Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Department Colloquium


Henri Darmon (McGill)

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Time: 2:30 p.m.  Place: Jeffery Hall 234

Speaker: Henri Darmon (McGill)

Title: Kronecker's Jugendtraum: a non-archimedean approach.

Abstract: Kronecker's Jugendtraum ("dream of youth") seeks to construct abelian extensions of a given field through the special values of explicit analytic functions, in much the same way that the values of the exponential function $e(x) = e^{2\pi i x}$ at rational arguments generate all the abelian extensions of the field of rational numbers. Modular functions like the celebrated $j$-function play the same role when the field of rational numbers is replaced by an imaginary quadratic field. An extensive literature, both classical and modern, is devoted to the special values of modular functions at imaginary quadratic arguments, known as singular moduli; and modular functions have also been central to such modern developments as Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem and significant progress on the Birch and Swinnerton--Dyer conjecture arising through the work of Gross--Zagier and Kolyvagin. I will describe some recent attempts, in colaboration with Jan Vonk, to extend Kronecker's Jugendtraum to real quadratic fields by replacing modular functions by mathematical structures called "$p$-adic modular cocycles". While they are still poorly understood, these objects exhibit many of the same rich arithmetic properties as modular functions.

Prof. Darmon obtained his PhD from Harvard in 1991, then went on to Princeton before coming to McGill University in 94 where he is now a James McGill Professor. Prof. Darmon received many awards and distinctions, including a Sloan Research Award in 96, the Prix Andre Aisenstadt in 97, the Killam Research Fellowship in 2008, and both the Cole prize and the CRM-Fields-PIMS prize in 2017. Prof. Darmon was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2003.