In the first half of the talk, we will explore the concept of a characteristic class of a subvariety in a smooth ambient space. We will focus on the so-called stable envelope class, in cohomology, K theory, and elliptic cohomology (due to Okoukov-Maulik-Aganagic). Stable envelopes have rich algebraic combinatorics, they are at the heart of enumerative geometry calculations, they show up in the study of associated (quantum) differential equations, and they are the main building blocks of constructing quantum group actions on the cohomology of moduli spaces.
In the second half of the talk, we will study a generalization of Nakajima quiver varieties called Cherkis’ bow varieties. These smooth spaces are endowed with familiar structures: holomorphic symplectic form, tautological bundles, torus action. Their algebraic combinatorics features a new powerful operation, the Hanany-Witten transition. Bow varieties come in natural pairs called 3d mirror symmetric pairs. A conjecture motivated by superstring theory predicts that stable envelopes on 3d mirror pairs are equal (in a sophisticated sense that involves switching equivariant and Kahler parameters). I will report on a work in progress, with T. Botta, to prove this conjecture.