Values of L-Functions and Modular Forms

Chris Skinner
Princeton University; Member, School of Mathematics
October 25, 2010

This will be an introduction to special value formulas for L-functions and especially the uses of modular forms in establishing some of them -- beginning with the values of the Riemann zeta function at negative integers and hopefully arriving at some more recent work on the Birch-Swinnerton-Dyer formula.

Nodal Lines of Random Waves

M. Sodin
Tel Aviv University
October 26, 2010

In the talk, I will describe recent attempts to understand the mysterious and beautiful geometry of nodal lines of random spherical harmonics and of random plane waves. If time permits, I will also discuss asymptotic statistical topology of other natural polynomial-like ensembles of random functions. The talk is based on a joint work with Fedja Nazarov.

A Semistable Model for the Tower of Modular Cures

Jared Weinstein
Institute for Advanced Study
October 27, 2010

The usual Katz-Mazur model for the modular curve $X(p^n)$ has horribly singular reduction. For large n there isn't any model of $X(p^n)$ which has good reduction, but after extending the base one can at least find a semistable model, which means that the special fiber only has normal crossings as singularities. We will reveal a new picture of the special fiber of a semistable model of the entire tower of modular curves. We will also indicate why this problem is important from the point of view of the local Langlands correspondence for $GL(2)$ .

Explicit Serre Weight Conjectures

Florian Herzig
Institute for Advanced Study
October 28, 2010

We will discuss a generalisation of Serre's conjecture on the possible weights of modular mod p Galois representations for a broad class of reductive groups. In good cases (essentially when the Galois representation is tamely ramified at p) the predicted weight set can be made explicit and compared to previous conjectures. This is joint work with Toby Gee
and David Savitt.

The Mathematical Truth

Enrico Bombieri
Institute for Advanced Study
October 29, 2010

In this lecture, Enrico Bombieri, IBM von Neumann Professor in the School of

Mathematics, attempts to give an idea of the numerous different notions of truth in mathematics. Using accessible examples, he explains the difference between truth, proof, and verification. Bombieri, one of the world’s leading authorities on number theory and analysis, was awarded the Fields Medal in 1974 for his work on the large sieve and its application to the distribution of prime numbers. Some of his work has potential practical applications to cryptography and security of data transmission and identification.

Semiclassical Eigenfunction Estimates

Melissa Tacy
Institute for Advanced Study
October 29, 2010


Concentration phenomena for Laplacian eigenfunctions can be studied by obtaining estimates for their $L^{p}$ growth. By considering eigenfunctions as quasimodes (approximate eigenfunctions) within the semiclassical framework we can extend such estimates to a more general class of semiclassical operators. This talk will focus on $L^{p}$ estimates for quasimodes restricted to hypersurfaces and the links between such estimates and properties of classical flow.