Algebraic Geometry in String Theory

2021-09-07 10:30 - 2021-10-12 11:30

During the 2021–22 academic year, the CMSA will be hosting a seminar on Algebraic Geometry in String Theory, organized by Yun Shi and Tsung-Ju Lee. This seminar will take place on Tuesdays at 9:30am – 10:30am (Boston time). The meetings will take place virtually on Zoom. To learn how to attend, please fill out this form, or contact the organizers Yun ( and Tsung-Ju (
The schedule below will be updated as talks are confirmed.

Spring 2022

Date Speaker Title/Abstract
2/1/2022 Carl Lian,
Institut für Mathematik at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Title: Curve-counting with fixed domain (“Tevelev degrees”)

Abstract: We will consider the following problem: if (C,x_1,…,x_n) is a fixed general pointed curve, and X is a fixed target variety with general points y_1,…,y_n, then how many maps f:C -> X in a given homology class are there, such that f(x_i)=y_i? When considered virtually in Gromov-Witten theory, the answer may be expressed in terms of the quantum cohomology of X, leading to explicit formulas in some cases (Buch-Pandharipande). The geometric question is more subtle, though in the presence of sufficient positivity, it is expected that the virtual answers are enumerative. I will give an overview of recent progress on various aspects of this problem, including joint work with Farkas, Pandharipande, and Cela, as well as work of other authors.

2/8/2022 Yu-Shen Lin,
Boston University
Title: SYZ Conjecture beyond Mirror Symmetry

Abstract: Strominger-Yau-Zaslow conjecture is one of the guiding principles in mirror symmetry, which not only predicts the geometric structures of Calabi-Yau manifolds but also provides a recipe for mirror construction. Besides mirror symmetry, the SYZ conjecture itself is the holy grail in geometrical analysis and closely related to the behavior of the Ricci-flat metrics. In this talk, we will explain how SYZ fibrations on log Calabi-Yau surfaces detect the non-standard semi-flat metric which generalized the semi-flat metrics of Greene-Shapere-Vafa-Yau. Furthermore, we will use the SYZ fibration on log Calabi-Yau surfaces to prove the Torelli theorem of gravitational instantons of type ALH^*. This is based on the joint works with T. Collins and A. Jacob.

2/15/2022 Zijun Zhou, Kavli IPMU Title: Virtual Coulomb branch and quantum K-theory

Abstract: In this talk, I will introduce a virtual variant of the quantized Coulomb branch constructed by Braverman-Finkelberg-Nakajima, where the convolution product is modified by a virtual intersection. The resulting virtual Coulomb branch acts on the moduli space of quasimaps into the holomorphic symplectic quotient T^*N//G. When G is abelian, over the torus fixed points, this representation is a Verma module. The vertex function, a K-theoretic enumerative invariant introduced by A. Okounkov, can be expressed as a Whittaker function of the algebra. The construction also provides a description of the quantum q-difference module. As an application, this gives a proof of the invariance of the quantum q-difference module under variation of GIT.

2/22/2022 Konstantin Aleshkin,
Columbia University
Title: Higgs-Coulomb correspondence in abelian GLSM

Abstract: We construct a certain type of Gauged Linear Sigma Model quasimap invariants that generalize the original ones and are easier to compute. Higgs-Coulomb correspondence provides identification of generating functions of our invariants with certain analytic functions that can be represented as generalized inverse Mellin transforms. Analytic continuation of these functions provides wall-crossing results for GLSM and generalizes Landau- Ginzburg/Calabi-Yau correspondence. The talk is based on a joint work in progress with Melissa Liu.

3/1/2022 Dhyan Vas Aranha, SISSA Title: Virtual localization for Artin stacks

Abstract: This is a report about work in progress with: Adeel Khan, Aloysha Latyntsev, Hyeonjun Park and Charanya Ravi. We will describe a virtual Atiyah-Bott formula for Artin stacks.  In the Deligne-Mumford case our methods allow us to remove the global resolution hypothesis for the virtual normal bundle.
3/15/2022 Benjamin Gammage, Harvard University Title: 2-categorical 3d mirror symmetry

Abstract: It is by now well-known that mirror symmetry may be expressed as an equivalence between categories associated to dual Kahler manifolds. Following a proposal of Teleman, we inaugurate a program to understand 3d mirror symmetry as an equivalence between 2-categories associated to dual holomorphic symplectic stacks. We consider here the abelian case, where our theorem expresses the 2-category of spherical functors as a 2-category of coherent sheaves of categories. Applications include categorifications of hypertoric category O and of many related constructions in representation theory. This is joint work with Justin Hilburn and Aaron Mazel-Gee.

4/5/2022 Jie Zhou, Tsinghua University Title:  Regularized integrals on Riemann surfaces and correlations functions in 2d chiral CFTs

Abstract:  I will report a recent approach of regularizing divergent integrals on configuration spaces of Riemann surfaces, introduced by Si Li and myself in arXiv:2008.07503, with an emphasis on genus one cases where modular forms arise naturally. I will then talk about some applications in studying correlation functions in 2d chiral CFTs, holomorphic anomaly equations, etc. If time permits, I will also mention a more algebraic formulation of this notion of regularized integrals in terms of mixed Hodge structures.

The talk is partially based on joint works with Si Li.

4/12/2022 Aron Heleodoro, Chinese University of Hong Kong TitleApplications of Higher Determinant Map

Abstract: In this talk I will explain the construction of a determinant map for Tate objects and two applications: (i) to construct central extensions of iterated loop groups and (ii) to produce a determinant theory on certain ind-schemes. For that I will introduce some aspects of the theory of Tate objects in a couple of contexts.

4/19/2022 Ming Zhang, UCSD TitleEquivariant Verlinde algebra and quantum K-theory of the moduli space of vortices

Abstract: In studying complex Chern-Simons theory on a Seifert manifold, Gukov-Pei proposed an equivariant Verlinde formula, a one-parameter deformation of the celebrated Verlinde formula. It computes, among many things, the graded dimension of the space of holomorphic sections of (powers of) a natural determinant line bundle over the Hitchin moduli space. Gukov-Pei conjectured that the equivariant Verlinde numbers are equal to the equivariant quantum K-invariants of a non-compact (Kahler) quotient space studied by Hanany-Tong.

In this talk, I will explain the setup of this conjecture and its proof via wall-crossing of moduli spaces of (parabolic) Bradlow-Higgs triples. It is based on work in progress with Wei Gu and Du Pei.

4/26/2022 Yan Zhou, BICMR TitleModularity of mirror families of log Calabi–Yau surfaces

Abstract:  In ‘Mirror symmetry for log Calabi–Yau surfaces I’, given a smooth log Calabi–Yau surface pair (Y,D), Gross–Hacking–Keel constructed its mirror family as the spectrum of an explicit algebra whose structure coefficients are determined by the enumerative geometry of (Y,D). As a follow-up of the work of Gross–Hacking–Keel, when (Y,D) is positive, we prove the modularity of the mirror family as the universal family of log Calabi-Yau surface pairs deformation equivalent to (Y,D) with at worst du Val singularities. As a corollary, we show that the ring of regular functions of a smooth affine log Calabi–Yau surface has a canonical basis of theta functions. The key step towards the proof of the main theorem is the application of the tropical construction of singular cycles and explicit formulas of period integrals given in the work of Helge–Siebert. This is joint work with Jonathan Lai.

Fall 2021

Date Speaker Title/Abstract
9/7/2021 Fei Xie, University of Edinburgh Title: Derived categories of nodal quintic del Pezzo threefolds

Abstract: Conifold transitions are important algebraic geometric constructions that have been of special interests in mirror symmetry, transforming Calabi-Yau 3-folds between A- and B-models. In this talk, I will discuss the change of the quintic del Pezzo 3-fold (Fano 3-fold of index 2 and degree 5) under the conifold transition at the level of the bounded derived category of coherent sheaves. The nodal quintic del Pezzo 3-fold X has at most 3 nodes. I will construct a semiorthogonal decomposition for D^b(X) and in the case of 1-nodal X, detail the change of derived categories from its smoothing to its small resolution.

9/14/2021 Will Donovan, Tsinghua University TitleSimplices in the Calabi–Yau web

Abstract: Calabi–Yau manifolds of a given dimension are connected by an intricate web of birational maps. This web has deep consequences for the derived categories of coherent sheaves on such manifolds, and for the associated string theories. In particular, for 4-folds and beyond, I will highlight certain simplices appearing in the web, and identify corresponding derived category structures.

9/21/2021 Xujia Chen, Harvard University TitleWhat do bounding chains look like, and why are they related to linking numbers?

Abstract: Gromov-Witten invariants count pseudo-holomorphic curves on a symplectic manifold passing through some fixed points and submanifolds. Similarly, open Gromov-Witten invariants are supposed to count disks with boundary on a Lagrangian, but in most cases such counts are not independent of some choices as we would wish. Motivated by Fukaya’11, J. Solomon and S. Tukachinsky constructed open Gromov-Witten invariants in their 2016 papers from an algebraic perspective of $A_{\infty}$-algebras of differential forms, utilizing the idea of bounding chains in Fukaya-Oh-Ohta-Ono’06. On the other hand, Welschinger defined open invariants on sixfolds in 2012 that count multi-disks weighted by the linking numbers between their boundaries. We present a geometric translation of Solomon-Tukachinsky’s construction. From this geometric perspective, their invariants readily reduce to Welschinger’s.

9/28/2021 Alan Thompson, Loughborough University TitleThe Mirror Clemens-Schmid Sequence

Abstract: I will present a four-term exact sequence relating the cohomology of a fibration to the cohomology of an open set obtained by removing the preimage of a general linear section of the base. This exact sequence respects three filtrations, the Hodge, weight, and perverse Leray filtrations, so that it is an exact sequence of mixed Hodge structures on the graded pieces of the perverse Leray filtration. I claim that this sequence should be thought of as a mirror to the Clemens-Schmid sequence describing the structure of a degeneration and formulate a “mirror P=W” conjecture relating the filtrations on each side. Finally, I will present evidence for this conjecture coming from the K3 surface setting. This is joint work with Charles F. Doran.


*Special Time: 10:00PM – 11:00PM (ET)*

Mark Shoemaker, Colorado State University TitleA mirror theorem for GLSMs

Abstract: A gauged linear sigma model (GLSM) consists roughly of a complex vector space V, a group G acting on V, a character \theta of G, and a G-invariant function w on V.  This data defines a GIT quotient Y = [V //_\theta G] and a function on that quotient.  GLSMs arise naturally in a number of contexts, for instance as the mirrors to Fano manifolds and as examples of noncommutative crepant resolutions. GLSMs provide a broad setting in which it is possible to define an enumerative curve counting theory, simultaneously generalizing FJRW theory and the Gromov-Witten theory of hypersurfaces. Despite a significant effort to rigorously define the enumerative invariants of a GLSM, very few computations of these invariants have been carried out.  In this talk I will describe a new method for computing generating functions of GLSM invariants.  I will explain how these generating functions arise as derivatives of generating functions of Gromov-Witten invariants of Y.

10/12/2021 Qingyuan Jang, University of Edinburgh TitleDerived projectivizations of two-term complexes

Abstract: For a given two-term complex of vector bundles on a derived scheme (or stack), there are three natural ways to define its “derived projectivizations”: (i) as the derived base-change of the classical projectivization of Grothendieck; (ii) as the derived moduli parametrizing one-dimensional locally free quotients; (iii) as the GIT quotient of the total space by $\mathbb{G}_m$-action. In this talk, we first show that these three definitions are equivalent. Second, we prove a structural theorem about the derived categories of derived projectivizations and study the corresponding mutation theory. Third, we apply these results to various moduli situations, including the moduli of certain stable pairs on curves and the Hecke correspondences of one-point modification of moduli of stable sheaves on surfaces. If time allowed, we could also discuss the generalizations of these results to the derived Quot schemes of locally free quotients.

10/19/2021 Andrea T. Ricolfi, Università di Bologna TitleD-critical structure(s) on Quot schemes of points of Calabi-Yau 3-folds

Abstract: D-critical schemes and Artin stacks were introduced by Joyce in 2015, and play a central role in Donaldson-Thomas theory. They typically occur as truncations of (-1)-shifted symplectic derived schemes, but the problem of constructing the d-critical structure on a “DT moduli space” without passing through derived geometry is wide open. We discuss this problem, and new results in this direction, when the moduli space is the Hilbert (or Quot) scheme of points on a Calabi-Yau 3-fold. Joint work with Michail Savvas.

10/26/2021 Xiaowen Hu TitleOn singular Hilbert schemes of points

Abstract: It is well known that the Hilbert schemes of points on smooth surfaces are smooth. In higher dimensions the Hilbert schemes of points are in general singular. In this talk we will present some examples and conjectures on the local structures of the Hilbert scheme of points on $\mathbb{P}^3$. As an application we study a conjecture of Wang-Zhou on the Euler characteristics of the tautological sheaves on Hilbert schemes of points.

11/2/2021 Hossein Movasati, IMPA TitleGauss-Manin connection in disguise: Quasi Jacobi forms of index zero

Abstract: We consider the moduli space of abelian varieties with two marked points and a frame of the relative de Rham cohomology with boundary at these points compatible with its mixed Hodge structure. Such a moduli space gives a natural algebro-geometric framework for higher genus quasi Jacobi forms of index zero and their differential equations which are given as vector fields. In the case of elliptic curves we compute explicitly the Gauss-Manin connection and such vector fields. This is a joint work with J. Cao and R. Villaflor. (arXiv:2109.00587)

11/9/2021 Michail Savvas, UT Austin Title: Cosection localization for virtual fundamental classes of d-manifolds and Donaldson-Thomas invariants of Calabi-Yau fourfolds

Abstract: Localization by cosection, first introduced by Kiem-Li in 2010, is one of the fundamental techniques used to study invariants in complex enumerative geometry. Donaldson-Thomas (DT) invariants counting sheaves on Calabi-Yau fourfolds were first defined by Borisov-Joyce in 2015 by combining derived algebraic and differential geometry.
In this talk, we develop the theory of cosection localization for derived manifolds in the context of derived differential geometry of Joyce. As a consequence, we also obtain cosection localization results for (-2)-shifted symplectic derived schemes. This provides a cosection localization formalism for the Borisov-Joyce DT invariant. As an immediate application, the stable pair invariants of hyperkähler fourfolds, constructed by Maulik-Cao-Toda, vanish, as expected.

11/16/2021 Pierrick Bousseau, ETH Zürich TitleGromov-Witten theory of complete intersections

Abstract: I will describe an inductive algorithm computing Gromov-Witten invariants in all genera with arbitrary insertions of all smooth complete intersections in projective space. The main idea is to show that invariants with insertions of primitive cohomology classes are controlled by their monodromy and by invariants defined without primitive insertions but with imposed nodes in the domain curve. To compute these nodal Gromov-Witten invariants, we introduce the new notion of nodal relative Gromov-Witten invariants. This is joint work with Hülya Argüz, Rahul Pandharipande, and Dimitri Zvonkine (arxiv:2109.13323).

11/23/2021 Dori Bejleri, Harvard Title: Wall crossing for moduli of stable log varieties

Abstract: Stable log varieties or stable pairs (X, D) are the higher dimensional generalization of pointed stable curves. They form proper moduli spaces which compactify the moduli space of normal crossings, or more generally klt, pairs. These stable pairs compactifications depend on a choice of parameters, namely the coefficients of the boundary divisor D. In this talk, after introducing the theory of stable log varieties, I will explain the wall-crossing behavior that governs how these compactifications change as one varies the coefficients. I will also discuss some examples and applications. This is joint work with Kenny Ascher, Giovanni Inchiostro, and Zsolt Patakfalvi.

11/30/2021 Charles Doran, University of Alberta Title: K_2 and Quantum Curves

Abstract: The talk will be based on my paper of the same name with Matt Kerr and Soumya Sinha Babu as arXiv:2110.08482.

12/07/2021 Xingyang Yu, NYU Title: 2d N=(0,1) gauge theories, Spin(7) orientifolds and triality

Abstract: I will introduce a new brane engineering for 2d minimally supersymmetric, i.e. N=(0,1), gauge theories. Starting with 2d N=(0,2) gauge theories on D1-branes probing Calabi-Yau 4-folds, a brand new orientifold configuration named ’Spin(7) orientifold’ is constructed and the resultant 2d N=(0,1) theories on D1-branes are derived. Using this method, one can build an infinite family of 2d N=(0,1) gauge theories explicitly. Furthermore, the N=(0,1) triality, proposed by Gukov, Pei and Putrov, enjoys a geometric interpretation as the non-uniqueness of the map between gauge theories and Spin(7) orientifolds. The (0,1) triality can then be regarded as inherited from the N=(0,2) triality of gauge theories associated with Calabi-Yau 4-folds. Furthermore, there are theories with N=(0,1) sector coupled to (0,2) sector, where both sectors respectively enjoy (0,1) and (0,2) trialities.