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Ellis R. Kolchin Memorial Lecture

Please join us on Wednesday, April 20Professor Akshay Venkatesh (IAS) is scheduled to give a special talk titled “Symplectic Reidemeister torsion and symplectic L-functions” from 1:10 – 2:10pm in room 520, Mathematics Hall.


I will start with a beautiful theorem of W.Meyer about the topology of surfaces. It relates the signature of local systems to the topology of the group of symplectic real matrices.  I will then explain a new theorem about 3-manifolds that controls how this situation varies in a one-dimensional family. Finally, I will get to the main point:  an analogous theorem in number theory about symplectic L-functions.

These theorems seem to be analogous to phenomena that occur in quantization, although the precise relationship is not clear.   Another interesting point is that the topological theorem enters into the proof of the arithmetic one. I will treat L-functions as a “black box” so no familiarity with them will be needed. Joint work with Amina Abdurrahman.

Time & Location

Wednesday, April 20 from 1:10-2:10pm

Mathematics Hall, room 520

2990 Broadway

New York, N.Y. 10027

Tea will be served at 4 pm in 508 Mathematics Hall

*Kolchin Lecture Flyer*

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