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Let and let be the nilpotent radical of the standard Borel subgroup, i.e., is the subgroup of consisting of upper triangular matrices with 1’s on the diagonal. Given a non-trivial character , we define a character of by

This defines a one-dimensional representation of . One can show that the induced representation is multiplicity-free, i.e., when we decompose into a sum of irreducible constituents,

we have for all . Each constituent is called a *generic* irreducible representation. There are many reasons for calling them *generic*. One is that no matter which non-trivial character we choose, we obtain the same induced representation up to equivalence. One can see this by looking at the induced character values on each conjugacy class. These values will be polynomials in and, once simplified, do not depend on the character . Moreover, this *Gelfand-Graev representation* contains *most* irreducible representations of the group.

To see this, we can compare the number of irreducible constituents of with the number of irreducible representations of . By a standard result in the representation theory of finite groups, the number of irreducible representations of is equal to its number of conjugacy classes.

A useful approach to finding dimensions of spaces of Siegel cusp forms is to investigate the representation theory of GSp(2n). We can translate results in representation theory to results on spaces of cusp forms and vice-versa. As observed by Harish-Chandra, cuspidal representations are the building blocks for the representation theory of certain groups in a way analogous to the construction of Eisenstein series from cusp forms. More precisely, a cusp form gives rise to a cuspidal automorphic representation of and vice-versa. These cuspidal automorphic representations can be written in terms of local components. The local components of the automorphic representation in turn give rise to local components of the cusp form. The dimensions of these spaces tell us essentially how many choices we have for the local factors of the representation and therefore the number of choices of local cusp forms.

Let be a non-archimedean local field of characteristic zero with ring of integers and maximal ideal such that is isomorphic to , the finite field of order for an odd prime. We consider the group and hence Siegel modular forms of degree 2. By the properties of our field we have . We define the congruence subgroup of level , denoted by , by

For the maximal compact subgroup and an admissible representation of , acts on the space of vectors in fixed by the action of the congruence subgroup . This space is finite dimensional by the admissibility of the representation. By definition, acts trivially on this space and so we have a more interesting action of the group . We can then determine the dimension of by looking at the finite group analogue of .

An investigation of this finite group analogue yields information that is then translated to the language of modular forms. We can then obtain results such as the dimension of a space of cusp forms. We have these results for all such local fields that satisfy the conditions above. Our local method can then be used for global results on cusp forms, such as dimension formulas for the space of Siegel cusp forms on the principal congruence subgroup of odd square-free level .