bundles E'. It is called stable if mu(E') < ...

**12**

votes

**3**answers

856 views

### What is the DGLA controlling the deformation theory of a complex submanifold?

Let $X$ be a complex manifold, $Y\hookrightarrow X$ a complex compact submanifold. Let $T_{X/Y}$ denote the normal bundle of $Y$ in $X$, and $\mathcal{O}(T_{X/Y})$ its sheaf of holomorphic sections. ...

**12**

votes

**1**answer

408 views

### What is the second fundamental form of moduli space?

Away from the hyperelliptic locus, the moduli of curves immerses
in the moduli of principally polarized abelian varieties. The
ambient space has a riemannian metric, so one can ask about the
second ...

**12**

votes

**0**answers

384 views

### Lie algebras vs. graph complexes

A ribbon graph is a graph in which every vertex has valence at least three and is equipped with a cyclic ordering of its adjacent half edges. The ribbon graph complex $\mathcal{G}_*$ is the chain ...

**11**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Why is one interested in the mod p reduction of modular curves and Shimura varieties?

Why is one interested in the mod p reduction of modular curves and Shimura varieties?
From an article I learned that this can be used to prove the Eichler-Shimura relation which in turn proves the ...