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Beyond Geometric Invariant Theory

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Geometric invariant theory (GIT) is an essential tool for constructing moduli spaces in algebraic geometry. Its advantage, that the construction is very concrete and direct, is also in some sense a draw-back, because semistability in the sense of GIT is often more complicated to describe than related intrinsic notions of semistability in moduli problems. Recently a theory has emerged which treats the results and structures of geometric invariant theory in a broader context. The theory of Theta-stability applies directly to moduli problems without the need to approximate a moduli problem as an orbit space for a reductive group on a quasi-projective scheme. I will discuss some new progress in this program: joint with Jarod Alper and Jochen Heinloth, we give a simple necessary and sufficient criterion for an algebraic stack to have a good moduli space. This leads to the construction of good moduli spaces in many new examples, such as the moduli of Bridgeland semistable objects in derived categories. Time permitting, I will also discuss applications to enumerative geometry and wall crossing formulas.