Stable cohomology of complements of discriminants

Speaker: Orsola Tommasi

Date: Thu, Jun 13, 2019

Location: PIMS, University of British Columbia

Conference: Workshop on Arithmetic Topology

Subject: Mathematics, Topology

Class: Scientific


The discriminant of a space of functions is the closed subset consisting of the functions which are singular in some sense. For instance, for complex polynomials in one variable the discriminant is the locus of polynomials with multiple roots. In this special case, it is known by work of Arnol'd that the cohomology of the complement of the discriminant stabilizes when the degree of the polynomials grows, in the sense that the k-th cohomology group of the space of polynomials without multiple roots is independent of the degree of the polynomials considered. A more general set-up is to consider the space of non-singular sections of a very ample line bundle on a fixed non-singular variety. In this case, Vakil and Wood proved a stabilization behaviour for the class of complements of discriminants in the Grothendieck group of varieties. In this talk, I will discuss a topological approach for obtaining the cohomological counterpart of Vakil and Wood's result and describe stable cohomology explicitly for the space of complex homogeneous polynomials in a fixed number of variables and for spaces of smooth divisors on an algebraic curve.