Second order terms in arithmetic statistics

Craig Westerland
University of Minnesota
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Ford Hall 110

The machinery of the Weil conjectures often allows us to relate the singular cohomology of the complex points of a scheme to the cardinality of its set of points over a finite field. When we apply these methods to a moduli scheme, we obtain an enumeration of the objects the moduli parameterizes. It's rare that we can actually fully compute the cohomology of these moduli spaces, but homological stability results often give a first order approximation to the homology.

In this talk, we'll explain how to obtain second order homological computations for a class of Hurwitz moduli spaces of branched covers; these yield second order terms in enumerating the moduli over finite fields. We may interpret these as second order terms in a function field analogue of the function which counts number fields, ordered by discriminant. Our second order terms match those of Taniguchi-Thorne/Bhargava-Shankar-Tsimerman in the cubic case, and give new predictions in other Galois settings.

This is joint (and ongoing) work with Berglund, Michel, and Tran.