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21
votes
0answers
252 views

Guess that group via product queries

Suppose someone (person B) knows a finite group $G$ of order $n$. You (person A) know only the order $n$, and that $1$ is the name of the identity element. The group elements are named $1,2,\ldots,n$ ...
20
votes
3answers
761 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
755 views

Nilpotency of a group by looking at orders of elements

For any finite group $G$, let $$\theta(G) := \sum_{g \in G} \frac{o(g)}{\phi(o(g))},$$ where $o(g)$ denotes the order of the element $g$ in $G$, and where $\phi$ is the Euler totient function. It is ...
20
votes
1answer
930 views

Monstrous moonshine for $M_{24}$ and K3?

An important piece of Monstrous moonshine is the j-function, $$j(\tau) = \frac{1}{q}+744+196884q+21493760q^2+\dots\tag{1}$$ In the paper "Umbral Moonshine" (2013), page 5, authors Cheng, Duncan, and ...
20
votes
1answer
356 views

Uniform proof that a finite (irreducible real) reflection group is determined by its degrees?

Given a finite (irreducible 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 ...
20
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 ...
19
votes
5answers
1k views

Generating a finite group from elements in each conjugacy class

Is there a finite group such that, if you pick one element from each conjugacy class, these don't necessarily generate the entire group?
19
votes
11answers
2k views

Conjugacy classes in finite groups that remain conjugacy classes when restricted to proper subgroups

In a forthcoming paper with Venkatesh and Westerland, we require the following funny definition. Let G be a finite group and c a conjugacy class in G. We say the pair (G,c) is nonsplitting if, for ...
19
votes
3answers
1k 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
1answer
560 views

Geodesics in finite groups

It seems that I can generalize a result from compact, connected Lie groups to finite groups, but in order to do so, I need to have some kind of geodesics on finite groups. Below is a proposition for ...
19
votes
0answers
568 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
441 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 ...
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
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
989 views

Is a group uniquely determined by the sets $\{ab,ba\}$ for each pair of elements a and b?

This is a cross-posted question, originally active here on math.stackexchange. For a given group $G=(S,\cdot)$ with underlying set $S$, consider the function $$ F_G:S\times ...
18
votes
3answers
975 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
666 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
3answers
957 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 $\chi$ ...
18
votes
0answers
737 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
900 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 ...
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
741 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
497 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
794 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
365 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
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
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
750 views

In what sense is the classification of all finite groups “impossible”?

I think there is a general belief that the classification of all finite groups is "impossible". I would like to know if this claim can be made more precise in any way. For instance, if there is a ...
15
votes
1answer
451 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
1answer
789 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
1k 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
634 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
596 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. ...
15
votes
0answers
287 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
859 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
2answers
964 views

(co)homology of symmetric groups

Let $S_n=\{\text{bijections }[n]\to[n]\}$ be the n-th symmetric group. Its (co)homology will be understood with trivial action. What are the $\mathbb{Z}$-modules $H_k(S_n;\mathbb{Z})$? Using GAP, we ...
14
votes
1answer
667 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
560 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
352 views

Number of solutions to equations in finite groups

Suppose $G$ is a finite group and that $E$ is an equation of the form $x_1 x_2 ... x_n = e$, where each $x_i$ is in the set of symbols $\{x, y, x^{-1}, y^{-1}\}$. Is it always true that the number ...
14
votes
2answers
846 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 ...
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
539 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
5answers
525 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
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
659 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
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
422 views

Why is Klein's representation of $PSL_2(\mathbb{F}_7)$ hard to obtain?

In his famous article [1] Klein constructs a representation of $G=PSL_2(\mathbb{F}_7)$ in $\mathbb{C}^3$ (of which the first invariant polynomial of three variables gives rise to the famous Klein's ...
13
votes
1answer
404 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 ...