Columbia Algebraic Topology Seminar

Fall 2022

The seminar will meet Fridays 10:30-11:30 AM in person in room 507. Please contact Allen Yuan with any inquiries regarding the seminar.

September 9: Maximilien Peroux (UPenn)

Topological Hochschild homology for twisted G-algebras

Abstract: Topological Hochschild homology (THH) is an important variant for ring spectra. It is built as a geometric realization of a cyclic bar construction. It is endowed with an action of circle. This is because it is a geometric realization of a cyclic object. The simplex category factors through Connes’ category Λ. Similarly, real topological Hochschild homology (THR) for ring spectra with anti-involution is endowed with a O(2)-action. Here instead of the cyclic category Λ, we use the dihedral category Ξ. From work in progress with Gabe Angelini-Knoll and Mona Merling, I present a generalization of Λ and Ξ called crossed simplicial groups, introduced by Fiedorwicz and Loday. To each crossed simplical group G, I define THG, an equivariant analogue of THH. Its input is a ring spectrum with a twisted group action. THG is an algebraic invariant endowed with different action and cyclotomic structure, and generalizes THH and THR.

September 16: Ningchuan Zhang (UPenn)

A Quillen-Lichtenbaum Conjecture for Dirichlet $L$-functions

Abstract: The original version of the Quillen-Lichtenbaum Conjecture, proved by Voevodsky and Rost, connects special values of the Dedekind zeta function of a number field with its algebraic $K$-groups. In this talk, I will discuss a generalization of this conjecture to Dirichlet $L$-functions. The key idea is to twist algebraic $K$-theory spectra of number fields with equivariant Moore spectra associated to Dirichlet characters. Rationally, we obtain a Quillen-Borel type theorem for Artin $L$-functions. This is joint work in progress with Elden Elmanto.

October 7: Guchuan Li (UMich) (VIRTUAL! Link: )

Higher real K-theories in chromatic homotopy theory

Abstract: Chromatic homotopy theory is a powerful tool to study periodic phenomena in the stable homotopy groups of spheres. Under this framework, the homotopy groups of spheres can be built from the homotopy fixed points of Lubin–Tate theories $E_h$. These fixed points are generalizations of real K-theories with periodic homotopy groups that can be computed via homotopy fixed points spectral sequences. In this talk, we prove that at the prime 2, for all heights $h$ and all finite subgroups $G$ of the Morava stabilizer group, the $G$-homotopy fixed point spectral sequence of $E_h$ collapses after the $N(h,G)$-page and admits a horizontal vanishing line of filtration $N(h,G)$ where $N(h,G)$ are specific numbers. Our proof uses new equivariant techniques developed by Hill–Hopkins–Ravenel in their solution of the Kervaire invariant one problem. If time allows, I will present a computation of topological modular forms based on this vanishing result. This is joint work with Zhipeng Duan and XiaoLin Danny Shi.

November 18: Adela Zhang (MIT)

Universal differentials in the bar spectral sequence

Abstract: Encoding spectral sequences with filtered objects is a powerful tool in understanding the structure of spectral sequences. I will explain how this approach helps one identify universal differentials in the bar spectral sequence associated to an algebra over an operad. This is mostly based on joint work with Andrew Senger.

December 2: Lucy Yang (Harvard)

Categorical dynamics on stable module categories

Abstract: Topological entropy is a measure of the complexity of a continuous self-map of a compact topological space. Categorical entropy generalizes this measure to exact endofunctors of triangulated categories. In this work we ask: How can categorical entropy serve to quantify growth in stable homotopy theory, and how can the methods of stable homotopy theory aid in understanding and computing categorical entropy? We show that the categorical polynomial entropy of a twist functor on the stable module category of a finite connected graded Hopf algebra over a field recovers one less than the Krull dimension of its cohomology, generalizing a computation of Fan, Fu, and Ouchi. Along the way, we will see how a stable homotopy theoretic-perspective permits us to make this refinement.

December 9: Foling Zou (UMich)

The C_p-equivariant dual Steenrod algebra for odd prime p

Abstract: Non-equivariantly, the dual Steenrod algebra spectrum HZ/p \smash HZ/p is a wedge of suspensions of HZ/p. I will talk about the computation of the Hopf algebroid (H_*, (H \smash H)_*), where H = HZ/p is the equivariant Eilenberg–MacLane spectra for G = C_p, the cyclic group of order p. It turns out that when p is odd, H \smash H is a wedge of suspensions of H and another spectrum, which we call HT. We found these suspension generators can be obtained using the Steenrod coaction on the G-spaces B_G S^1 and B_G Z/p. This is joint work with Po Hu, Igor Kriz, and Petr Somberg.

Spring 2022

The seminar will meet on Fridays 11:00am – noon in person in Mathematics 507 (**NOTE THE NEW ROOM**). Please contact Inbar Klang or Allen Yuan with any inquiries regarding the seminar.

April 1: Inna Zakharevich (Cornell)

Detecting non-permutative elements of K_1(Var) using point counting

Abstract: The Grothendieck ring of varieties is defined to be the free abelian group generated by varieties (over some base field k) modulo the relation that for a closed immersion Y –> X there is a relation that [X] = [Y] + [X \ Y]. This structure can be extended to produce a space whose connected components give the Grothendieck ring of varieties and whose higher homotopy groups represent other geometric invariants of varieties. This structure is compatible with many of the structures on varieties. In particular, if the base field k is finite for a variety X we can consider the “almost-finite” set X(\bar k), which represents the local zeta function of X. In this talk we will discuss how to detect interesting elements in K_1(\Var) (which is represented by piecewise automorphisms of varieties) using this zeta function and precise point counts on X.

April 8: Arpon Raksit (MIT)

Motivic filtrations on topological Hochschild homology

Abstract: Topological Hochschild homology (THH) is an invariant of associative ring spectra, closely related to algebraic K-theory. Bhatt–Morrow–Scholze defined a “motivic filtration” on the THH of discrete commutative rings, after completion at a prime number p, relating it to invariants (new and old) in p-adic Hodge theory. In this talk, I will discuss a proposal for a motivic filtration on the THH of certain non-discrete commutative ring spectra; this is part of work in progress with Jeremy Hahn and Dylan Wilson.

April 15: Hana Jia Kong (IAS)

Motivic image-of-J spectrum via the effective slice spectral sequence

Abstract: In classical homotopy theory, the J-homomorphism connects the homotopy groups of the orthogonal groups and spheres. It was defined geometrically, and its image detects an important family of classes in the stable homotopy groups. There is a spectrum j realizing the image of J-homomorphism, defined using K-theory and the Adams operations. In the motivic stable homotopy category, there is an analogous spectrum, the motivic image-of-J defined by Bachmann–Hopkins. I will talk about this motivic analog and how to calculate its bigraded motivic homotopy groups using the effective slice spectral sequence. Over real numbers, the result captures a regular pattern in the bigraded homotopy groups of the motivic sphere. This is joint work with Eva Belmont and Dan Isaksen.

April 22: Ishan Levy (MIT)

The K-theoretic telescope conjecture away from p

I will explain work joint with Robert Burklund on understanding algebraic K-theory away from the characteristic. One of our main results is the K-theoretic telescope conjecture away from p: namely that the K-theory of compact T(n) local spectra is the same as that of compact K(n) local spectra after inverting p. The main idea is that T(n)-locally, MU behaves like a p-pro-Galois extension of the sphere, allowing us to reduce to MU, for which the telescope conjecture is true. We moreover compute the p-inverted K-theory of many things including the E_n-local sphere, BP, Morava E theory, Johnson—Wilson theory. There are two main ingredients here: one is a formality result about p-inverted K-theory which uses trace methods and devissage, and the other is a canonical action of K(F_p) on the p-inverted K-theory of any E_1 ring for which a power of p is 0.

April 29: Mona Merling (UPenn)

Scissors congruence for manifolds via K-theory

Abstract: The classical scissors congruence problem asks whether given two polyhedra with the same volume, one can cut one into a finite number of smaller polyhedra and reassemble these to form the other. There is an analogous definition of an SK (German “schneiden und kleben,” cut and paste) relation for manifolds and classically defined scissors congruence (SK) groups for manifolds. Recent work of Jonathan Campbell and Inna Zakharevich has focused on building machinery for studying scissors congruence problems via algebraic K-theory, and applying these tools to studying the Grothendieck ring of varieties. I will talk about a new application of this framework: we will construct a K-theory spectrum of manifolds, which lifts the classical SK group, and a derived version of the Euler characteristic.

May 6: Aleksandar Milivojevic (Bonn)

Realization of simply connected rational homotopy types by closed almost complex manifolds

Abstract: I will discuss the problem of realizing simply connected rational homotopy types, together with choices of putative rational Chern classes, by closed almost complex manifolds. Integrally this problem starts to become intractable in dimensions ten and higher; rationally, a satisfactory general statement can be made in all dimensions by adapting machinery introduced by Sullivan. Realizing particular rational homotopy types comes down to solving Diophantine systems of equations. As an example I will show that there is a closed almost complex manifold rationally equivalent to quaternionic projective three-space. From the general construction one sees that the realization problem for a given simply connected rational homotopy type is insensitive to higher cohomological operations, in expected stark contrast to the case of compact complex ddbar-manifolds. To make use of this flexibility in varying the rational homotopy type, I will describe a simple, partially natural, construction to extend any given cdga to a rational Poincare duality algebra.

May 13: Cary Malkiewich (Binghamton)

Periodic orbits and topological Frobenius homology

Abstract: Suppose f: X -> X is a self-map of a finite complex, considered up to continuous homotopy. It is an insight of Kate Ponto that the most refined fixed point invariants of f naturally lie in topological Hochschild homology (THH), in other words the stable homotopy type of the free loop space of X. In previous work with Ponto we showed the same for the periodic points of f and topological restriction homology (TR), using a formal “unwinding” argument for traces of norm maps. In this talk, I will describe a project that uses the same formal insight to give a new invariant for periodic orbits of a continuous flow f: X x R -> X, up to continuous homotopy. This time, the invariant lives in topological Frobenius homology (TF), and lifts earlier invariants constructed by Fuller and by Geoghegan and Nicas.