Tuesdays at 3:30 pm US eastern time

Commutative and Homological Algebra Market Presentations

a virtual seminar series in commutative algebra

CHAMP is a weekly online seminar series; its main goal is to give graduate students and other early career researchers on the job market a platform to give the 50-minute version of their research talk. We will have 50 minute talks on zoom every Tuesday at 3:30 pm eastern time, followed by 10 minutes of questions and a 30-minute tea room. We will be recording talks, and posting them here. Each speaker will also record a 3 to 5 minute elevator pitch to showcase their research. The speakers are all young researchers in search of an academic position.

You can watch past talks and elevator pitch videos in our YouTube channel.

How can I attend?

All talks will happen via zoom. If you would like to attend CHAMP, please register here. You will need a zoom account, but only need to register once.

I would like to speak in the seminar, what can I do?

While we will invite all the speakers, we realize we may not know all the outstanding young researchers who we should be inviting. If you would like to speak in CHAMP, please help us by filling out this simple form. We cannot promise to be able to accommodate everyone who would like to speak, but we will do our best to give you an opportunity to speak. Priority will be given to graduate students and to those whose research interests are closest to commutative algebra.


  • Eloísa Grifo (University of California, Riverside)
  • Sean Sather-Wagstaff (Clemson University)

  • Winter/Spring 2021

    In the Winter/Spring of 2021, talks will be on Tuesdays at 3:30 pm eastern.

  • Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern time

    Joseph Skelton, Tulane University

    Koszul property of symbolic powers cover ideals

    For cover ideals we are motivated by the results of Villarreal showing that whiskering a graph results in a Cohen-Macaulay graph which, in turn, implies the cover ideal of the whiskered graph has linear resolution. Later it was shown that whiskering \(S\subsetneq V(G)\) resulted in the cover ideal of the graph whiskered at \(S\), \(J(G\cup W(S))\), being sequentially Cohen-Macaulay and therefore Koszul. In '16, Fakhari introduced a graph construction \(G_k\) that corresponds to the symbolic power of the cover ideal \(J(G)^{(k)}\). Using this construction and the whiskering technique we will establish conditions on \(S\) such that \(J(G\cup W(S))^{(k)}\) is Koszul for all \(k\).

  • Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern time

    Mohsen Gheibi, University Of Texas At Arlington

    Title TBA

  • Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 3:30 pm US eastern time

    Pinches Dirnfield, University of Utah

    Title TBA

  • Past talks

  • Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Tyler Anway, University of Texas at Arlington

    Classification of Totally Acyclic Complexes over Local Gorenstein Rings

    Let \(Q\) be a commutative local ring to which we associate the subcategory \(\textrm{Ktac}(Q)\) of the homotopy category of \(Q\)-complexes, consisting of the totally acyclic complexes. Assume further that \(Q\) is a Henselian Gorenstein ring with a surjective ring homomorphism \(Q \xrightarrow{\phi} R\) and \(\textrm{pd}_Q(R) < \infty\). We will use the indecomposable objects of \(Q\), and the idea of approximations to classify totally acyclic complexes over \(R\) using our defined notion of Arnold-tuples.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Sankhaneel Bisui, Tulane University

    Stable Harbourne—Huneke Containment and Bounds on Waldschmidt Constant

    Abstract: The study of the degree of a homogeneous polynomial vanishing on given points with multiplicities is always intriguing. Nagata raised the following fundamental question:
    Q: Given a finite set of points \(X= \{P_1,\dots P_s \} \subset \mathbf{P}_{\mathbb{C}}^N \) what is the minimal degree, \(\alpha_x(m) \) of a hyper-surface that passes through the points with multiplicity at least \(m\)?
    Chudnovsky provided a conjectural answer to the above question which was generalized by Demailly. Both conjectures have equivalent statements involving a lower bound of the Waldschmidt constant of the ideal defining points. Harbourne and Huneke gave containment conjectures involving the symbolic and the ordinary powers of the ideals, which implies Chudnovsky's conjecture and Demailly's conjecture respectively.
    We study the stable versions of the containment conjectures and consequently, we prove Chudnovsky and Demailly's conjecture for a large number of general points. In this talk, I will introduce all these conjectures and the tools that we used. I will also present the results from our joint work with Eloísa Grifo, Tài Huy Hà, and Thái Thành Nguyễn.

  • Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Prashanth Sridhar, University of Kansas

    Finding maximal Cohen Macaulay and reflexive modules

    Maximal Cohen Macaulay and Reflexive modules are both very classical objects and their properties have been studied extensively. However, their existence and/or ubiquity is far from clear. In this talk, I will consider these questions and provide answers in certain settings.

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Ashley Wheeler, Mount Holyoke College

    Geometric equations for matroid varieties

    Each point \(x\) in Gr\((r,n)\) corresponds to an \(r \times n\) matrix \(A_x\) which gives rise to a matroid \(M_x\) on its columns. Gel'fand, Goresky, MacPherson, and Serganova showed that the sets \(\left\{y \in \right.\)Gr\(\left.(r,n)\, |\, M_y = M_x\right\}\) form a stratification of Gr\((r,n)\) with many beautiful properties. However, results of Mnëv and Sturmfels show that these strata can be quite complicated, and in particular may have arbitrary singularities. We study the ideals \(I_x\) of matroid varieties, the Zariski closures of these strata. We construct several classes of examples based on theorems from projective geometry and describe how the Grassmann-Cayley algebra may be used to derive non-trivial elements of \(I_x\) geometrically when the combinatorics of the matroid is sufficiently rich.

  • Tuesday, January 19, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Rankeya Datta, University of Illinois at Chicago

    How valuation rings behave like non-noetherian regular rings

    Valuation rings have wide-ranging applications in algebra, arithmetic and geometry. These highly non-noetherian objects became popular in commutative algebra and algebraic geometry when Zariski used them to study normality and resolution of singularities. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in valuation rings because of their foundational roles in various approaches to rigid geometry such as Berkovich and Perfectoid spaces as well as their applications in K-stability and moduli problems. In this talk we will examine commutative and homological algebraic properties of valuation rings. We will show that despite being non-noetherian, valuation rings share striking similarities with regular rings. This talk is based on joint works with Karen Smith and Benjamin Antieau.

  • Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Nick Cox-Steib, University of Missouri

    Perturbing Ideals in Arbitrary Noetherian Local Rings and the \(\mathfrak{m}\)-adic Continuity of Hilbert-Kunz Multiplicity

    In 2018, Polstra and Smirnov showed that the Hilbert-Kunz multiplicity of F-finite CM local rings exhibits a remarkable kind of \(\mathfrak{m}\)-adic continuity. In this talk I will discuss techniques that can be used to extend their result to arbitrary F-finite local rings. These methods also have applications to Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity and general questions of \(\mathfrak{m}\)-adic stability in equal characteristic Noetherian local rings.

  • Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 3:30 pm eastern

    Beihui Yuan, Cornell University

    Splines and a counter-example to the Schenck-Stiller ''\(2r+1\)" conjecture.

    To approximate a function over a region, it is useful to consider a subdivision of the region and then approximate the function by a piecewise polynomial. In this talk, I would like to talk about what we know about splines, commutative algebra tools we use to study this subject, conjectures on splines and a counter-example to the Schenck-Stiller ''\(2r+1\)" conjecture. This talk is based on joint work with Mike Stillman and Hal Schenck.

  • December 16, 2020, 3 pm eastern

    Alessandra Costantini, University of California, Riverside

    Cohen-Macaulay property of the fiber cone of modules

    Let R be a Noetherian local ring and let E be a finite R-module. The fiber cone of E is the graded algebra F(E) defined by tensoring the Rees algebra R(E) with the residue field of R. In 2003 Simis, Ulrich and Vasconcelos showed that the study of the Cohen-Macaulay property of the Rees algebra R(E) can be reduced to the case of Rees algebras of ideals, by means of the so called generic Bourbaki ideals. The Cohen-Macaulay property of Rees algebras and fiber cones are usually unrelated. However, in this talk I will show that sometimes generic Bourbaki ideals can effectively be used in order to study the Cohen-Macaulay property of the fiber cone F(E) as well, and provide classes of modules whose fiber cone is Cohen-Macaulay. The talk is based on a preprint available at https://arxiv.org/abs/2011.08453.

  • December 9, 2020, 3 pm eastern

    Benjamin Briggs, University of Utah

    Complete intersections and the cotangent complex

    Abstract: The cotangent complex is an important but difficult to understand object in commutative algebra. For a homomorphism \(\varphi: R\to S\) of commutative noetherian rings, this is a complex \(L_{\varphi} = L_0\leftarrow L_1\leftarrow \cdots\) of free \(S\)-modules. Inside it you can find the Kähler differentials, the conormal module, the Koszul homology, and it has a lot to say about deformation theory. For complete intersection maps one can completely write down \(L_{\varphi}\), but otherwise it's extremely complicated. When it was introduced by Quillen, he conjectured (for maps of finite flat dimension) that if \(\varphi\) is not complete intersection then \(L_{\varphi}\) must go on forever. This was proven by Avramov in 1999. I will explain how to exploit the connection between the cotangent complex and Hochschild cohomology to get a new proof, and how to simultaneously prove a conjecture of Vasconcelos on the conormal module. This is joint work with Srikanth Iyengar.

  • December 2, 2020

    Thomas Polstra, University of Virginia

    F-purity deforms in \(\mathbb{Q}\)-Gorenstein rings

    We positively settle a long-standing question in the theory of prime characteristic singularities: If \( (R,\mathfrak{m},k) \) is a local \( \mathbb{Q} \)-Gorenstein ring of prime characteristic \(p>0\) which admits a non-zero-divisor \(f\) so that \(R/(f)\) is normal and \(F\)-pure, is \(R\) necessarily \(F\)-pure? The origins of the question date back to work of Fedder in the early 1980's where it was shown that \(F\)-purity deforms in Gorenstein rings but fails to deform in rings which are not \(\mathbb{Q}\)-Gorenstein. This talk is based on joint work with Austyn Simpson.

  • November 18, 2020

    Peder Thompson, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

    Using totally acyclic complexes to extend work of Buchweitz into a non-affine setting

    In the 1950s, Auslander, Buchsbaum, and Serre set the stage for systematically using homological dimensions to understand ring structure with their elegant characterization of regular local rings in terms of projective dimension. This was followed by the characterization of Gorenstein local rings in terms of “G-dimension” by Auslander and Bridger, which in turn inspired the notions of Gorenstein projective, injective, and flat modules. Such modules are defined in terms of "totally acyclic" complexes. In this talk I will outline recent joint work with Christensen and Estrada where we propose a general notion of total acyclicity that unifies these classic notions and introduces the new “Gorenstein flat cotorsion” modules. This abstraction allows us to extend work of Buchweitz—involving equivalences between homotopy, stable, and singularity categories—into the non-affine setting, thus completing a project initiated by Murfet and Salarian.

  • November 11, 2020

    Rebekah Aduddell, University of Texas at Arlington

    The Critical and Cocritical Degrees of a Totally Acyclic Complex

    It is widely known that minimal free resolutions of a module over a complete intersection ring have nice patterns that arise in their betti sequences. In the late 1990's Avramov, Gasharov and Peeva defined a new class of \(R\)-modules (those with finite CI dimension) that would exhibit similar patterns in their free resolutions. In doing so, they additionally defined the notion of critical degree for an \(R\)-module, which describes exactly when such patterns arise in the betti sequence. In this talk, I will define a ``naive'' extension of critical degree to the category of totally acyclic complexes, \(\mathbf{K_{tac}}(R)\), where \(R\) is a commutative local ring. After discussing some basic properties, we will then explore an alternative extension and investigate the relationship between the two definitions.

  • October 26, 2020 (note unusual date)

    Jay Yang, University of Minnesota

    Random Monomial Ideals

    Random and Probabilistic techniques have a long history across a variety of fields, but their use in commutative algebra has been comparatively limited. Random monomial ideals, as inspired by results in random graphs and random simplicial complexes, are a unique perspective that allows us to study the asymptotic behavior of ideals. I discuss a pair of models for random monomial ideals, and a collection of results for these models including work with Caytlin Booms and Daniel Erman as well as work with Lily Silverstein and Dane Wilburne.

  • October 28, 2020

    Eamon Quinlan-Gallego, University of Michigan

    Bernstein-Sato polynomials on singular rings in positive characteristic

    Given a smooth \(\mathbb{C}\)-algebra \(R\) and an ideal \(\mathfrak{a} \subseteq R\), an invariant from \(D\)-module theory known as the Bernstein-Sato polynomial of \(\mathfrak{a}\) quantifies the singularities of the pair \( (R, \mathfrak{a}) \). Recently, two generalizations of this construction were given: in one direction, Àlvarez-Montaner, Huneke, and Núñez-Betancourt showed that Bernstein-Sato polynomials can still be defined in some settings where \(R\) has singularities; in the other direction, work of Mustaţă, Bitoun and myself shows that we can also define Bernstein-Sato polynomials in positive characteristic. In this talk, I present joint work with J. Jeffries and L. Núñez-Betancourt in which we show that the combined generalization is possible. Namely, we show that Bernstein-Sato polynomials exist in positive characteristic when \(R\) has mild singularities (direct summand or graded F-finite representation type).

  • October 21, 2020

    James Gossell, Clemson University

    Characterizing Cohen-Macaulay power edge ideals of trees


    Every electric power system can be modeled by a graph \(G\) whose vertices represent electrical buses and whose edges represent power lines. A phasor measurement unit (PMU) is a monitor that can be placed at a bus to observe the voltage at that bus as well as the current and phase through all incident power lines. The problem of monitoring an entire electric power system using the fewest number of PMUs is closely related to the well-known vertex covering and dominating set problems in graph theory.

    In this talk, we will give an overview of the PMU placement problem and its connections to commutative ring theory. Specifically, we will define the power edge ideal \(I^P_G\) of a graph \(G\) as a way to generate polynomial rings with desired algebraic properties using graphs of electric power grids. Finally, we will classify the trees \(G\) for which \(I^P_G\) is Cohen-Macaulay and prove that every such ideal is also a complete intersection.

    This project is joint work with Michael Cowen, Alan Hahn, Frank Moore, and Sean Sather-Wagstaff.

  • October 14, 2020

    Sarasij Maitra, University of Virginia

  • A Study of Colength in Dimension One

    We define and study an invariant of any module over a local one dimensional analytically unramified Noetherian domain whose integral closure is a DVR. We shall discuss a key property of this invarant. If time permits, we will briefly venture into trace ideals and into reflexive ideals.

  • October 7, 2020

    Monica Lewis, University of Michigan

    The closed support problem over a complete intersection ring

    Local cohomology modules are (typically) very large algebraic objects that encode rich geometric information about the structure of a commutative ring. These modules are rarely finitely generated, but sometimes still exhibit remarkable finiteness properties. For example, the local cohomology of a smooth algebra over a field will always have a finite set of associated primes. This property can fail for complete intersection rings (even in codimension 1), but independent results of Hochster and Núñez-Betancourt (2017) or Katzman and Zhang (2017) have shown that at least in characteristic \(p>0\), the local cohomology of a hypersurface ring will still have Zariski closed support. It remains open whether this property holds in arbitrary codimension. In this talk, I will present my results on the local cohomology of a parameter ideal illustrating an obstruction to straightforwardly generalizing existing hypersurface strategies. I will then present joint work with Eric Canton on a possible alternative route of attack in higher codimension, involving a novel Frobenius-compatible simplicial complex of local cohomology modules.

  • September 30, 2020

    Zhan Jiang, University of Michigan

    The "size" of an ideal

    Hochster and Huneke defined quasilength for any \(I\)-torsion module, generalizing the notion of length to any non-maximal ideal \(I\). Based on quasilength, we develop a new numerical invariant for ideals, called "size". It is invariant up to taking radicals and bounded between the arithmetic rank and height of the ideal. We will present some results in low dimensions and discuss a lot of open questions related to "size" and asymptotic behaviors of quasilength.

  • September 23, 2020

    Farrah Yhee, University of Michigan

    Ulrich modules do not always exist

    Abstract: Ulrich modules were introduced by Bernd Ulrich in 1984 and has since been a very active area of research. The existence of Ulrich modules for complete local domains have powerful applications. For example, existence implies Lech's conjecture: given a flat local map of local rings from R to S, the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity of S is at least the Hilbert-Samuel multiplicity of R. Until recently, it was unknown if there were any counterexamples to the existence of Ulrich modules for (complete) local domains. In this talk, I will introduce the notion of Ulrich modules and discuss implications of their existence. Then I will give a counterexample to the existence of Ulrich modules for (complete) local domains.

  • September 16, 2020

    Hugh Geller, Clemson University

    DG-Structures on Minimal Free Resolutions of Fiber Products

    A construction of Tate shows that every algebra over a ring \(R\) possess a DG-algebra resolution over \(R\). These resolutions are not always minimal and Avramov even shows that certain algebras cannot have a minimal resolution with a DG-algebra structure. In the first half of this talk, I give an explicit construction of the minimal resolution of the fiber product \(k[\underline{x}]/\mathcal{I} \times_k k[\underline{y}]/\mathcal{J}\) over \(k[\underline{x},\underline{y}]\) where \(\mathcal{I} \subseteq \langle \underline{x} \rangle^2\) and \(\mathcal{J} \subseteq \langle \underline{y} \rangle^2\). In the second half, I show how to put different DG-structures on these minimal free resolutions.

  • September 10, 2020, 11 am eastern

    Ayah Almousa, Cornell University

    Title: Polarizations of Powers of Graded Maximal Ideals

    Given a monomial ideal, one can "polarize" it to a square-free monomial ideal that has all of the same homological invariants as the original one. Many commutative algebraists are familiar with the use of the "standard" polarization, but the first use of a nonstandard polarization was by Nagel and Reiner in the 2000s, who used the "box polarization" to produce a minimal cellular resolution for strongly stable ideals. This leads to the natural question: what other ways are there to polarize a monomial ideal, and what other applications might there be for these non-standard polarizations? In this talk, I will give a complete combinatorial characterization of all possible polarizations of powers of the graded maximal ideal in a polynomial ring. I will also give a combinatorial description of their Alexander duals and discuss applications of polarizations to commutative algebra, algebraic geometry, and combinatorics. This is joint work with Gunnar Fløystad and Henning Lohne.

  • September 2, 2020

    Keller VandeBogert, University of South Carolina

    Tate-like Complexes and Their Applications to DG Algebras

    In this talk, I will talk about so-called Tate-like complexes. These are defined as a quotient of the tensor product complex and encompass more well-known complexes such as the "symmetric square" complex, commonly used to induce DG-products on resolutions (associative up to homotopy). After introducing necessary notation and terminology, I will talk about how these complexes have made a tacit appearance in previous work of others, and give a brief overview on how these complexes can be used to endow the length 4 "big from small" construction of Kustin and Miller with the structure of an associative DG algebra.