# Algebraic power series and their automatic complexity I: finite fields

Christol's theorem states that a power series with coefficients in a finite field is algebraic if and only if its coefficient sequence is automatic. A natural question is how the size of a polynomial describing such a sequence relates to the size of an automaton describing the same sequence. Bridy used tools from algebraic geometry to bound the size of the minimal automaton for a sequence, given its minimal polynomial. We produce a new proof of Bridy's bound by embedding algebraic sequences as diagonals of rational functions. Crucially for our interests, our approach can be adapted to work not just over a finite field but over the integers modulo p^α.

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