Approximate computations with modular curves

  • Jean-Marc Couveignes

    Université Bordeaux 1, Talence, France
  • Bas Edixhoven

    Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands
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This article gives an introduction for mathematicians interested in numerical computations in algebraic geometry and number theory to some recent progress in algorithmic number theory, emphasising the key role of approximate computations with modular curves and their Jacobians. These approximations are done in polynomial time in the dimension and the required number of significant digits. We explain the main ideas of how the approximations are done, illustrating them with examples, and we sketch some applications in number theory.