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Jan 23

Yunqing Tang
Reductions of abelian surfaces over global function fields
For a non-isotrivial ordinary abelian surface $A$ over a global function field, under mild assumptions, we prove that there are infinitely many places modulo which $A$ is geometrically isogenous to the product of two elliptic curves. This result can be viewed as a generalization of a theorem of Chai and Oort. This is joint work with Davesh Maulik and Ananth Shankar.

Jan 24

The diophantine exponent of the $\mathbb{Z}/q\mathbb{Z}$ points of $S^{d-2}\subset S^d$
Abstract: Assume a polynomial-time algorithm for factoring integers, Conjecture~\ref{conj}, $d\geq 3,$ and $q$ and $p$ prime numbers, where $p\leq q^A$ for some $A>0$. We develop a polynomial-time algorithm in $\log(q)$ that lifts every $\mathbb{Z}/q\mathbb{Z}$ point of $S^{d-2}\subset S^{d}$ to a $\mathbb{Z}[1/p]$ point of $S^d$ with the minimum height. We implement our algorithm for $d=3 \text{ and }4$. Based on our numerical results, we formulate a conjecture which can be checked in polynomial-time and gives the optimal bound on the diophantine exponent of the $\mathbb{Z}/q\mathbb{Z}$ points of $S^{d-2}\subset S^d$.

Jan 31

Kyle Pratt
Breaking the $\frac{1}{2}$-barrier for the twisted second moment of Dirichlet $L$-functions
Abstract: I will discuss recent work, joint with Bui, Robles, and Zaharescu, on a moment problem for Dirichlet $L$-functions. By way of motivation I will spend some time discussing the Lindel\"of Hypothesis, and work of Bettin, Chandee, and Radziwi\l\l. The talk will be accessible, as I will give lots of background information and will not dwell on technicalities.

Feb 7

Shamgar Gurevich
Harmonic Analysis on $GL_n$ over finite fields
Abstract: There are many formulas that express interesting properties of a group G in terms of sums over its characters.

For evaluating or estimating these sums, one of the most salient quantities to understand is the {\it character ratio}: $$trace (\rho(g))/dim (\rho),$$ for an irreducible representation $\rho$ of G and an element g of G. For example, Diaconis and Shahshahani stated a formula of this type for analyzing G-biinvariant random walks on G. It turns out that, for classical groups G over finite fields (which provide most examples of finite simple groups), there is a natural invariant of representations that provides strong information on the character ratio. We call this invariant {\it rank}. This talk will discuss the notion of rank for GLn over finite fields, and apply the results to random walks. This is joint work with Roger Howe (TAMU).

Feb 14

Tonghai Yang
The Lambda invariant and its CM values
Abstract: The Lambda invariant which parametrizes elliptic curves with two torsions (X_0(2)) has some interesting properties, some similar to that of the j-invariants, and some not. For example, $\lambda(\frac{d+\sqrt d}2)$ is a unit sometime. In this talk, I will briefly describe some of the properties. This is joint work with Hongbo Yin and Peng Yu.

Feb 28

Brian Lawrence
Diophantine problems and a p-adic period map.
Abstract: I will outline a proof of Mordell's conjecture / Faltings's theorem using p-adic Hodge theory. Joint with Akshay Venkatesh.

March 7

Masoud Zargar
Sections of quadrics over the affine line
Abstract: Abstract: Suppose we have a quadratic form Q(x) in d\geq 4 variables over F_q[t] and f(t) is a polynomial over F_q. We consider the affine variety X given by the equation Q(x)=f(t) as a family of varieties over the affine line A^1_{F_q}. Given finitely many closed points in distinct fibers of this family, we ask when there exists a section passing through these points. We study this problem using the circle method over F_q((1/t)). Time permitting, I will mention connections to Lubotzky-Phillips-Sarnak (LPS) Ramanujan graphs. Joint with Naser T. Sardari