Dr. Markus Schwagenscheidt

Seminar Elliptic Functions and Modular Forms

We start with the basic theory of elliptic functions, which are doubly periodic meromorphic functions on the complex plane. As a fundamental example we will construct the Weierstrass p-function, which serves as a building block for all elliptic functions, and which parametrizes complex elliptic curves. We will also discuss the Weierstrass sigma and zeta functions and the Jacobi theta function, which can be used to construct elliptic functions with prescribed zeros and poles.

From elliptic functions one is naturally led to the study of modular forms. These are holomorphic functions on the complex upper half-plane that have infinitely many symmetries under Moebius transformations. Using the residue theorem one can show the remarkable fact that the vector spaces of modular forms of fixed weight are finite-dimensional. As examples of modular forms we will study Eisenstein series, the Delta-function, and the j-invariant. By computing the Fourier expansions of modular forms and using the finite-dimensionality of the spaces of modular forms, one obtains interesting applications in number theory. For example, we will prove the fact that every natural number can be written as a sum of four squares. At the end of the seminar we will define Hecke operators and use them to prove that the Fourier coefficients of the Delta-function are multiplicative. Finally, we study the L-functions associated with modular forms and prove their analytic continuation and functional equation.

General informations

The talks should take between 80 - 90 minutes. Two students share a talk. A script in LaTex is required.

The seminar takes place Wednesdays from 10:15 - 12:00 in HG G26.5, from 28.02. to 29.05. (12 talks; no talks on 21.02., 03.04., and 01.05.).


Here you can find a list of topics with short descriptions and references, and my lecture notes on Elliptic Functions and Modular Forms.

List of topics

Lecture Notes Elliptic Functions

Lecture Notes Modular Forms

Here are two LaTex templates that you can use for your script and your talk:

Template for your script

Template for your talk

Lecture Notes

  1. Elliptic Functions Handout

  2. The Weierstrass p-function Handout

  3. Complex Elliptic Curves Handout

  4. Weierstrass Functions Handout

  5. The Modular Group and Modular Forms Handout