Foundations of Computational Mathematics – The L-Functions and Modular Forms Database Project
From the journal, Foundations of Computational Mathematics, comes a paper on The L-Functions and Modular Forms Database Project. This paper is free to read (link) through September 2019.
The Langlands Programme, formulated by Robert Langlands in the 1960s and since much developed and refined, is a web of interrelated theory and conjectures concerning many objects in number theory, their interconnections, and connections to other fields. At the heart of the Langlands Programme is the concept of an L-function. The most famous L-function is the Riemann zeta function, and as well as being ubiquitous in number theory itself, L-functions have applications in mathematical physics and cryptography. Two of the seven Clay Mathematics Million Dollar Millennium Problems, the Riemann Hypothesis and the Birch and Swinnerton-Dyer Conjecture, deal with their properties. Many different mathematical objects are connected in various ways to L-functions, but the study of those objects is highly specialized, and most mathematicians have only a vague idea of the objects outside their specialty and how everything is related. Helping mathematicians to understand these connections was the motivation for the L-functions and Modular Forms Database (LMFDB) project. Its mission is to chart the landscape of L-functions and modular forms in a systematic, comprehensive, and concrete fashion. This involves developing their theory, creating and improving algorithms for computing and classifying them, and hence discovering new properties of these functions, and testing fundamental conjectures. In the lecture I gave a very brief introduction to L-functions for non-experts and explained and demonstrated how the large collection of data in the LMFDB is organized and displayed, showing the interrelations between linked objects, through our website www.lmfdb.org. I also showed how this has been created by a worldwide open-source collaboration, which we hope may become a model for others.