Unraveling Local Cohomology
Local cohomology modules are fundamental tools in commutative algebra, due to the algebraic and geometric information they carry. For instance, they can help determine the number of equations necessary to define an affine variety. Unfortunately, however, the application of local cohomology is limited by the fact that these modules are typically very large (e.g., not finitely generated), and can be difficult to determine explicitly. In this talk, we discuss new techniques developed to understand the structure of local cohomology (e.g., coming from invariant theory). We also describe recently-discovered "connectedness properties" of spectra that local cohomology encodes.