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Algebraic Tori and Essential Dimension


Interest in essential dimension problems has been growing over the past decade. In part, it is because the idea of essential dimension captures quite elegantly the problem of parametrizing a wide range of algebraic objects. But perhaps more, it is because the study of essential dimension requires most of the algebraic arsenal. What began as a problem in Galois cohomology and representation theory now has connections to versal torsors, stacks, motives, birational geometry, and invariant theory. This exposition will focus on just a small bit of this theory: algebraic tori and how they can be used to help us calculate the essential p-dimension for PGLn.

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