Date and time:
Boyd Room 303

Title: Torsion points on curves of the form y^n = x^d + 1

Abstract: The goal of this talk is to classify torsion points on the curve $y^n = x^d + 1$ over the complex numbers, where n, d are at least 2 and are coprime. We will motivate the central ideas of the proof by studying the proof of the result by Poonen and Stoll that the only torsion points on a generic hyperelliptic curve are the 2-torsion Weierstrass points. For our case, we will replace the "big geometric monodromy" of their argument with "big Galois action on the torsion of the Jacobian." As a corollary, we will extend the Poonen-Stoll result to superelliptic curves. If time permits, we will explain connections with Jacobi sums, cyclotomic units, and Vandiver's conjecture.