Moduli Spaces of Stable Maps
In this chapter, we show how moduli spaces of maps can be applied to compute topological characteristics of various varieties. The notion of a stable map was introduced by Kontsevich. He applied it to solving the classical problem of enumerating rational curves of a given degree in the plane passing through a given collection of points. The methods suggested by Kontsevich turned out to be applicable to a wide circle of problems of enumerative geometry, being now the main tool for computing Gromov–Witten invariants.