Michi’s blog » archive for 'Modular Representation Theory'

## The why and the what of homological algebra

• July 12th, 2007
• 7:35 pm

I seem to have become the Goto-guy in this corner of the blogosphere for homological algebra.

Our beloved Dr. Mathochist just gave me the task of taking care of any readers prematurely interested in it while telling us all just a tad too little for satisfaction about Khovanov homology.

And I received a letter from the Haskellite crowd – more specifically from alpheccar, who keeps on reading me writing about homological algebra, but doesn’t know where to begin with it, or why.

I have already a few times written about homological algebra, algebraic topology and what it is I do, on various levels of difficulty, but I guess – especially with the carnival dry-out I’ve been having – that it never hurts writing more about it, and even trying to get it so that the non-converts understand what’s so great about it.

So here goes.

## Modular representation theory – when Maschke breaks down

• April 21st, 2007
• 1:43 pm

This post is dedicated to Janine Kühn and her Proseminar-lecture.

We had, in my first representation theory post, a mention of Maschke’s theorem. This states that if the characteristic of our field doesn’t divide the group order, then simple and irreducible mean the same thing.

Now, obviously, the actual proof you normally see first deals with a construction that works for when the characteristic doesn’t divide the group order – which uses 1/|G| at one point. So, what happens when this is impossible to work with? When the conditions of Maschke simply do not hold?

The very simplest answer is that then we can get modules that are glued together by simple modules with some meshing. Such that they aren’t direct sums any more. The ways we can glue together modules are through extensions – i.e. we can glue together A,C by forming a short exact sequence
0 → C → B → A → 0
and we’ll have that B is a module such that B/C=A. Now, the typical such module is the direct sum of A and C – and if Maschke holds, this is indeed all there is.

## Modular representation theory: Simple and semisimple objects

• April 2nd, 2007
• 3:56 pm

## Representations of categories

The basic tenet of representation theory is that we have some entity – the group representation theory takes a group, the algebra representation theory most often a quiver, and we look at ways to view the elements of the structure as endomorphisms of some vectorspace. The attentive reader remembers my last post on the subject, where was given a group action by the rotations and reflections of a polygon surrounding the origin.

There is a way, suggested to me by Miles Gould in my last post, to unify all these various ways of looking at things in one: groups – and quivers – and most other things we care to look at are in fact very small category. For groups, it’s a category with one object, and one morphism/arrow for each group element, and such that the arrow you get by composing two arrows is the one corresponding to a suitable product in the group. A quiver is just a category corresponding to the way the quiver looks – with objects for all vertices, and arrows for all edges.