As the title suggests, we will give a brief introduction to the works of the German mathematician Erich Hecke, specifically to the theory of Hecke characters and Hecke L-functions. We will outline the connection between the ideal theoretic and idèlic formulation of Hecke characters and their relation to automorphic forms over GL(1). In the second half of the talk, we will discuss the arithmetic ingredients involved in the proof of the functional equation of Hecke L-functions. This talk will be accessible to a general audience.

Talk by Ken Willyard.