Basic linear algebra; group theory including the structure theorem for finitely generated abelian groups; ring theory: rings, ideals, polynomial rings; basic field theory including finite fields. For example, the following chapters of the Leiden undergraduate courses Algebra 1, 2, 3 would be sufficient: 1–9, 11–14, 21, 22. The notes for the Leiden Algebra courses can be found here:

For part of the course we will also need a small amount of complex analysis: meromorphic functions, Cauchy's theorem, residues.

Aim of the course

Along various historical paths, the origins of elliptic curves can be traced back to calculus, complex analysis and algebraic geometry, and their arithmetic aspects have made them key objects in modern cryptography and in Wiles' proof of Fermat's last theorem. This course is an introduction to both the theoretical and the computational aspects of elliptic curves. The topics treated include a general discussion of elliptic curves and their group law, Diophantine equations in two variables, and Mordell's theorem. We will also discuss elliptic curves over finite fields with applications such as factoring integers and cryptography.


Ronald van Luijk (UL), Steffen Müller (RuG)