Counting n particles in the plane

Daniel Litt , Stanford University
Fine Hall 314

How do algebraic geometers "count" the number of ways of putting n points in the plane? I'll explain what Euler characteristic is, what a Hilbert scheme is, and how to compute the Euler characteristic of the Hilbert scheme of n points in the plane. The answer may surprise you, especially if you don't know what those words mean yet. Everything will be defined from scratch.