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In the early 1990s Ribet observed that the classical mod l multiplicity one results for modular curves, which are a consequence of the q-expansion principle, fail to generalize to Shimura curves. Specifically he found examples of Galois representations which occur with multiplicity 2 in the mod l cohomology of a Shimura curve with discriminant pq and level 1.

I will describe a new approach to proving multiplicity statements for Shimura curves, using the Taylor-Wiles-Kisin patching method (which was shown by Diamond to give an alternate proof of multiplicity one in certain cases), as well as specific computations of local Galois deformation rings done by Shotton. This allows us to re-interpret and generalize Ribet's result. I will prove a mod l "multiplicity 2^k" statement in the minimal level case, where k is a number depending only on local Galois theoretic data. This proof also yields additional information the Hecke module structure of the cohomology of a Shimura curve, which among other things has applications to the study of congruence modules.