Abstract:
For an odd prime p and each non-empty subset S GF(p), consider the hyperelliptic curve X S defined by y 2 =f S (x), where f S (x) = ∏ a∈S (x-a). Using a connection between binary quadratic residue codes and hyperelliptic curves over GF(p), this paper investigates how coding theory bounds give rise to bounds such as the following example: for all sufficiently large primes p there exists a subset S GF(p) for which the bound |X S (GF(p))| > 1.39p holds. We also use the quasi-quadratic residue codes defined below to construct an example of a formally self-dual optimal code whose zeta function does not satisfy the ``Riemann hypothesis.''

Abstract:
A long standing problem has been to develop "good" binary linear codes to be used for error-correction. This paper investigates in some detail an attack on this problem using a connection between quadratic residue codes and hyperelliptic curves. One question which coding theory is used to attack is: Does there exist a c<2 such that, for all sufficiently large $p$ and all subsets S of GF(p), we have |X_S(GF(p))| < cp?

Abstract:
These are expanded lecture notes of a series of expository talks surveying basic aspects of group cohomology and homology. They were written for someone who has had a first course in graduate algebra but no background in cohomology. You should know the definition of a (left) module over a (non-commutative) ring, what $\zzz[G]$ is (where $G$ is a group written multiplicatively and $\zzz$ denotes the integers), and some ring theory and group theory. However, an attempt has been made to (a) keep the presentation as simple as possible, (b) either provide an explicit reference of proof of everything. Several computer algebra packages are used to illustrate the computations, though for various reasons we have focused on the free, open source packages such as GAP and SAGE.

Abstract:
In this note, a class of error-correcting codes is associated to a toric variety associated to a fan defined over a finite field $\fff_q$, analogous to the class of Goppa codes associated to a curve. For such a ``toric code'' satisfying certain additional conditions, we present an efficient decoding algorithm for the dual of a Goppa code. Many examples are given. For small $q$, many of these codes have parameters beating the Gilbert-Varshamov bound. In fact, using toric codes, we construct a $(n,k,d)=(49,11,28)$ code over $\fff_8$, which is better than any other known code listed in Brouwer's on-line tables for that $n$ and $k$.

Abstract:
If G is a finite subgroup of the automorphism group of a projective curve X and D is a divisor on X stabilized by G, then under the assumption that D is nonspecial, we compute a simplified formula for the trace of the natural representation of G on Riemann-Roch space L(D).

Abstract:
We compute the PSL(2,N)-module structure of the Riemann-Roch space L(D), where D is an invariant non-special divisor on the modular curve X(N), with N > 5 prime. This depends on a computation of the ramification module, which we give explicitly. These results hold for characteristic p if X(N) has good reduction mod p and p does not divide the order of PSL(2,N). We give as examples the cases N=7, 11, which were also computed using GAP. Applications to AG codes associated to this curve are considered, and specific examples are computed using GAP and MAGMA.

Abstract:
Let $G$ be a connected semi-simple group defined over and algebraically closed field, $T$ a fixed Cartan, $B$ a fixed Borel containing $T$, $S$ a set of simple reflections associated to the simple positive roots corresponding to $(T,B)$, and let ${\cal B}\cong G/B$ denote the Borel variety. For any $s_i\in S$, $1\leq i\leq n$, let $\bar{O}(s_1,..., s_n)= \{(B_0,..., B_{n})\in {\cal B}^{n+1} | (B_{i-1},B_{i})\in \bar{O(s_i)}, 1\leq i\leq n\}$, where $O(s)$ denotes the subvariety of pairs of Borels in ${\cal B}^2$ in relative position $s$. We show that such varieties are smooth and indicate why this result is, in one sense, best possible. Our main results assume that $k$ has characteristic 0.

Abstract:
We study the action of a finite group on the Riemann-Roch space of certain divisors on a curve. If $G$ is a finite subgroup of the automorphism group of a projective curve $X$ over an algebraically closed field and $D$ is a divisor on $X$ left stable by $G$ then we show the irreducible constituents of the natural representation of $G$ on the Riemann-Roch space $L(D)=L_X(D)$ are of dimension $\leq d$, where $d$ is the size of the smallest $G$-orbit acting on $X$. We give an example to show that this is, in general, sharp (i.e., that dimension $d$ irreducible constituents can occur). Connections with coding theory, in particular to permutation decoding of AG codes, are discussed in the last section. Many examples are included.

Abstract:
These notes survey some basic results in toric varieties over a field with examples and applications. A computer algebra package (written by the second author) is described which deals with both affine and projective toric varieties in any number of dimensions (written in both the software packages MAGMA and GAP). Among other things, the package implements a desingularization procedure for affine toric varieties, constructs some error-correcting codes associated with toric varieties, and computes the Riemann-Roch space of a divisor on a toric variety.

Abstract:
Expository paper discussing AG or Goppa codes arising from curves, first from an abstract general perspective then turning to concrete examples associated to modular curves. We will try to explain these extremely technical ideas using a special case at a level to a typical graduate student with some background in modular forms, number theory, group theory, and algebraic geometry. Many examples using MAGMA are included.