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## Degenerate flag varieties: moment graphs and Schröder numbers

We study geometric and combinatorial properties of the degenerate flag varieties of type A. These varieties are acted upon by the automorphism group of a certain representation of a type A quiver, containing a maximal torus T . Using the group action, we describe the moment graphs, encoding the zero- and one-dimensional T -orbits. We also study the smooth and singular loci of the degenerate flag varieties. We show that the Euler characteristic of the smooth locus is equal to the large Schröder number and the Poincaré polynomial is given by a natural statistics counting the number of diagonal steps in a Schröder path. As an application we obtain a new combinatorial description of the large and small Schröder numbers and their q-analogues.

It has been shown recently that the normalized median Genocchi numbers are equal to the Euler characteristics of the degenerate flag varieties. The q-analogues of the Genocchi numbers can be naturally defined as the Poincare polynomials of the degenerate flag varieties. We prove that the generating function of the Poincare polynomials can be written as a simple continued fraction. As an application we prove that the Poincare polynomials coincide with the q-version of the normalized median Genocchi numbers introduced by Han and Zeng.

A desingularization of arbitrary quiver Grassmannians for representations of Dynkin quivers is constructed in terms of quiver Grassmannians for an algebra derived equivalent to the Auslander algebra of the quiver.

A desingularization of arbitrary quiver Grassmannians for representations of Dynkin quivers is constructed in terms of quiver Grassmannians for an algebra derived equivalent to the Auslander algebra of the quiver.

Quiver Grassmannians are varieties parametrizing subrepresentations of a quiver representation. It is observed that certain quiver Grassmannians for type A quivers are isomorphic to the degenerate flag varieties investigated earlier by the second named author. This leads to the consideration of a class of Grassmannians of subrepresentations of the direct sum of a projective and an injective representation of a Dynkin quiver. It is proven that these are (typically singular) irreducible normal local complete intersection varieties, which admit a group action with finitely many orbits, and a cellular decomposition. For type A quivers explicit formulas for the Euler characteristic (the median Genocchi numbers) and the Poincare polynomials are derived.

Let k be a field of characteristic zero, let G be a connected reductive algebraic group over k and let g be its Lie algebra. Let k(G), respectively, k(g), be the field of k- rational functions on G, respectively, g. The conjugation action of G on itself induces the adjoint action of G on g. We investigate the question whether or not the field extensions k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G are purely transcendental. We show that the answer is the same for k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G, and reduce the problem to the case where G is simple. For simple groups we show that the answer is positive if G is split of type A_n or C_n, and negative for groups of other types, except possibly G_2. A key ingredient in the proof of the negative result is a recent formula for the unramified Brauer group of a homogeneous space with connected stabilizers. As a byproduct of our investigation we give an affirmative answer to a question of Grothendieck about the existence of a rational section of the categorical quotient morphism for the conjugating action of G on itself.

Let G be a connected semisimple algebraic group over an algebraically closed field k. In 1965 Steinberg proved that if G is simply connected, then in G there exists a closed irreducible cross-section of the set of closures of regular conjugacy classes. We prove that in arbitrary G such a cross-section exists if and only if the universal covering isogeny Ĝ → G is bijective; this answers Grothendieck's question cited in the epigraph. In particular, for char k = 0, the converse to Steinberg's theorem holds. The existence of a cross-section in G implies, at least for char k = 0, that the algebra k[G]G of class functions on G is generated by rk G elements. We describe, for arbitrary G, a minimal generating set of k[G]G and that of the representation ring of G and answer two Grothendieck's questions on constructing generating sets of k[G]G. We prove the existence of a rational (i.e., local) section of the quotient morphism for arbitrary G and the existence of a rational cross-section in G (for char k = 0, this has been proved earlier); this answers the other question cited in the epigraph. We also prove that the existence of a rational section is equivalent to the existence of a rational W-equivariant map T- - - >G/T where T is a maximal torus of G and W the Weyl group.