GeoCrypt location:Papeete, Tahiti date:7-11 October 2013
Cais, Ellenberg and Zureick-Brown recently observed that over finite fields of characteristic two, all sufficiently general smooth plane projective curves of a given odd degree admit a non-trivial rational 2-torsion point on their Jacobian. We extend their observation to curves given by Laurent polynomials with a fixed Newton polygon, provided that the polygon satisfies a certain combinatorial property. We also show that in each of these cases, the sufficiently general condition is implied by being ordinary. Our treatment includes many classical families, such as hyperelliptic curves of odd genus and C_ab curves. In the hyperelliptic case, we provide alternative proofs using an explicit description of the 2-torsion subgroup.