- A Historical Overview of Elliptic Curves
- Koh, Youngmee ; Ree, Sangwook ;
- Journal for History of Mathematics, volume 28, issue 2, 2015, Pages 85~102
- DOI : 10.14477/jhm.2015.28.2.085

Abstract

Elliptic curves are a common theme among various fields of mathematics, such as number theory, algebraic geometry, complex analysis, cryptography, and mathematical physics. In the history of elliptic curves, we can find number theoretic problems on the one hand, and complex function theoretic ones on the other. The elliptic curve theory is a synthesis of those two indeed. As an overview of the history of elliptic curves, we survey the Diophantine equations of 3rd degree and the congruent number problem as some of number theoretic trails of elliptic curves. We discuss elliptic integrals and elliptic functions, from which we get a glimpse of idea where the name `elliptic curve` came from. We explain how the solution of Diophantine equations of 3rd degree and elliptic functions are related. Finally we outline the BSD conjecture, one of the 7 millennium problems proposed by the Clay Math Institute, as an important problem concerning elliptic curves.