Category Archives: travel

Save the date: October 25-26, 2014

What: AMS Fall Western Section (official site: here)
Where: San Francisco State University, San Francisco
Who: Invited addresses by Kai Behrend, Kiran Kedlaya, Julia Pevtsova,
Burt Totaro

The meeting includes the following special sessions (among others):

Algebraic Geometry
Renzo Cavalieri, Colorado State University
Noah Giansiracusa, University of California, Berkeley
Burt Totaro, University of California, Los Angeles

Categorical Methods in Representation Theory
Eric Friedlander, University of Southern California
Srikanth Iyengar, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Julia Pevtsova, University of Washington

Polyhedral Number Theory
Matthias Beck, San Francisco State University
Martin Henk, Universität Magdeburg
Joseph Gubeladze, San Francisco State University

And James H. Simons will give the 2014 Einstein Public Lecture at this meeting on October 25, 2014.

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WAGS @ Boulder, 12-13 April 2014


The next edition of WAGS (Western Algebraic Geometry Symposium) is coming up: 12-13 April at the University of Colorado at Boulder. See you there.

Speakers are:
Daniel Erman, Wisconsin
Brendan Hassett, Rice
Elham Izadi, UC San Diego
Martijn Kool, UBC
James McKernan, UC San Diego
Martin Olsson, Berkeley

Image from lowjumpingfrog on flickr via pet360.

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AGNES @ Stony Brook, April 25-27


The Spring 2014 workshop of AGNES (Algebraic Geometry Northeastern Series) is the weekend of Friday-Sunday, April 25-27, in the Simons Center at Stony Brook University. There are funds to support participants. The registration deadline is March 15th.

The list of confirmed and tentative speakers is as follows.

Ron Donagi (Pennsylvania)
Eugene Gorsky (Columbia)
Sandor Kovacs (Washington)
James McKernan (UC San Diego)
Zsolt Patakfalvi (Princeton)
Michael Thaddeus (Columbia)
Burt Totaro (UCLA)
Cynthia Vinzant (Michigan)

The webpage for the workshop is at the following URL.

There is a registration form on the webpage. The deadline is March 15th, but particularly for funding purposes, participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible.

Additional details will be announced on the workshop webpage. We hope to see you at AGNES Spring 2014.

Organizers: Samuel Grushevsky, Radu Laza, Robert Lazarsfeld, Jason Starr

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The Topology of Algebraic Varieties @ IAS in 2014–15

In 2014-2015, Claire Voisin and I will organize a special year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton on “The Topology of Algebraic Varieties”.

Those interested are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications should be sent directly to the Institute for Advanced Study, using either the Institute’s web site or MathJobs. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2013. Decisions about membership are made by the Institute; please contact them directly if you have questions about the deadline or an application.

The Institute offers many positions at the postdoctoral level, but also hosts mathematicians at all stages of their careers. Some mathematicians receive funding from their home institutions, foundations or governments, while others are supported by the Institute. The Institute mostly supports people who stay either for the full year or for one semester (fall or spring), but others may be interested in attending one of two week-long workshops:

October 13–17, 2014: Fundamental groups and periods.

March 9–13, 2015: Chow groups, motives, and derived categories.

Some people have already decided to be there for several months at least: Chenyang Xu (fall), Moritz Kerz (spring), Carlos Simpson, Bruno Klingler, Patrick Brosnan, and Madhav Nori.

The title of the program is meant to be interpreted broadly. One main theme is the study of the topology of a complex algebraic variety, with Hodge theory as the most powerful method. Another is the study of algebraic varieties over an arbitrary field using etale cohomology and other cohomology theories. A major goal in both theories is to understand algebraic cycles on a given variety. This includes some enormous problems where, nonetheless, progress is being made: the Hodge conjecture, the Tate conjecture, the Bloch–Beilinson conjecture, and so on. The program intends to bring a mix of people interested in various aspects of the subject: motives, K-theory, Chow groups, periods, fundamental groups, derived categories, and so on.

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Head south for SoCalAGS

6555356663_760b33b8d5_nNavigate to sunny San Diego to hear some fine algebraic geometry talks at SoCalAGS (Southern California Algebraic Geometry Seminar).

It’s Saturday 13 April at UC San Diego.

The speakers are:

  • Ben Antieau, UCLA
  • Izzet Coskun, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Karl Schwede, Penn State
  • Anastasia Stavrova, Fields Institute


Image: San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive via Flickr Commons.

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I cannot tell a lie: WAGS has a fine program

il_fullxfull_249156198Celebrate the Presidents’ Day weekend by hearing some fine algebraic geometry talks at WAGS (Western Algebraic Geometry Symposium).
It’s 16-17 February at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, 35 miles east of Los Angeles (contrary to popular opinion very reachable by public transportation).

The speakers are:

  • Federico Ardila, SFSU
  • Noah Giansiracusa, Berkeley
  • Ravi Vakil, Stanford
  • Chenyang Xu, Utah
  • Xinyi Yuan, Berkeley
  • Zhiwei Yun, Stanford

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Core traveling library

I’ll be spending the academic year 2012-13 at UCLA, and so leaving one well-stocked university library for another. Nevertheless, like every mathematician, I have some favorite books — for research, teaching, and finishing my book — that I can’t be without. After a lot of fussing, in an effort to pack light, I’ve chosen a core traveling library to take from Cambridge to Los Angeles:

Adem/Milgram, Cohomology of finite groups
Atiyah/Macdonald, Introduction to commutative algebra
Benson, Representations and cohomology, I and II
Benson, Polynomial invariants of finite groups
Bloch, Lectures on algebraic cycles
Brown, Cohomology of groups
Eisenbud, Commutative algebra with a view toward algebraic geometry
Fulton, Intersection theory
Fulton, Introduction to toric varieties
Fulton/Harris, Representation theory
Garibaldi/Merkurjev/Serre, Cohomological invariants of algebraic groups
Griffiths/Harris, Principles of algebraic geometry
Hartshorne, Algebraic geometry
Kobayashi, Hyperbolic manifolds and holomorphic mappings
Kollár, Lectures on resolution of singularities
Kollár, Shafarevich maps and automorphic forms
Kollár/Mori, Birational geometry of algebraic varieties
Lang, Algebra
Lazarsfeld, Positivity in algebraic geometry, I and II
Milne, Etale cohomology
Mumford/Fogarty, Geometric invariant theory
Mukai, An introduction to invariants and moduli
Schwartz, Unstable modules over the Steenrod algebra and Sullivan’s fixed point set conjecture
Serre, Cohomologie galoisienne
Serre, Linear representations of finite groups
Seshadri, Fibrés vectoriels sur les courbes algebriques
Voisin, Hodge theory and complex algebraic geometry, I and II


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Warwick talk: Algebraic geometry from a topological point of view

I will be speaking at the Young Researchers in Mathematics conference, at Warwick, Saturday 16th April, 10:15-11:15. A few weeks ago I provided a short, workmanlike abstract:

We discuss the role of topology in algebraic geometry. There are simple but surprising arguments which show that many properties of a complex submanifold of projective space are controlled by its topology, in fact by the second homology group. More subtle properties are determined by a convex cone, the “cone of curves”. For algebraic surfaces, the cone of curves can be studied using hyperbolic geometry.

This description now looks a little dull to me. So why, if you’re a young researcher in mathematics, should you come to my talk? Here’s an abstract that describes the point of the talk rather than just summarizing its technical content:

In algebraic geometry, questions — e.g. can I deform this curve? — seem to have stark yes-or-no answers. This binary landscape is far from the real picture. Topology — in particular, obstruction theory — gives us a language and framework for more calibrated answers. Using topology, when the answer is no, we can describe how far from yes it is. When the answer is yes, we can understand why and by how much. Obviously, this is useful if you’re an algebraic geometer. If you’re not an algebraic geometer, the example of topology’s value in algebraic geometry may be suggestive of the benefits for you of knowing some topology.

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Hear top geometers! Edinburgh, December 6

Yujiro Kawamata (Tokyo) and Yum-Tong Siu (Harvard) will speak in Edinburgh on Monday, December 6th, at a meeting of the London Mathematical Society. Limited funds are available to contribute to the expenses of members of the LMS or research students to attend the meeting. Contact Isabelle Robinson <> for information.

This should be an interesting afternoon. Kawamata will speak on the abundance conjecture, perhaps the main open problem in birational geometry. Siu, the second speaker, has strongly suggested that he can prove this conjecture by analytic techniques.

Schedule and location
15.00  Tea and coffee
15.30-16.20  Yujiro Kawamata, Survey of the Abundance Conjecture
16.30-17.20  Yum-Tong Siu, Recent and Historical Analytic Techniques for Algebro-geometric Problems
18.00  Wine reception

UPDATE: I believe these talks are now taking place at the ICMS, 15 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA. Directions: here.

This LMS meeting is part of the first day of a conference on Birational Geometry organized by Caucher Birkar and Ivan Cheltsov, taking place 6-10 December at the Institute of Geography, Drummond Street, Edinburgh EH8 9XP (Google map: here). See details for the entire conference: here.


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2nd July: Compositio Prize Festivity

Update: Ben Moonen has created a web page recording the event with some snappy pictures of prize, prizewinners, and audience members: here.

To celebrate the awarding of the first Compositio Prize to the paper

D. Maulik, N. Nekrasov, A. Okounkov, R. Pandharipande: Gromov-Witten theory and Donaldson-Thomas theory. II. Compositio Mathematica 142 (2006), no. 5, 1286–1304

there will be a Festivity at the University of Amsterdam.

The program is:
10:45-11:15 Coffee and welcome
11:15-12:15 D. Maulik: Introduction to GW/DT correspondence
12:15-13:30 Lunch break
13:30-14:30 A. Okounkov: Descendent correspondence
14:30-14:45 Laudatio
14:45-15:45 R. Pandharipande: Future directions
15:45-16:00 Tea break
16:00-17:00 N. Nekrasov: Quantum integrability, topological gauge and string theory

Lectures will take place in Room C1.110 of UvA Building, Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam. After the last talk, participants have the opportunity for a drink at the cafe ‘Polder’, which is next door.

The official webpage is here.

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