Algebraic Number Theory
Time: 10:10-11:25, Monday and Wednesday
Instructor: Michael Harris
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 11:30-12:30 and by appointment, room number 521
Teaching Assistant: Samuel Mundy
This is an introduction to the algebraic theory of numbers. The fundamental
techniques of the subject will be accompanied by the study of examples
of families of Diophantine equations that motivated the development of the subject.
Each of the topics listed below will occupy roughly two weeks of course time:
1. Algebraic integers, factorization, Dedekind rings, local rings
(Gauss's first proof of quadratic reciprocity)
2. Units and class groups (Pell's equation, classification of binary quadratic forms)
3. Cyclotomic fields (Fermat's last theorem for regular primes, first case;
Gauss's fourth proof of quadratic reciprocity)
4. Congruences and p-adic numbers (the Chevalley-Warning theorem)
5. Zeta and L-functions (Dirichlet's theorem on primes in an arithmetic progression)
6. Other topics (depending on class interest: Dirichlet's unit theorem, the prime number theorem,
Prerequisites: Basic algebra through Galois theory. Some elements of complex
analysis may be admitted in section 5.
Textbook: Marc Hindry, Arithmetics (Springer, 2011 edition)
Other useful references include
Dan Flath, Introduction to Number Theory
Pierre Samuel, Algebraic Theory of Numbers
Jean-Pierre Serre, A Course in Arithmetic
The grade will be based on homework (20%), the midterm (30%), and the take-home final (50%).
Midterm: October 25
Final: FINAL EXAM (online December 11, due December 18)
1st week (due September 13)
2nd week (due September 20)
3rd week (due September 27)
4th week (due October 4)
5th week (due October 11)
6th week (due October 18)
(Midterm: no homework)
7th week (due November 1)
8th week (due November 8)
9th week (due November 15 )
10th week (due November 29)
11th week (due December 6)
The final from the fall of 2013 is available here.
The final from the fall of 2015 is available here.