Report from Oberwolfach

Recently returned from a workshop on “Arithmetic of Shimura varieties.”

  • The organizers did a great job choosing the speakers. For one thing, the overlap between speakers this time and speakers at the previous edition of this event was a singleton set, which I think is a reasonable choice. Moreover, the majority of the speakers were junior people, which is also totally reasonable. It was great to hear what everyone is doing.
  • Best talks: Ana Caraiani, Teruhisa Koshikawa, Keerthi Madapusi, Sug Woo Shin, Joao Lourenco
  • Best chaotic talk with amazingly strong theorems: Ian Gleason
  • SWS has advised a very disproportionate number of Alexanders.
  • The usual hike wasn’t possible, due to snow in the mountains. Ah well. Instead we hiked along a path parallel to the road. But there was still cake.
  • The food was slightly better than usual: they didn’t serve the notorious bread casserole, and one dinner (the polenta thing) was actually really good.
  • “I mean, you know Ben. He’s pretty unflappable. But, yeah… [redacted], uh… flaps him.”
  • During the workshop, LM and I hit upon a conceptual explanation for Bernstein-Zelevinsky duality, which works both for group representations and for sheaves on \mathrm{Bun}_G, even when \ell=p! More on this later.
  • “What was the motivation for this conjecture?” “The motivation was that it is true.”
  • Some young people have extremely weird expectations for how the postdoc job market should work.
  • The notion of “genericity” in various guises, and its relevance for controlling the cohomology of local and global Shimura varieties, was very much in the air. This came up in Caraiani and Koshikawa’s talks, and also in my (prepared but undelivered, see the first bullet above) talk. My handwritten notes are here, and may be of some interest. Conjectures 3 and 5, in particular, seem quite fun.
  • Had some interesting conversations with VL about nearby cycles and related topics. Here’s a concrete question: can the results in this paper be adapted to etale cohomology? There are definite obstructions in positive characteristic related to Artin-Schreier sheaves, but in characteristic zero it should be ok.
  • During the workshop, Ishimoto posted a beautiful paper completing Arthur’s results for inner forms of odd special orthogonal groups, at least for generic discrete parameters. I was vaguely sure for several years that this was the (only) missing ingredient in proving compatibility of the Fargues-Scholze LLC and the Arthur(-Ishimoto) LLC for \mathrm{SO}_{2n+1} and its unique inner form. After reading this paper, and with some key assists from SWS and WTG, I now see how to prove this compatibility (at least over unramified extensions F/\mathbf{Q}_p with p>2). It shouldn’t even take many pages to write down!
  • On a related note, shortly before the workshop, Li-Huerta posted his amazing results comparing Genestier-Lafforgue and Fargues-Scholze in all generality!

As always, Oberwolfach remains one of my favorite places to do mathematics. Thank you to the organizers for putting together a wonderful workshop!


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