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Patrick Brosnan : Essential dimension and algebraic stacks

Essential dimension is an invariant introduced by Buhler and Reichstein to measure how many parameters are needed to define an algebraic object such as a field extension or an algebraic curve over a field. I will describe joint work with Vistoli and Reichstein which studies essential dimension in the case where the algebraic objects are represented by a stack. I will also give examples of applications in the theory of quadratic forms.

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