# generators of principal congruence subgroups and Sage package

I'm trying to find an explicit minimal set of generators for principal congruence subgroups of $\mathrm{SL}_{2}(\mathbb{Z})$, $\Gamma(N)$ for $N$ all powers of $2$. I know the question has been asked before as to how to find a minimal set of generators for congruence subgroups of special linear groups in the $n = 2$ case, and it was mentioned that there is an algorithm for computing this using Farey symbols. There is a package for Sage written by Chris Kurth which I would like to download, but it seems that I can't find a working link to it. I guess my main questions are as follows:

1) Can anyone tell me how to get this KFarey package on Sage? (Unfortunately, it's probably impractical for large $N$...)

2) Does anyone have any other practical idea as to how to find a minimal set of generators for each $\Gamma(2^{n})$? In particular, if anyone happened to know the answer even for $\Gamma(4)$, it would be greatly helpful to me in the short term.

3) (In case explicit generators cannot easily be found) does anyone know how to compute the abelianization of each $\Gamma(2^{n})$?

Thanks very much!

Jeff

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I think the Sage part of the question is best asked on the (actually very active and often helpful) Sage support mailing list, see sagemath.org/help-groups.html. – Christian Stump Jul 4 '12 at 4:19
As Dima points out in his answer below, calculating minimal generating sets using Farey symbols is available in all Sage versions since 5.0 (released earlier this year). I doubt there's any hope of writing down uniform formulae for generators of $\Gamma(2^n)$ for all $n$; but the abelianization of any congruence subgroup without elliptic points is just $\mathbb{Z}^g$ where (IIRC) $g$ is the genus (or maybe genus + 1 or something, I can't remember exactly). – David Loeffler Jul 4 '12 at 6:47
Yes, I suppose I should be able to think of $\Gamma(2^{n}) / <-1>$ as the fundamental group of the associated Riemann surface and then the abelianization should be the first homology group, which would be $\mathbb{Z}^{2g}$? – Jeff Yelton Jul 5 '12 at 3:50

$sage ---------------------------------------------------------------------- | Sage Version 5.1.beta6, Release Date: 2012-06-25 | | Type "notebook()" for the browser-based notebook interface. | | Type "help()" for help. | ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ********************************************************************** * * * Warning: this is a prerelease version, and it may be unstable. * * * ********************************************************************** sage: F = FareySymbol(Gamma0(11)); F FareySymbol(Congruence Subgroup Gamma0(11)) sage: F.generators() [ [1 1] [ 7 -2] [ 8 -3] [-1 0] [0 1], [11 -3], [11 -4], [ 0 -1] ] sage: Here is the same for$\Gamma_0(4)$and$\Gamma(4)$: sage: F = FareySymbol(Gamma0(4)); F FareySymbol(Congruence Subgroup Gamma0(4)) sage: F.generators() [ [1 1] [ 3 -1] [-1 0] [0 1], [ 4 -1], [ 0 -1] ] sage:FareySymbol(Gamma(4)).generators() [ [1 4] [-15 4] [ 5 -4] [ 9 -16] [ 13 -36] [0 1], [ -4 1], [ 4 -3], [ 4 -7], [ 4 -11] ] sage:FareySymbol(Gamma(8)).generators() [ [1 8] [-63 8] [137 -40] [ 89 -32] [ 289 -112] [ 73 -32] [0 1], [ -8 1], [ 24 -7], [ 64 -23], [ 80 -31], [ 16 -7], [-71 40] [105 -64] [ 161 -104] [-79 56] [ 9 -8] [ 161 -208] [-16 9], [ 64 -39], [ 48 -31], [-24 17], [ 8 -7], [ 24 -31], [ 153 -208] [ 89 -128] [-87 136] [ 169 -272] [-103 176] [ 64 -87], [ 16 -23], [-16 25], [ 64 -103], [ -24 41], [ 17 -32] [ 185 -424] [ 217 -512] [ 105 -256] [-103 264] [ 8 -15], [ 24 -55], [ 64 -151], [ 16 -39], [ -16 41], [ 233 -608] [-127 344] [ 25 -72] [ 121 -416] [-119 424] [ 64 -167], [ -24 65], [ 8 -23], [ 16 -55], [ -16 57], [-151 560] [ 33 -128] [-175 824] [ 41 -200] [ 49 -288] [ -24 89], [ 8 -31], [ -24 113], [ 8 -39], [ 8 -47], [ 57 -392] [ 8 -55] ] - In recent versions of Sage, actually "Gamma(4).generators()" will use the Farey symbol code by default, so you can save typing "FareySymbol" each time. – David Loeffler Jul 4 '12 at 6:43 1. I cannot help you with Sage, but doubtlessly someone will step up. 2. The Farey method has its genesis (I believe) in this paper by Kulkarni (American Journal, 1991). Not the easiest paper to read, but probably not the hardest :) 3. The quotient of$\mathbb{H}^2$by$\Gamma_0(4)$is isometric to the regular ideal octahedron. The combinatorics of the covering (of the modular orbifold) can be obtained by baricentrically subdividing each face into six triangles, painting them alternatively black and white, and thinking of each pair of adjacent triangles as an unfolded modular orbifold (the modular orbifold being a doubled triangle, with black top side and white bottom side). For more on this line of thinking, check out my antique arxiv preprint called "Triangulations into Groups" -- this gives an algorithm for constructing generators for a subgroup of$PSL(2, \mathbb{Z})\$ corresponding to a triangulation.