Explorations in math and programming
David Lowry-Duda

I am happy to announce that my frequent collaborators, Alex Walker and Chan Kuan, and I have just posted a preprint to the arxiv called Sums of cusp form coefficients along quadratic sequences.

Our primary result is the following.

Let $f(z) = \sum_{n \geq 1} a(n) q^n = \sum_{n \geq 1} A(n) n^{\frac{k-1}{2}} q^n$ denote a holomorphic cusp form of weight $k \geq 2$ on $\Gamma_0(N)$, possibly with nontrivial nebentypus. For any $h > 0$ and any $\epsilon > 0$, we have that \begin{equation} \sum_{n^2 + h \leq X^2} A(n^2 + h) = c_{f, h} X + O_{f, h, \epsilon}(X^{\eta(k) + \epsilon}), \end{equation} where \begin{equation*} \eta(k) = 1 - \frac{1}{k + 3 - \sqrt{k(k-2)}} \approx \frac{3}{4} + \frac{1}{32k - 44} + O(1/k^2). \end{equation*}

The constant $c_{f, h}$ above is typically $0$, but we weren't the first to notice this.


We approach this by studying the Dirichlet series \begin{equation*} D_h(s) := \sum_{n \geq 1} \frac{r_1(n) a(n+h)}{(n + h)^{s}}, \end{equation*} where \begin{equation*} r_1(n) = \begin{cases} 1 & n = 0 \\ 2 & n = m^2, m \neq 0 \\ 0 & \text{else} \end{cases} \end{equation*} is the number of ways of writing $n$ as a (sum of exactly $1$) square.

This approach isn't new. In his 1984 paper Additive number theory and Maass forms, Peter Sarnak suggests that one could relate the series \begin{equation*} \sum_{n \geq 1} \frac{d(n^2 + h)}{(n^2 + h)^2} \end{equation*} to a Petersson inner product involving a theta function, a weight $0$ Eisenstein series, and a half-integral weight Poincaré series. This inner product can be understood spectrally, hence the spectrum of the half-integral weight hyperbolic Laplacian (and half-integral weight Maass forms) reflect the behavior of the ordinary-seeming partial sums \begin{equation*} \sum_{n \leq X} d(n^2 + h). \end{equation*}

A broader class of sums was studied by Blomer.Blomer. Sums of Hecke eigenvalues over values of quadratic polynomials. IMRN, 2008.

Let $q(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$ denote any monic quadratic polynomial. Then Blomer showed that \begin{equation*} \sum_{n \leq X} A(q(n)) = c_{f, q}X + O_{f, q, \epsilon}(X^{\frac{6}{7} + \epsilon}). \end{equation*} Blomer already noted that the main term typically doesn't occur.

More recently, Templier and TsimermanTemplier and Tsimerman. Non-split sums of coefficients of $\mathrm{GL}(2)$-automorphic forms. Israel J. Math 2013

showed that $D_h(s)$ has polynomial growth in vertical strips and has reasonable polar behavior. This allows them to show that \begin{equation*} \sum_{n \geq 0} A(n^2 + h) g\big( (n^2 + h)/X \big) = c_{f, h, g} X + O_\epsilon(X^{\frac{1}{2} + \Theta + \epsilon}), \end{equation*} where $\Theta$ is a term that is probably $0$ coming from a contribution from potentially exceptional eigenvalues of the Laplacian and the Selberg Eigenvalue Conjecture, and where $g$ is a smooth function of sufficient decay.

Templier and Tsimerman approach their result in two different ways: one studies the Dirichlet series $D_h(s)$ with the same initial steps as outlined by Sarnak. The second way is more representation theoretic and allows greater flexibility in the permitted forms.

Placing our techniques in context

Broadly, our approach begins in the same way as Templier and Tsimerman — we study $D_h(s)$ through a Petersson inner product involving half-integral weight Poincaré series. The great challenge is to understand the discrete spectrum and half-integral weight Maass forms, and we deviate from Templier and Tsimerman sharply in our treatment of the discrete spectrum.

For each eigenvalue $\lambda_j$ there is an associated type $\frac{1}{2} + it_j$ and form \begin{equation*} \mu_j(z) = \sum_{n \neq 0} \rho_j(n) W_{\mathrm{sgn}(n) \frac{k}{2}, it_j}(4\pi \lvert n \rvert y) e(nx), \end{equation*} where $W$ is a Whittaker function and the coefficients $\rho_j(n)$ are very mysterious. We average Maass forms in long averages over the eigenvalues and types (indexed by $j$) and long averages over coefficients $n$. We base the former approach average on Blomer's work above, and for the latter we improve on (a part of) the seminar work of Duke, Friedlander, and Iwaniec.Duke, Friedlander, Iwaniec. The subconvexity problem for Artin $L$-functions. Inventiones. 2002.

For this, it is necessary to establish certain uniform bounds for Whittaker functions.

To apply our bounds for the discrete spectrum, Maass forms, and Whittaker functions, we use that $f$ is holomorphic in an essential way. We decompose $f$ into a sum of finitely many holomorphic Poincaré series. This is done by Blomer as well. But in contrast, we study the resulting shifted convolutions whereas Blomer recollects terms into Kloosterman and Salié type sums.

Ultimately we conclude with a standard contour shifting argument.

Additional remarks

Continuous vs discrete spectra

The quality of our bound mirrors the quality of our understanding of the discrete spectrum. This is interesting in that the continuous and discrete spectra are typically of a similar calibre of size and difficulty.

But here we are examining a half-integral weight object into half-integral weight spectra. The continuous spectrum comes from Eisenstein series, and it turns out that the coefficients of real-analytic half-integral weight Eisenstein series are (essentially) Dirichlet $L$-functions — and these are relatively easy to understand.

Existing bounds for half-integral weight Maass forms are much weaker than corresponding bounds for full-integral weight Maass forms.

In principle, there is also a residual spectrum to consider here (in contrast to weight $0$ spectral expansions). But in practice this is perfectly handled by in the work of Templier and Tsimerman and presents no further difficulty.

Two too-brief summaries

One too-brief-to-be-correct summary of this paper is that by restricting to a smaller class of quadratic polynomials than Blomer, it is possible to prove a stronger result. In reality, we restrict to a class of quadratic polynomials that allows the corresponding Dirichlet series to be easily recognized as a Petersson inner product involving a standard theta function and a half-integral weight Poincaré series.

Another too-brief-to-be-correct summary of this paper is that examining Whittaker functions and Bessel functions even closer reveals that they control all of multiplicative number theory. Actually, this might be correct.As a corollary, I guess all multiplicative number theory is controlled by monodromy?

Leave a comment

Info on how to comment

To make a comment, please send an email using the button below. Your email address won't be shared (unless you include it in the body of your comment). If you don't want your real name to be used next to your comment, please specify the name you would like to use. If you want your name to link to a particular url, include that as well.

bold, italics, and plain text are allowed in comments. A reasonable subset of markdown is supported, including lists, links, and fenced code blocks. In addition, math can be formatted using $(inline math)$ or $$(your display equation)$$.

Please use plaintext email when commenting. See Plaintext Email and Comments on this site for more. Note also that comments are expected to be open, considerate, and respectful.

Comment via email