We give a group-theoretic description of the parity of a pull-back of a theta characteristic under a branched covering. It involves lifting monodromy of the covering to the semidirect product of the symmetric and Clifford groups, known as the Sergeev group. As an application, we enumerate torus coverings with respect to their ramification and parity and, in particular, show that the corresponding all-degree generating functions are quasimodular forms.
- Branched covering
- Theta characteristic