"Representation Stability, Étale Cohomology and Combinatorics of Configuration Spaces over Finite Fields"

David DeMark
Monday, October 21, 2019 - 3:35pm to 4:35pm
Vincent Hall 1

After introducing the theory of FI-modules in 2012, the collaborative unit consisting of Thomas Church, Jordan Ellenberg and Benson Farb applied their framework to asymptotically stable counting problems in a certain classes of FI-varieties over finite fields in their 2013 paper Representation stability in cohomology and asymptotics for families of varieties over finite fields. The paper serves as a proof-of-concept, unifying a number of previously-known combinatorial results. The key to their method is the Grothendieck-Lefschetz fixed-point theorem with twisted statistics, which relates the rational cohomology of an algebraic variety over the complex numbers with the trace of the Frobenius map applied to the étale cohomology with coefficients in an $\ell$-adic sheaf of that variety over a finite field. In this talk, we shall introduce the Grothendieck-Lefschetz formula and its associated machinery as well as FI-modules and representation stability, then use these ideas to give an exposition of some results of Church, Ellenberg and Farb as they relate to configuration spaces and the braid group.