(click on the picture for a larger version)
Professor Steven Miller (Steven.J.Miller AT williams.edu), 202 Bronfman Science Center (413-597-3293)
Office hours: M-F 10:05-10:50 and M-F 4-4:30 and whenever I'm in my office (click here for my schedule)
take aways for the course (if you are interested in adding to this, please let me know)
course description syllabus/general objectives course notes / handouts supplemental reading other links additional comments
COURSE DESCRIPTION: ,
Benford's law, the dynamics of the 3x+1 map as well as suggestions from the
class. We will occasionally assume some advanced results for our investigations,
though we will always try to supply heuristics and motivate the material. No
number theory background is assumed, and we will discuss whatever material we
need from probability, statistics or Fourier analysis.
SYLLABUS / GENERAL: The textbook will be Miller and Takloo-Bighash’s `An Invitation to Modern Number Theory’ (errata for the book is here; additional comments from each day's lecture is here). On the first day of class we will describe many of the topics (including ), and then determine which topics to explore in detail. Please feel free to swing by my office or mention before, in or after class any questions or concerns you have about the course. If you have any suggestions for improvements, ranging from method of presentation to choice of examples, just let me know. If you would prefer to make these suggestions anonymously, you can send email from firstname.lastname@example.org (the password is the first seven Fibonacci numbers, 11235813). Grading will be: 25% homework, 25% projects, 25% midterm, 25% final.
OBJECTIVES: There are two main goals to this course: to explore modern number theory and see the connections between various problems, and to learn problem solving skills. We will constantly emphasize the techniques we use to solve problems, as these techniques are applicable to a wide range of problems in the sciences.
COURSE NOTES AND HANDOUTS: Below are scanned copies of my lecture notes for the course (click here for additional comments from each day's lecture). Skimming these notes is a good way to prepare for lecture and to review the material; however, it is not the case that everything said in lecture will be in these notes for two reasons: (1) I hope to have a lot of class discussion, and these comments will undoubtably influence which direction we pursue; (2) detailed explanations of many arguments are given in the book, so often I have just jotted down notes to remind myself of what I wanted to mention.
- Errata for the book (if/when you find others, or places where the exposition could be clearer, please let me know)
- Additional comments from each day's lecture
- Complete set of notes (about 7 megs)
- Overview (description of problems, table showing the interconnectedness of the questions and techniques / material)
- nkα mod 1 and Poissonian behavior (the chapter from the book is available online: click here for Poissonian behavior)
- Fourier analysis for nkα mod 1 (basics of Fourier analysis leading up to Fejer's theorem)
- Random matrix theory (the first of the four chapters from the book is available online: click here for Chapter 15, the introduction)
- The Circle Method
- Benford's law
- Riemann Zeta Function and L-functions
- Fourier analysis for Benford's Law and L-functions (Poisson Summation)
SUPPLEMENTAL READING: For more on each topic, click below to go to a subpage with handouts and reading recommendations:
HOMEWORK PROBLEMS FROM THE TEXTBOOK AND ASIDES:
- nkα and Poissonian Behavior:
- HW: Due Wednesday, Feb 18: 12.1.8, 12.1.10, A.4.4, A.4.5, 12.2.6, 12.3.8, 12.6.3 (hard!). Also, write a problem or two based on any of the material or the asides (and, if you can, solve your problem!). The problems you write should be on a separate paper.
- Additional: 12.1.11, A.4.8, 12.2.7, 12.3.6, 12.3.7.
- Asides: Algebraic structure of numbers, Hurwitz's theorem, Liouville Numbers, Roth's Theorem, algebraic and transcendental numbers, countable and uncountable sets, Cantor's theorem, Continuum Hypothesis, irrationality and transcendence of numbers (e, π, ...), Monte Carlo integration, measure theory.
- Fourier analysis for nkα and Poissonian Behavior:
- HW: Due Monday, March 2: 11.2.2, 11.2.5, A.2.7, 11.2.7, 11.2.10, 11.3.6.
- Additional: 11.1.7, 11.2.8, 11.2.12.
- Asides: Dirichlet's Theorem, original version of Weierstrass' Approximation Theorem (and generalizations), convergence of Fourier series (pointwise, L1, L2, ...).
- Random Matrix Theory:
- HW: Due Friday, March 11: 15.1.4, 15.1.6, 15.2.3, 15.3.5, 15.3.10, 15.3.13, 15.5.8 (note this problem is somewhat open ended); 16.1.16, do one of 16.1.17 or 16.1.18.
- Additional: 15.1.5, 15.1.11, 15.1.12, 15.2.3, 15.2.6, 15.2.3, 15.2.6, 15.2.13, 15.3.8, 15.3.9, 15.3.12, 15.3.14, 15.4.7, 15.5.3, 15.5.6; A.1.2, A.1.4, 16.1.13, 16.1.15, 16.1.17 or 16.1.18.
- Asides: Central Limit Theorem, Catalan numbers, McKay's Law for d-regular graphs, Kesten's measure, non-uniqueness of moments, combinatorics / Diophantine equations, matching coefficients and differentiating identities, combinatorics of Toeplitz matrices, GOE and eigenvalues spacings (Chapter 17).
- The Circle Method:
- HW: Due Monday, April 20th: 13.1.1, 13.1.12, 13.3.10, 13.3.11, 13.3.16, 13.3.20.
- Additional: 13.1.3, 13.1.4, 13.1.13, 13.3.4, 13.3.14, 13.3.15, A.6.11 (ie, prove the Cauchy-Schwartz inequality, given in Lemma A.6.9), A.6.13, A.6.14.
- Asides: Prime Number Theorem, generalizing Euclid's theorem, proofs of infinitude of the primes, Chebyshev's theorem (and Bertrand's postulate), Dirichlet's Theorem (and the Siegel-Walfisz theorem), generating functions, differentiating identities and matching coefficients, counting primes with weight log(p) (sections 2.3.4 and 3.2.2), Philosophy of Square-root cancelation, Hasse principle, minor arc contributions, Littlewood problem.
- Benford's Law:
- HW: 9.1.1. TBD
- Additional: 9.3.2, 9.3.3.
- Asides: Lebesgue's theorem on L1 convergence, analytic density, recurrence relations, values of L-functions and Random Matrix Theory, 3x+1 problem, quantified equidistribution, order statistics, Erdos-Turan theorem.
- Riemann Zeta Function:
- HW: 3.1.4, 3.1.6, 3.1.9 (important), 3.1.14, 3.1.15, 3.1.23, 3.2.15, 3.2.16, 11.4.9.
- Additional: 3.1.5, 3.1.7, 3.1.8, 3.1.18, 3.1.22, 3.2.19.
- Asides: Properties of Γ(s) and its occurances, relations between roots and coefficients of polynomials and Newton's identities for symmetric polynomials, prove results from Complex Analysis, Hawkins primes, product expansion for ζ(s), Li's constants and the Riemann Hypothesis, Dirichlet characters and L-functions, primes in arithmetic progressions, Fourier transform (sections 11.4.1, 11.4.3, 11.5 and exercise 11.6.4), convergence of Fourier series (pointwise, L1, L2, ...) (and see exercise 11.6.1 for what can happen at discontinuities), Poisson summation generalizations (what happens if we just use Fejer's theorem).
This is my first year at Williams; click here for some personal information about me, my family and my research interests.
For extra credit, find the flaw (or flaws) in any of the following papers (or, to be fair, convince me that they're correct or correct them and receive a Fields medal):
course description syllabus/general objectives course notes / handouts supplemental reading other links (summer research)