Hypergeometric motives

June 25 to June 29, 2012

at the

American Institute of Mathematics, Palo Alto, California

organized by

Henri Cohen and Fernando Rodriguez Villegas

Original Announcement

This workshop and ICTP will focus on the L-functions of arithmetic geometry whose Euler factors are generically of degree higher than two. It will consist of a two-pronged approach combining theory and computations. This workshop will take place within the framework of a larger two-week ICPT activity.

Specifically, we will (mostly) concentrate on the L-functions of hypergeometric motives. These are certain one-parameter families of motives, which in one incarnation correspond to the classical hypergeometric differential equations with rational parameters. A prototypical example is the equation satisfied by the Gauss hypergeometric function $F(1/2, 1/2, 1; t)$ whose associated L-function is that of the Legendre elliptic curve $y^2= x(x-1)(x-t)$. Another example is the basic period of the Dwork pencil of quintic threefolds \[ x_1+\cdots+x_5 - 5\psi x_1 \cdots x_5 = 0 \] that plays a prominent role in mirror symmetry.

The approach to computing the L-function of these motives does not require the direct counting of points of varieties over finite fields nor the calculation of a corresponding automorphic form. Instead it uses a p-adic formula for the trace of Frobenius, which is a finite version of a hypergeometric function.

This approach has already proven to be quite efficient. However, some issues need yet to be resolved in order to tackle a broader class of cases (both higher conductors and higher degree of the Euler factors). On the theoretical side these include:

On the computational side some issues to address are:

Material from the workshop

A list of participants.

The workshop schedule.

A report on the workshop activities.