Rigid Schubert varieties in compact Hermitian symmetric spaces
Given a singular Schubert variety X w in a compact Hermitian symmetric space X, it is a long-standing question to determine when X w is homologous to a smooth variety Y. We identify those Schubert varieties for which there exist first-order obstructions to the existence of Y. This extends (independent) work of M. Walters, R. Bryant and J. Hong. Key tools include (i) a new characterization of Schubert varieties that generalizes the well-known description of the smooth Schubert varieties by connected sub-diagrams of a Dynkin diagram and (ii) an algebraic Laplacian (à la Kostant), which is used to analyze the Lie algebra cohomology group associated with the problem. © 2012 Springer Basel AG.
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