Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Number Theory is concerned with properties of integers, especially prime numbers. This paper gives a basic introduction to analytic number theory, which studies these objects using methods from analysis.

    This course will provide you with the analytical tools and profound insights required to address advanced problems in number theory, establishing a robust foundation for further studies in this fascinating field of mathematics.

    The paper starts with an exploration of the concepts of divisibility, factors, and prime numbers, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic. Then we investigate multiple proofs of Euclid’s theorem about the infinitude of prime numbers, which serves as a cornerstone of number theory.

    Our second topic will be the important class of arithmetic functions. In particular, we study Dirichlet multiplication, the Möbius inversion formula, generalised convolutions, and Legendre’s identity, a crucial tool in the study of arithmetic functions.

    The third topic are asymptotic formulae. Gain proficiency in using the big O notation and understanding asymptotic equality. Learn Euler’s summation formula and Abel’s identity, valuable techniques for estimating infinite series. Then we explore Shapiro’s Tauberian theorem, a powerful tool for connecting asymptotic results to the properties of functions.

    These preparations lay the foundation for investigating important properties of prime numbers. In particular, we prove the prime number theorem about the asymptotic distribution of prime numbers. We also study techniques for estimating the prime-counting function and the nth prime number. Of central importance will be Riemann's zeta function and an investigation of its zeros. For that purpose, we will employ methods from complex analysis.

    About this paper

    Paper title Analytic Number Theory
    Subject Mathematics
    EFTS 0.0833
    Points 10 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $620.00
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    MATH 401-412
    Limited to
    BA(Hons), BSc(Hons), PGDipArts, PGDipSci, MA (Thesis), MSc, MAppSc, PGDipAppSc, PGCertAppSc

    Mathematics 400-level programme coordinator: Dr Fabien Montiel

    Teaching staff

    Dr Joerg Hennig

    Paper Structure

    Main topics (18 lectures, 50 min each):


    • Divisibility, factors, prime numbers.
    • Fundamental theorem of arithmetic.
    • Various proofs of Euclid’s theorem.

    Arithmetic functions:

    • Dirichlet multiplication.
    • The Möbius inversion formula.
    • Generalised convolutions.
    • Legendre’s identity.

    Asymptotic formulae:

    • Big O notation and asymptotic equality.
    • Euler’s summation formula and Abel’s identity.
    • Elementary asymptotic formulae.
    • Shapiro’s Tauberian theorem.

    The distribution of prime numbers:

    • The prime number theorem.
    • Equivalent formulations.
    • Bounds for the prime-counting function and the nth prime.

    Riemann’s zeta function:

    • Analytic continuation of the zeta function.
    • Functional equation.
    • Trivial and nontrivial zeros.
    Teaching Arrangements

    18 lectures (50 minutes each).

    Tutorials: 3 tutorials (50 min) to provide help with each of the 3 assignments.

    Assessment: 3 written Assignments (40%), final exam (60%)

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Critical Thinking, Interdisciplinary Perspective, Communication, Information Literacy, Lifelong Learning.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    On completion of the study of this paper, students are expected to:

    • Understand fundamental approaches in analytic number theory.
    • know important properties of prime numbers and their distribution.
    • Be able to derive asymptotic formulae.
    • Understand how methods from real and complex analysis can be used to rigorously prove theorems in number theory.
    • Know basic properties of Riemann’s zeta function, get an impression of the large number of difficult open problems in analytic number theory.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-19
    Thursday 10:00-10:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-19


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 10:00-10:50 12, 16, 19
    Back to top