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Curtis Porter : Straightening out degeneracy in CR geometry: When can it be done?



CR geometry studies boundaries of domains in C^n and their generalizations. A central role is played by the Levi form L of a CR manifold M, which measures the failure of the CR bundle to be integrable, so that when L has a nontrivial kernel of constant rank, M is foliated by complex manifolds. If the local transverse structure to this foliation still determines a CR manifold N, then we say M is CR-straightenable, and the Tanaka-Chern-Moser classification of CR hypersurfaces with nondegenerate Levi form can be applied to N. It remains to classify those M for which L is degenerate and no such straightening exists. This was accomplished in dimension 5 by Ebenfelt, Isaev-Zaitzev, and Medori-Spiro. I will discuss their results as well as my recent progress on the problem in dimension 7 (http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.04019).

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