Abstract:
Let $C$ be a genus 2 curve and $\su$ the moduli space of semi-stable rank 2 vector bundles on $C$ with trivial determinant. In \cite{bol:wed} we described the parameter space of non stable extension classes (invariant with respect to the hyperelliptic involution) of the canonical sheaf $\omega$ of $C$ with $\omega_C^{-1}$. In this paper we study the classifying rational map $\phi: \pr Ext^1(\omega,\omega^{-1})\cong \pr^4 \dashrightarrow \su\cong \pr^3$ that sends an extension class on the corresponding rank two vector bundle. Moreover we prove that, if we blow up $\pr^4$ along a certain cubic surface $S$ and $\su$ at the point $p$ corresponding to the bundle $\OO \oplus \OO$, then the induced morphism $\tilde{\phi}: Bl_S \ra Bl_p\su$ defines a conic bundle that degenerates on the blow up (at $p$) of the Kummer surface naturally contained in $\su$. Furthermore we construct the $\pr^2$-bundle that contains the conic bundle and we discuss the stability and deformations of one of its components.

Abstract:
Let $\cM_{0,n}$ the moduli space of $n$-pointed rational curves. The aim of this note is to give a new, geometric construction of $\cM_{0,2n}^{GIT}$, the GIT compacification of $\cM_{0,2n}$, in terms of linear systems on $\PP^{2n-2}$ that contract all the rational normal curves passing by the points of a projective base. These linear systems are a projective analogue of the forgetful maps between $\bar{\cM}_{0,2n+1}$ and $\bar{\cM}_{0,2n}$. The construction is performed via a study of the so-called $\textit{contraction}$ maps from the Knudsen-Mumford compactification $\bar{\cM}_{0,2n}$ to $\cM_{0,2n}^{GIT}$ and of the canonical forgetful maps. As a side result we also find a linear system on $\bar{\cM}_{0,2n}$ whose associated map is the contraction map $c_{2n}$.

Abstract:
The Weddle surface is classically known to be a birational (partially desingularized) model of the Kummer surface. In this note we go through its relations with moduli spaces of abelian varieties and of rank two vector bundles on a genus 2 curve. First we construct a moduli space A\_2(3)^- parametrizing abelian surfaces with a symmetric theta structure and an odd theta characteristic. Such objects can in fact be seen as Weddle surfaces. We prove that A\_2(3)^- is rational. Then, given a genus 2 curve C, we give an interpretation of the Weddle surface as a moduli space of extensions classes (invariant with respect to the hyperelliptic involution) of the canonical sheaf \omega of C with \omega^{-1}. This in turn allows to see the Weddle surface as a hyperplane section of the secant variety Sec(C) of the curve C tricanonically embedded in P^4.

Abstract:
We show that a standard conic bundle over a minimal rational surface is rational and its Jacobian splits as the direct sum of Jacobians of curves if and only if its derived category admits a semiorthogonal decomposition by exceptional objects and the derived categories of those curves. Moreover, such a decomposition gives the splitting of the intermediate Jacobian also when the surface is not minimal.

Abstract:
We define, basing upon semiorthogonal decompositions of $\Db(X)$, categorical representability of a projective variety $X$ and describe its relation with classical representabilities of the Chow ring. For complex threefolds satisfying both classical and categorical representability assumptions, we reconstruct the intermediate Jacobian from the semiorthogonal decomposition. We discuss finally how categorical representability can give useful information on the birational properties of $X$ by providing examples and stating open questions.

Abstract:
Let SU_C(2) be the moduli space of rank 2 semistable vector bundles with trivial de terminant on a smooth complex algebraic curve C of genus g > 1, we assume C non-hyperellptic if g > 2. In this paper we construct large families of pointed rational normal curves over certain linear sections of SU_C(2). This allows us to give an interpretation of these subvarieties of SUC(2) in terms of the moduli space of curves M_{0,2g}. In fact, there exists a natural linear map SU_C(2) -> P^g with modular meaning, whose fibers are birational to M_{0,2g}, the moduli space of 2g-pointed genus zero curves. If g < 4, these modular fibers are even isomorphic to the GIT compactification M^{GIT}_{0,2g}. The families of pointed rational normal curves are recovered as the fibers of the maps that classify extensions of line bundles associated to some effective divisors.

Abstract:
We describe a relation between the invariants of $n$ ordered points in $P^d$ and of points contained in a union of linear subspaces $P^{d1}\cup P^{d2} \subset P^d$. This yields an attaching map for GIT quotients parameterizing point configurations in these spaces, and we show that it respects the Segre product of the natural GIT polarizations. Associated to a configuration supported on a rational normal curve is a cyclic cover, and we show that if the branch points are weighted by the GIT linearization and the rational normal curve degenerates, then the admissible covers limit is a cyclic cover with weights as in this attaching map. We find that both GIT polarizations and the Hodge class for families of cyclic covers yield line bundles on $\bar{M}_{0,n}$ with functorial restriction to the boundary. We introduce a notion of divisorial factorization, abstracting an axiom from rational conformal field theory, to encode this property and show that it determines the isomorphism class of these line bundles. As an application, we obtain a unified, geometric proof of two recent results on conformal block bundles, one by Fedorchuk and one by Gibney and the second author.

Abstract:
Let $C$ be an algebraic smooth complex genus $g>1$ curve. The object of this paper is the study of the birational structure of the coarse moduli space $U_C(r,0)$ of semi-stable rank r vector bundles on $C$ with degree 0 determinant and of its moduli subspace $SU_C(r)$ given by the vector bundles with trivial determinant. Notably we prove that $U_C(r,0)$ (resp. $SU_C(r)$) is birational to a fibration over the symmetric product $C^(rg)$ (resp. over $P^{(r-1)g}$) whose fibres are GIT quotients $(P^{r-1})^{rg}//PGL(r)$. In the cases of low rank and genus our construction produces families of classical modular varieties contained in the Coble hypersurfaces.

Abstract:
The aim of this paper is to study the birational geometry of certain moduli spaces of abelian surfaces with some additional structures. In particular, we inquire moduli of abelian surfaces with a symmetric theta structure and an odd theta characteristic. More precisely, on one hand, for a $(d_1,d_2)$-polarized abelian surfaces, we study how the parity of $d_1$ and $d_2$ influence the relation between the datum of a canonical level structure and that of a symmetric theta structure. On the other, for certain values of $d_1$ and $d_2$, the datum of a theta characteristic, seen as a quadratic form on the points of $2$-torsion induced by a symmetric line bundle, is necessary in order to well-define Theta-null maps. Finally we use these Theta-null maps and preceding work of other authors on the representations of the Heisenberg group to study the birational geometry and the Kodaira dimension these moduli spaces.