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2nd semester 2011: Multiple Zeta Values

Jonathan M. Borwein and Wadim Zudilin

[CARMA] AMSI Honours Course [AMSI]

A multiple zeta value (MZV) of length $\ell$ and integer weight $s$ is an $\ell$-fold infinite series of the form $$ \zeta(s_1,s_2,\dots,s_\ell) =\sum_{n_1>n_2>\dots>n_\ell>0}\frac1{n_1^{s_1}n_2^{s_2}\cdots n_\ell^{s_\ell}} $$ where the sum is over $\ell$-tuples of positive integers, and $s_1,s_2,\dots,s_\ell$ are positive integers that add up to $s$ with $s_1>1$.

The MZV of length $\ell=1$ and weight $s$ is just the value $\zeta(s)$ of the Riemann zeta function at $s$, that is, the harmonic series of exponent $s$. MZVs are also known as multiple harmonic series. They occur in connection with multiple integrals defining invariants of knots and links, and Drinfeld's work on quantum groups. They also appear in quantum field theory and throughout combinatorics.

MZVs satisfy many striking relations; perhaps the simplest is $$ \zeta(2,1) = \zeta(3) $$ which goes back to L. Euler (1775).

We shall study:

  • Introduction to multiple zeta values (MZVs)
  • Method of partial fractions
  • Algebra of MZVs
  • Generalized polylogarithms and generating functions of MZVs
  • Duality theorem. Sum theorem and Ohno's relations
  • Quasi-shuffle products. Derivations
  • $q$-Analogues of MZVs
  • Other extensions and open questions
Course Goals
The successful student will emerge from this course with much enhanced analytic, algebraic and combinatoric skills. Especially, regarding understanding of:
  • proof techniques of identities for MZVs and their various generalisations
  • underlying algebraic and combinatorial structures
  • computational issues regarding MZVs and polylogarithmic functions
  • applications of MZVs

Place and Time
V205 (CARMA, The University of Newcastle)
Time 2:00-4:00 pm, Wednesday (weekly commencing from Week 2)

There will be two graded assignments each counting for 25% of the final mark (Weeks 5 and 9 due), and the final assignment worth 50% (Week 14 due). Some problems in the assignments will be research problems which will require from students certain creativity skills including potentials for experimental mathematics. The students will be expected to produce their full answers in LaTeX, Maple documents, or similar form.

The assignments should be emailed to us for privacy. Questions can be discussed with us by email at any time. The due date is always midnight Friday.

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