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Sep 06

Brandon Alberts
Introduction to the Cohen-Lenstra Measure

The Cohen-Lenstra heuristics describe a conjectured probability distribution for the class group of quadratic fields. In this talk, I will give a brief introduction to the heuristic and how it is related to random groups. The remainder of the talk will focus on the Cohen-Lenstra probability measure for choosing a random p-group. This talk is based on a similar talk given by Bjorn Poonen.

Sep 13

Vlad Matei
Overview of the Discrete Log Problem
The discrete logarithm problem (DLP) was first proposed as a hard problem in cryptography in the seminal article of Diffie and Hellman. Since then, together with factorization, it has become one of the two major pillars of public key cryptography.

In its simplest version for $\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$, the problem is given $b\hspace{2mm} ( \text{mod}\hspace{2mm} p)$ and $b^n \hspace{2mm}(\text{mod} \hspace{2mm} p)$ to find $n$. As far as we know, this problem is VERY HARD to solve quickly. Nobody has admitted publicly to having proved that the discrete log can't be solved quickly, but many very smart people have tried hard and not succeeded.

This is a prep talk for the Thursday seminar 9/15/2016

Sep 20

Wanlin Li
Gauss's Genus Theory and 2-Selmer Groups of Elliptic Curves
I'm going to talk about how Gauss's genus theory characterized 2 torsion elements of the class group for imaginary quadratic fields and how to use 2 decent to compute the 2-Selmer group for an elliptic curve.

Sep 27

Ewan Dalby
Modular forms of half integral weight
Usually when we think of modular forms we think of functions that gain an integral power of the automorphic factor under a group action. However we can generalize this notion to allow half integral weights. I will describe how this generalization works and it's connections to the theory of integral weight modular forms.

Oct 4

Daniel Hast
Introduction to arboreal Galois representations
Arboreal Galois representations are representations of Galois

groups as automorphism groups of certain trees. We'll introduce the main definitions, see how iterating polynomial functions gives an abundant source of arboreal representations, and survey some of the major theorems and conjectures about these representations.

Oct 11

Peng Yu
Modular Forms and Elliptic Curves
I will give a quick review of the basics for the classical case of Galois representations associated to modular forms, including the definition of modular forms, Hecke operators, elliptic curves, Galois representations arising from the Tate modules of elliptic curves, and the Modularity Theorem (i.e. the Taniyama-Shimura-Weil conjecture) that every elliptic curve defined over Q is modular.

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Organizer contact information

Brandon Alberts (blalberts@math.wisc.edu)

Megan Maguire (mmaguire2@math.wisc.edu)

Bobby Grizzard

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