Abstract:
Given a divisor $D$ on a tropical curve $\Gamma$, we show that reduced divisors define an integral affine map from the tropical curve to the complete linear system $|D|$. This is done by providing an explicit description of the behavior of reduced divisors under infinitesimal modifications of the base point. We consider the cases where the reduced-divisor map defines an embedding of the curve into the linear system, and in this way, classify all the tropical curves with a very ample canonical divisor. As an application of the reduced-divisor map, we show the existence of Weierstrass points on tropical curves of genus at least two and present a simpler proof of a theorem of Luo on rank-determining sets of points. We also discuss the classical analogue of the (tropical) reduced-divisor map: For a smooth projective curve $C$ and a divisor $D$ of non-negative rank on $C$, reduced divisors equivalent to $D$ define a morphism from $C$ to the complete linear system $|D|$, which is described in terms of Wronskians.

Abstract:
In this paper we study holomorphic immersions of open Riemann surfaces into C^n whose derivative lies in a conical algebraic subvariety A of C^n that is smooth away from the origin. Classical examples of such A-immersions include null curves in C^3 which are closely related to minimal surfaces in R^3, and null curves in SL_2(C) that are related to Bryant surfaces. We establish a basic structure theorem for the set of all A-immersions of a bordered Riemann surface, and we prove several approximation and desingularization theorems. Assuming that A is irreducible and is not contained in any hyperplane, we show that every A-immersion can be approximated by A-embeddings; this holds in particular for null curves in C^3. If in addition A-{0} is an Oka manifold, then A-immersions are shown to satisfy the Oka principle, including the Runge and the Mergelyan approximation theorems. Another version of the Oka principle holds when A admits a smooth Oka hyperplane section. This lets us prove in particular that every open Riemann surface is biholomorphic to a properly embedded null curve in C^3.

Abstract:
This paper is an overview of the idea of using contact geometry to construct invariants of immersions and embeddings. In particular, it discusses how to associate a contact manifold to any manifold and a Legendrian submanifold to an embedding or immersion. We then discuss recent work that creates invariants of immersions and embeddings using the Legendrian contact homology of the associated Legendrian submanifold.

Abstract:
We prove a general embedding theorem for Cohen--Macaulay curves (possibly nonreduced), and deduce a cheap proof of the standard results on pluricanonical embeddings of surfaces, assuming vanishing H^1(2K_X)=0.

Abstract:
In this paper, we contribute toward a classification of two-variable polynomials by classifying (up to an automorphism of $C^2$) polynomials whose Newton polygon is either a triangle or a line segment. Our classification has several applications to the study of embeddings of algebraic curves in the plane. In particular, we show that for any $k \ge 2$, there is an irreducible curve with one place at infinity, which has at least $k$ inequivalent embeddings in $C^2$. Also, upon combining our method with a well-known theorem of Zaidenberg and Lin, we show that one can decide "almost" just by inspection whether or not a polynomial fiber is an irreducible simply connected curve.

Abstract:
The universal order 1 invariant f^U of immersions of a closed orientable surface into R^3, whose existence has been established in [N3], takes values in the group G_U = K \oplus Z/2 \oplus Z/2 where K is a countably generated free Abelian group. The projections of f^U to K and to the first and second Z/2 factors are denoted f^K, M, Q respectively. An explicit formula for the value of Q on any embedding has been given in [N2]. In the present work we give an explicit formula for the value of f^K on any immersion, and for the value of M on any embedding.

Abstract:
Fuchsian groups with a modular embedding have the richest arithmetic properties among non-arithmetic Fuchsian groups. But they are very rare, all known examples being related either to triangle groups or to Teichmueller curves. In Part I of this paper we study the arithmetic properties of the modular embedding and develop from scratch a theory of twisted modular forms for Fuchsian groups with a modular embedding, proving dimension formulas, coefficient growth estimates and differential equations. In Part II we provide a modular proof for an Apery-like integrality statement for solutions of Picard-Fuchs equations. We illustrate the theory on a worked example, giving explicit Fourier expansions of twisted modular forms and the equation of a Teichmueller curve in a Hilbert modular surface. In Part III we show that genus two Teichmueller curves are cut out in Hilbert modular surfaces by a product of theta derivatives. We rederive most of the known properties of those Teichmueller curves from this viewpoint, without using the theory of flat surfaces. As a consequence we give the modular embeddings for all genus two Teichmueller curves and prove that the Fourier developments of their twisted modular forms are algebraic up to one transcendental scaling constant. Moreover, we prove that Bainbridge's compactification of Hilbert modular surfaces is toroidal. The strategy to compactify can be expressed using continued fractions and resembles Hirzebruch's in form, but every detail is different.

Abstract:
We construct small covers and quasitoric manifolds over a given $n$-colored simple polytope $P^n$ with interesting properties. Their Stiefel-Whitney classes are calculated and used as obstruction to immersions and embeddings into Euclidean spaces. In the case $n$ is a power of two we get the sharpest bounds.

Abstract:
The Hermitian, Suzuki and Ree curves form three special families of curves with unique properties. They arise as the Deligne-Lusztig varieties of dimension one and their automorphism groups are the algebraic groups of type 2A2, 2B2 and 2G2, respectively. For the Hermitian and Suzuki curves very ample divisors are known that yield smooth projective embeddings of the curves. In this paper we establish a very ample divisor for the Ree curves. Moreover, for all three families of curves we find a symmetric set of equations for a smooth projective model, in dimensions 2, 4 and 13, respectively. Using the smooth model we determine the unknown nongaps in the Weierstrass semigroup for a rational point on the Ree curve.