All Questions

3
votes
2answers
715 views

Is the “diagonal” of a regular language always context-free?

That's very poor wording, so let me be more precise. Suppose $L$ is an unambiguous regular language on an alphabet $\{a_1, \dots, a_n\}$, and suppose to each letter of the alphabet we associate two ...
8
votes
2answers
554 views

What is the affinization of M_g?

This question is inspired by What is an example of a function on M_g? . Consider Mg, the moduli space of genus g curves, NOT compactified. When g is 3 or greater, this is not affine. Does anyone know ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

Does finite mathematics need the axiom of infinity?

A statement referring to an infinite set can sometimes be logically rephrased using only finite sets/objects. For example, "The set of primes is infinite" <-> "There is no largest prime". ...
6
votes
1answer
974 views

Specializations of Schur functions at consecutive integers

Given a partition λ = (λ1, λ2, ..., λn) denote with sλ the associated Schur function. There exists a nice product formula for the principal specializations: sλ...
50
votes
9answers
15k views

Galois Groups vs. Fundamental Groups

In a recent blog post Terry Tao mentions in passing that: "Class groups...are arithmetic analogues of the (abelianised) fundamental groups in topology, with Galois groups serving as the analogue of ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

Why are subfactors interesting?

I get asked this question a lot, and am not very happy with any of the answers. Vaguely I think of subfactor theory as a generalization of representation theory of groups. That is, if you have a ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Largest hyperbolic disk embeddable in Euclidean 3-space?

Hilbert proved that there's no complete regular ($C^k$ for sufficiently large $k$) isometric embedding of the hyperbolic plane into $\mathbb{R}^3$. On the other hand, the pseudosphere is locally ...
8
votes
0answers
641 views

Pimsner-Popa Bases

Let $N\subset M$ be a finite index $II_1$-subfactor. Let $B=\{b_i\}$ be a finite orthonormal (Pimsner-Popa) basis for $M$ over $N$. Let $d=[M\colon N]^{1/2}$. It is well known that $B_1=\{d b_{i_1} ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

How small can a group with an n-dimensional irreducible complex representation be?

More precisely, what is the smallest exponent e such that, for every n, there exists a group of size at most Cn^e for some absolute constant C and with an n-dimensional irreducible complex ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Linear transformation that preserves the determinant

It seems "common knowledge" that the following holds: Let $T$ be a linear transformation on nxn matrices with complex coefficients that preserves the determinant. Then there exists matrices U and V ...
6
votes
1answer
648 views

Limit Linear Series

A linear series on a curve C is a line bundle L together with a subspace V of the global sections of L. Eisenbud and Harris develeoped a theory of limit linear series which explans how (L, V) ...
8
votes
1answer
718 views

what is the connection between D-modules and coordinate bundles?

Fix $n$ and a field $k$ of characteristic zero. Let $G$ be the pro-algebraic group of automorphims of $k[[x_1,...x_n]]$. Let $G_0$ be the subgroup of automorphisms preserving the closed point (note ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Rings over which every module is free

We know that modules over skewfields are free. Is the converse true? In other words, is it true that a nontrivial ring over which every module is free is a skewfield? If the ring A is commutative, ...
6
votes
3answers
544 views

Generic Noether Normalisation

Suppose that $M$ is a finitely generated module over $A=k[X_1,\ldots,X_n]$ of Krull dimension $m$ with $k$ an infinite field. Then one version of Noether normalisation says there is an $m$-dimensional ...
28
votes
3answers
2k views

What is interesting/useful about big Witt Vectors?

$p$-typical Witt vectors are (among other things) a canonical way of associating to a perfect ring $A$ of characteristic $p$ a complete DVR of characteristic $0$ with residue ring $A$ generalizing $\...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Finite groups with the same character table

Say I have two finite groups G and H which aren't isomorphic but have the same character table (for example, the quaternion group and the symmetries of the square). Does this mean that the ...
2
votes
1answer
759 views

Theta Functions and Cousins

So I am (barely) familiar with the construction of the theta function of an integral lattice $L$. The theta function, as I understand it, is defined as the function which takes a variable $z$ and ...
5
votes
2answers
753 views

Can the valuative criteria be checked “on a dense open”?

The valuative criterion for separatedness (resp. properness) says that a noetherian scheme X is separated (resp. proper) if and only if for any DVR R, with fraction field K, any map Spec(K)→...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Can adjoint linear transformations be naturally realized as adjoint functors?

Last week Yan Zhang asked me the following: is there a way to realize vector spaces as categories so that adjoint functors between pairs of vector spaces become adjoint linear operators in the usual ...
5
votes
3answers
933 views

What is the expected number of maximal bicliques in a random bipartite graph?

Maximal Biclique: A complete bipartite subgraph, that isn't a subgraph of another complete bipartite subgraph. Given a bipartite graph $G=(V_{1}\cup V_{2}, E)$ where $|V_{1}|=|V_{2}|$ with ...
3
votes
4answers
853 views

An inner product that makes the R-matrix unitary

So, if you talk to the right people, they will tell you that the braiding of the category of representations of a quantum group are not unitary and that one can fix this by taking a different commutor ...
19
votes
3answers
898 views

Why are Dynkin diagrams characterized by their eigenvalues?

The Dynkin diagrams An, Dn, E6, E7, E8 can be characterized among finite simple connected graphs by the property that their eigenvalues (that is, the eigenvalues of their adjacency matrices) all have ...
60
votes
9answers
8k views

understanding Steenrod squares

There is a function on $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$-cohomology called Steenrod squaring: $Sq^i:H^k(X,\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}) \to H^{k+i}(X,\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z})$. (Coefficient group suppressed from ...
13
votes
1answer
603 views

What are the Schur functions of the eigenvalues of a non-negative integer matrix counting?

Let A be a non-negative integer square matrix with eigenvalues x1, x2, ... xn. Any symmetric function of these eigenvalues with integer matrices is an integer. I'm aware of the following results ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Elements of infinite order in a profinite group

Say G is a profinite group with elements of arbitrarily large order. Do elements of infinite order exist (A) if we assume G is abelian? (B) in general? A start for (A): we can ask the same question ...
15
votes
9answers
2k views

References for homotopy colimit

(1) What are some good references for homotopy colimits? (2) Where can I find a reference for the following concrete construction of a homotopy colimit? Start with a partial ordering, which I will ...
6
votes
8answers
646 views

What is an example of a function on M_g?

It feels bad talking about a space without knowing a single function on it, hah? So what is a function on the moduli space of curves, from the geometric point of view? From the functorial point of ...
5
votes
2answers
395 views

Characterizing the Radon transforms of log-concave functions

f:Rd→R≥0 is log-concave if log(f) is concave (and the domain of log(f) is convex). Theorem: For all σ on the sphere Sd-1 and r∈R, gσ(r) := ∫σ.x=rf(x)dS(x) is a log-...
24
votes
7answers
10k views

Advice on doing mathematical research [closed]

Please share any general tips or advice you have on doing mathematical research. How do you identify good problems to work on or to think about? What do you do when you get stuck on a problem? Etc.
41
votes
10answers
22k views

Fourier transform for dummies [closed]

So ... what is the Fourier transform? What does it do? Why is it useful (both in math and in engineering, physics, etc)? (Answers at any level of sophistication are welcome.)
7
votes
4answers
956 views

Sums of cubes and more

It's well-known that every natural number can be written as a sum of 4 squares of integers. Has there been any recent progress about the similar problem for the cubes, 4-th powers and so on? I ...
4
votes
4answers
481 views

E_\infty spectrum corresponding to Z_p

First of the questions about derived algebraic geometry from a noobie. The way I understand it, every discrete ring R corresponds to some ring spectrum whose ...
3
votes
3answers
406 views

What's the best reference for actual formulas for RT invariants?

If one really wants to understand the formulas for how to construct the Reshetikhin-Turaev 3-manifold invariants coming from quantum groups in terms of R-matrices and such, what's the best reference ...
20
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
379 views

When does a transitive action of a profinite group have an infinite orbit?

That is: suppose G is a profinite group acting 1-transitively (but maybe not regularly) on a set X. Is there a reasonable criterion for when there is a g in G and a point a in X such that the g-orbit ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is an example of a smooth variety over a finite field F_p which does not lift to Z_p?

Somebody answered this question instead of the question here, so I am asking this with the hope that they will cut and paste their solution.
1
vote
1answer
259 views

Request for info on the space of commuting matrices preserving a flag.

Fix a flag of subspaces V1 in V2 in V3, etc. all in Cn. Consider the space of pairs of commuting linear transformations A and B such that: A preserves the flag (i.e. A(Vi) is in Vi), and B strictly ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Existence of (smooth) models

Hi everyone, let X be a variety over a field k, S an integral scheme such that the function field K of S is contained in k. An S-scheme X is called model of X/k if X x_S k = X, i.e. if the generic ...
45
votes
5answers
4k views

Does homology have a coproduct?

Standard algebraic topology defines the cup product which defines a ring structure on the cohomology of a topological space. This ring structure arises because cohomology is a contravariant functor ...
8
votes
1answer
781 views

Generalized Teichmuller representatives

Fix a prime $p$. The Teichmuller representative associated to a $p$-adic integer $a$ is the unique root of $x^p - x$ in $Z_p$ congruent to $a$ mod $p$. One can identify this representative with the ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is an example of a smooth variety over a finite field F_p which does not embed into a smooth scheme over Z_p?

Such an example of course could not be projective and would not itself lift to Z_p. The context is that one can compute p-adic cohomology of a variety X over a finite field F_p via the cohomology of ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

How is tropicalization like taking the classical limit?

There is a folk — I can't call it a theorem — "fact" that the mathematical relationship between Complex and Tropical geometry is analogous to the physical relationship between Quantum and ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a scheme have a “separification”?

Background: (1) If C and D are categories and there is a forgetful functor U:C→D, then a C-ification functor F:D→C is an adjoint to U. For example, the (left) adjoint to the forgetful ...
40
votes
6answers
7k views

“A gentleman never chooses a basis.”

Around these parts, the aphorism "A gentleman never chooses a basis," has become popular. Question. Is there a gentlemanly way to prove that the natural map from $V$ to $V^{**}$ is surjective if $V$...
58
votes
18answers
64k views

Reading list for basic differential geometry?

I'd like to ask if people can point me towards good books or notes to learn some basic differential geometry. I work in representation theory mostly and have found that sometimes my background is ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

What's the right way to think about “anomalies” in 3d TQFTs?

3d TQFTs constructed from modular tensor categories don't in general give an honest 3d TQFT, instead they have an "anomaly." My vague understanding from Kevin Walker's talks and from skimming Freed-...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Do all 3D TQFTs come from Reshetikhin-Turaev?

The Reshetikhin-Turaev construction take as input a Modular Tensor Category (MTC) and spits out a 3D TQFT. I've been told that the other main construction of 3D TQFTs, the Turaev-Viro State sum ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

Deformation theory and differential graded Lie algebras

There is supposed to be a philosophy that, at least over a field of characteristic zero, every "deformation problem" is somehow "governed" or "controlled" by a differential graded Lie algebra. See for ...
50
votes
9answers
18k views

Motivating the Laplace transform definition

In undergraduate differential equations it's usual to deal with the Laplace transform to reduce the differential equation problem to an algebraic problem. The Laplace transform of a function $f(t)$, ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Deligne's conjecture (the little discs operad one)

Deligne's conjecture states that the Hochschild cochain complex of an A-infinity algebra is an algebra over the operad of chains on the topological little discs operad. Of course the conjecture has ...

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