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19
votes
3answers
970 views

Can nonabelian groups be detected “locally”?

Suppose $m,n\geq 2$ are two integers. Is it true that for every sufficiently large nonabelian group $G$, one can find a set $A\subset G$, with $|A|=n$, so that $|A^m| >\binom{n+m-1}{m}$? (Edit) ...
19
votes
3answers
709 views

Statistics of irreps of S_n that can be read off the Young diagram, and consequences of Kerov-Vershik

Alexei Oblomkov recently told me about the beautiful theorem of Kerov and Vershik, which says that "almost all Young diagrams look the same." More precisely: take a random irreducible representation ...
19
votes
0answers
242 views

Uniform proof that a finite reflection group is determined by its degrees?

Given a finite (real) group $G$ generated by reflections acting on euclidean $n$-space, it was shown by Chevalley in the 1950s that the algebra of invariants of $G$ in the associated polynomial ...
19
votes
0answers
526 views

Is there a Mathieu groupoid M_31?

I have read something which said that the large amount of common structure between the simple groups $SL(3,3)$ and $M_{11}$ indicated to Conway the possibility that the Mathieu groupoid $M_{13}$ might ...
18
votes
6answers
1k views

Measures of non-abelian-ness

Let $G$ be a finite non-abelian group of $n$ elements. I would like a measure that intuitively captures the extent to which $G$ is non-commutative. One easy measure is a count of the non-commutative ...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Fantastic properties of Z/2Z

Recently I gave a lecture to master's students about some nice properties of the group with two elements $\mathbb{Z}/2\mathbb{Z}$. Typically, I wanted to present simple, natural situations where the ...
18
votes
2answers
524 views

Reference for the triple covering of A_6

I would like to ask for a reference (book, paper ...) for the following nice construction, which I have found as an exercise in some notes of a course by R. Borcherds. For $n=6$ or $7$ (and only in ...
18
votes
2answers
682 views

Definition of “finite group of Lie type”?

The list of finite simple groups of Lie type has been understood for half a century, modulo some differences in notation (and identifications between some of the very small groups coming from ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Order of products of elements in symmetric groups

Let $n \in \mathbb{N}$. Is it true that for any $a, b, c \in \mathbb{N}$ satisfying $1 < a, b, c \leq n-2$ the symmetric group ${\rm S}_n$ has elements of order $a$ and $b$ whose product has order ...
18
votes
0answers
671 views

Given a lattice L with n elements, are there finite groups H < G such that L $\cong$ the lattice of subgroups between H and G?

If there is no restriction on $n$, this is a famous open problem. I'm wondering if any recent work has been done for small $n>6$. I believe the question is answered (positively) for $n=6$ by ...
17
votes
3answers
872 views

Non-split extensions of $GL_n(F_q)$ by $F_q^n$ ?

A very naive question : I just learned that there is a non-split extension of $GL_3(F_2)$ by $F_2^3$ (with standard action). It can be realized as the subgroup of the automorphism group $G_2$ of ...
17
votes
3answers
871 views

Highly transitive groups (without assuming the classification of finite simple groups)

What is known about the classification of n-transitive group actions for n large without using the classification of finite simple groups? With the classification of finite simple groups a complete ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Generating finite simple groups with $2$ elements

Here is a very natural question: Q: Is it always possible to generate a finite simple group with only $2$ elements? In all the examples that I can think of the answer is yes. If the answer is ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Number of finite simple groups of given order is at most 2 - is a classification-free proof possible?

This Wikipedia article states that the isomorphism type of a finite simple group is determined by its order, except that: L4(2) and L3(4) both have order 20160 O2n+1(q) and S2n(q) have the same ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Which groups have only real and quaternionic irreducible representations?

Consider a continuous irreducible representation of a compact Lie group on a finite-dimensional complex Hilbert space. There are three mutually exclusive options: 1) it's not isomorphic to its dual ...
16
votes
1answer
649 views

Number of 2-dimensional irreducible representations of a finite group ?

Question: What is the number of two-dimensional irreducible representations of a finite group ? How it can be expressed in groups-theoretic terms ? (Number of 1-dimensional irreps is |G/[G,G]| ). ...
16
votes
1answer
484 views

Ratio of number of subgroups to the order of a finite group

Let $\mathcal{G}$ be the set of finite groups and for $G \in \mathcal{G}$, let $S(G)$ be the set of subgroups of $G$. I am interested in the ratio $R(G)=|S(G)|/|G|$. It is easy to show that by picking ...
16
votes
1answer
603 views

Examples of finite groups with “good” bijection(s) between conjugacy classes and irreducible representations?

For symmetric group conjugacy classes and irreducible representation both are parametrized by Young diagramms, so there is a kind of "good" bijection between the two sets. For general finite groups ...
16
votes
0answers
335 views

Applications of the surjectivity of Brauer's decomposition map over arbitrary fields?

Recently I've been going over some of Serre's reformulation of Brauer theory with a student, following the influential treatment in Part III of Serre's lectures (revised 1971 French edition) later ...
16
votes
0answers
414 views

Density of first-order definable sets in a directed union of finite groups

This is a generalization of the following question by John Wiltshire-Gordon. Consider an inductive family of finite groups: $$ G_0 \hookrightarrow G_1 \hookrightarrow \ldots \hookrightarrow G_i ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

What is this subgroup of $\mathfrak S_{12}$ ?

On some occasion I was gifted a calendar. It displays a math quizz every day of the year. Not really exciting in general, but at least one of them let me raise a group-theoretic question. The quizz: ...
15
votes
1answer
382 views

Finite groups $G$ so that $G$ has exactly two subgroups of a given order

Is there a finite group $G$ and a divisor $d$ of $|G|$ so that $G$ contains exactly two subgroups of order $d$? The motivation for this question is an old qual problem (see ...
15
votes
2answers
800 views

Groups of order $n$ with a character whose degree is at least $0.8\sqrt{n}$ (say)

[edited in response to some corrections by Geoff Robinson and F. Ladisch] Throughout, all my groups are finite, and all my representations are over the complex numbers. If $G$ is a group and $\chi$ ...
15
votes
3answers
987 views

Injective proof about sizes of conjugacy classes in S_n

It's not hard to count the number of permutations in a given conjugacy class of Sn. In particular, the number of permutations in Sn whose cycle decomposition has ci i-cycles is n!/(Πi=1n ci!ici). ...
15
votes
1answer
563 views

Lower bounds on the number of elements in Sylow subgroups

I posted this question on Math.SE (link), but it didn't get any answers so I'm going to ask here. This is an edited version of the question. Let $p$ be a prime and $n \geq 1$ some integer. ...
14
votes
3answers
836 views

Use of n-transitivity in finite group theory

Hello, apparently finite groups which are n-transitive with n>5 are only the permutation groups Sn or the alternating groups An+2, see e.g. page 226 this book by Isaacs ...
14
votes
1answer
627 views

The number of group elements whose squares lie in a given subgroup

This number is divisible by the order of the subgroup http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.2824. The proof is short but non-trivial. Is this fact new or is it known for a long time?
14
votes
2answers
535 views

Maximal number of maximal subgroups

Let $G$ be a finite group. I want to find an upper bound on the number of the maximal subgroups. My questions is does it possible to prove that the number of maximal subgroups of any finite group $G$ ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

M24 moonshine for K3

There are recent papers suggesting that the elliptic genus of K3 exhibits moonshine for the Mathieu group $M_{24}$ (http://arXiv.org/pdf/1004.0956). Does anyone know of constructions of $M_{24}$ ...
14
votes
0answers
228 views

Maximum automorphism group for a 3-connected cubic graph

The following arose as a side issue in a project on graph reconstruction. Problem: Let $a(n)$ be the greatest order of the automorphism group of a 3-connected cubic graph with $n$ vertices. Find a ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Classification of finite groups of isometries

Consider the problem of classifying the finite groups of isometries of R^n. --For n=2 it is cyclic and dihedral groups. --For n=3 they are well known, probably from Kepler and are related to ...
13
votes
3answers
609 views

Reference for representation theory of SL_2(Z/n)

There are many references for the representation theory (say over $\mathbf C$) of $SL_2(\mathbf{F}_q)$ and $GL_2(\mathbf{F}_q)$, for instance lecture 5 in Fulton--Harris "Representation theory" and ...
13
votes
4answers
385 views

Results about the order of a group forcing a particular property.

Given a group of order $n$ where $n$ is either a specific number, or a number of a particular form, e.g. square-free, when does $n$ completely determine a particular group property among all groups of ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

determinant of the table of characters

I am certain that the answer to this question exists somewhere. It might be a classical exercise. Let $G$ be a finite group. Its table of characters is a square matrix, whose rows are indexed by the ...
13
votes
1answer
311 views

Does O'Nan-Scott depend on CFSG?

My question is in the title. Some context: there are two versions of the O'Nan-Scott theorem. The first, weaker version, is due to O'Nan and Scott (independently) and gives the structure of the ...
13
votes
1answer
698 views

Non-isomorphic finite simple groups

Hello, The smallest integer $n$ such that there exists two non-isomorphic simple groups of order $n$, is $n=20160$ (namely for the groups $\mathrm{PSL}_3(\mathbb F _4)$ and $\mathrm{PSL}_4(\mathbb F ...
13
votes
2answers
774 views

Number of n-th roots of elements in a finite group and higher Frobenius-Schur indicators

This is the second follow-up to this question on square roots of elements in symmetric groups and is concerned with generalisations to $n$-th roots. Let $G$ be a finite group and let $r_n(g)$ be the ...
13
votes
2answers
545 views

The prime divisors of a simple group

Let $G$ be a finite simple group such that $\pi (G)=\pi (A_{n})$, where $n\geq 23$ ($\pi (G)$ is the set of prime divisors of the order of $G$). Is it true that $G$ is isomorphic to an alternating ...
13
votes
0answers
442 views

What's the big deal about $M_{13}$?

$M_{13}$ is the Mathieu groupoid defined by Conway in Conway, J. H. $M_{13}$. Surveys in combinatorics, 1997 (London), 1–11, London Math. Soc. Lecture Note Ser., 241, Cambridge Univ. Press, ...
13
votes
1answer
514 views

Are There Always Group Generators Which Give Unimodal Growth?

Suppose $G$ is a $k$-generated finite group. Is there always a set of $k$ elements which generate the group and have a unimodal counting function? Background: The counting function, $f(n)$, is a ...
13
votes
0answers
506 views

How much has been written down about Deligne's geometric approach to the order formula for a finite group of Lie type?

This is a follow-up to a recent mathoverflow question 34387 about computing the orders of finite unitary groups and the comments made there. Between 1955 (Chevalley's Tohoku paper) and 1968 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Has any attempt been made to classify finite groupoids?

I recently stumbled upon the Mathieu groupoid and I found them fascinating. It appears as a subset of $S_{13}$ which is not closed under multiplication, but it turns out to be a groupoid with 13 ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Finite groups such that every irrep can be induced from trivial irrep of a subgroup ?

What are examples (general features) of the finite groups $G$, such that every irrep (irreducible representation) is contained (as constituent) in the representation induced from trivial ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Finite subgroups of $PGL_2(K)$ in characteristic $p$

Let $K$ be a field of characteristic $p$. What are the finite subgroups of $PGL_2(K)$ whose orders are divisible by $p$? And if $G$ and $H$ are two such subgroups that are isomorphic, can one say when ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Finite groups in which every character has real values: grading the representations

Let $G$ be a finite group. Then the irreducible complex representations of $G$ come in three sorts: real, complex and symplectic=quaternionic. The type of an irreducible character $\chi$ can be read ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the Hilbert class field of a cyclotomic field?

In the answers to Qiaochu's post on defining representations of finite groups over the algebraic integers, it came out that which fields a representation of a finite group is defined over might depend ...
12
votes
2answers
601 views

Wedderburn's theorem for $\mathbb{Q}G$

Let $G$ be a finite group and let $\mathbb{Q}G=M_{n_1}(D_1)\times\cdots\times M_{n_k}(D_k)$ be the decomposition of $\mathbb{Q}G$ as a product of rings of matrices over divisions rings. Let $Z_i$ be ...
12
votes
3answers
657 views

Restriction from GL_n to S_n

Let $V$ be the irreducible representation of $GL\_n$ with highest $\lambda$, and $|\lambda|=n$. It is well known that the representation of $S\_n$ on the $(1,1,\ldots,1)$ weight space is the Specht ...
12
votes
1answer
251 views

Largest subset of $GL_n(p)$ in which pairwise subtraction is also in $GL_n(p)$

Suppose $X\subset \mathrm{GL}_n(p)$ is a set of invertible matrices such that for every $A,B\in X$ then also $A-B\in \mathrm{GL}_n(p)\cup \{0\}$. (If anyone knows a name for such sets I would be ...
12
votes
2answers
625 views

Is the following map from Z(G) x H^3(G, C*) --> H^2(G, C*) ever nontrivial?

Suppose that G is a finite group, then we have the following map f which takes an element z in the center of G and a 3-cohomology class w and returns a 2-cohomology class f(z,w) (for concreteness ...