Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Title: Modular forms and special values of Lfunctions (Ziwet Lectures I, II, III)
Abstract: Beginning with work of Euler, Lfunctions  like the Riemann zeta function and its cousins the Dirichlet Lseries  have been objects of central interest in number theory. In addition to their analytic importance (eg., the Riemann hypothesis) certain values of these functions are either known or expected to have algebraic significance. Euler knew that the value of the Riemann zeta function at nonpositive integers is a rational number. Do these rational numbers mean anything? Dirichlet proved a `class number formula' relating the class numbers of binary quadratic forms to a value of his Lseries for a quadratic character, later generalized in Dedekind's class number formula for number fields. As the family of Lfunctions has grown (now including Lfunctions for modular forms and algebraic varieties) so has the number of such formulas  most conjectural  beginning with the celebrated BirchSwinnertonDyer conjecture for the Lfunction of an elliptic curve. These talks will be an overview of one circle of ideas that continues to yield new results toward such formulas. They will begin with some simple cases related to the Riemann zeta function and hopefully end with some new results for the BirchSwinnertonDyer formula.
Lecture I: The saga of 691 (Tuesday, 4:105)
Lecture II: Special values (Wednesday, 4:105)
Lecture III: Degenerate families of modular forms and the BSD formula (Thursday, 4:105)
Speaker: Chris Skinner
Institution: Princeton Univ
