** Speaker:**Alexander Yong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

** Title:** Combinatorics and geometry of symmetric orbit closures

** Abstract: **
The geometry of symmetric orbit closures in the flag variety arises in the
representation theory of the real forms of complex semisimple (reductive) Lie groups.
In the case of the symmetric pairs (GL_n, K), Benjamin Wyser and the speaker have
described analogues of the Schubert polynomials. I'll explain this work, as well as an
ongoing project with Alexander Woo and Benjamin Wyser to understand the singularities
of the orbit closures via combinatorics.