fixed-point functors for symmetric groups and schur algebras

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  • Journal of Algebra 280 (2004)

    Fixed-point functors for symmetric groupsand Schur algebras

    David J. Hemmer 1

    Department of Mathematics, University of Toledo, 2801 W. Bancroft, Toledo, OH 43606, USAReceived 16 March 2004

    Available online 2 July 2004

    Communicated by Gordon James


    Let d be the symmetric group. For 1 < m < d let Fm be the functor which takes a d -module U to the space of fixed points Um , which is naturally a module for dm. This functorwas previously used by the author to study cohomology of the symmetric group, but little isknown about it. This paper initiates a study of Fm. First, we relate it to James work on rowand column removal and decomposition numbers for the Schur algebra. Next, we determine theimage of dual Specht modules, permutation and twisted permutation modules, and some Youngand twisted Young modules under Fm. In particular, Fm acts as first row removal on dual Spechtmodules S with 1 = m and as first column removal on twisted Young and twisted permutationmodules corresponding to partitions with m parts. Finally, we prove that determining Fm on theYoung modules is equivalent to determining the decomposition numbers for the Schur algebra. 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    1. Notation and preliminaries

    We will assume familiarity with the representation theory of the symmetric group dand of the Schur algebra S(n, d) as found in [3,7,11]. Let k be an algebraically closed fieldof characteristic p > 2. We write d for = (1, . . . , r ) a partition of d and |= d fora composition of d . Let +(n, d) denote the set of partitions of d with at most n parts and

    E-mail address:

    1 Research of the author was supported in part by NSF grant DMS-0102019.

    0021-8693/$ see front matter 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.jalgebra.2004.04.014

  • 296 D.J. Hemmer / Journal of Algebra 280 (2004) 295312let (n,d) denote the set of compositions of d with at most n parts. We do not distinguishbetween and its Young diagram:

    = {(i, j) N N j i}.A partition is p-regular if there is no i such that i = i+1 = = i+p1 = 0. It isp-restricted if its conjugate partition, denoted , is p-regular. We write for the usualdominance order on partitions. For = (1, 2, . . . , r ) we write for with its first rowremoved, i.e.,

    = (2, . . . , r ) d 1.We write for with its first column removed, i.e.,

    = (1 1, 2,1, . . . , r 1) d r.The complex simple d -modules are the Specht modules {S | d}. Simple kd -

    modules can be indexed by p-restricted partitions or by p-regular partitions. Both{D := S/rad(S) is p-regular} and {D = soc(S) is p-restricted}

    are complete sets of nonisomorphic simple kd -modules. The two indexings are relatedby D = D sgn, where sgn is the one-dimensional signature representation. We recallthat

    S sgn = S , (1.1)where S denotes the dual of the Specht module S.

    We will also consider the Young modules {Y | d}, the permutation modules{M | (n,d)}, and their twisted versions obtained by tensoring with sgn. If isp-restricted, then Y is the projective cover of D. All these modules, and the S(n, d)-modules below, are described in [11].

    Let V = kn be the natural module for the general linear group GLn(k). Then V d isa GLn(k) -module with the diagonal action and a kd -module by place permutation. TheSchur algebra S(n, d) is defined by

    S(n, d) := Endkd(V d


    The actions of GLn(k) and d commute, so we get a map GLn(k) S(n, d). Thismap identifies the category mod-S(n, d) with the category of homogeneous polynomialrepresentations of GLn(k) of degree d .

    For +(n, d) we denote the irreducible S(n, d)-module with highest weight by L(). We also write () and () (sometimes written V () and H 0()) for thestandard and costandard modules with highest weight , respectively. P() will be theprojective cover of L(), I () the injective hull, and T () the corresponding tilting

    module. Finally, S(V ) and (V ) will be the symmetric and exterior powers.

  • D.J. Hemmer / Journal of Algebra 280 (2004) 295312 297Let I (n, d) denote the set of all d-tuples i = (i1, i2, . . . , id) with is {1,2, . . . , n}. Thesymmetric group d acts on the right on I (n, d) by

    i = (i(1), i(2) . . . , i(d)).This action extends to an action on I (n, d) I (n, d), and we write (i, j) (k, l) if k = iand l = j for some d . Let be a set of equivalence class representatives under .Recall [3] that S(n, d) has a basis {i,j} indexed by . For i I (n, d) define the weightof i by wt(i) = (1, 2, . . . , n) (n,d), where s is the number of times s appears in i.Then i,i is an idempotent, usually denoted .

    1.1. The Schur and adjoint Schur functor

    Henceforth assume n d . Let = (1d) (n,d) and let e denote the idempotent S(n, d). Then eS(n, d)e = kd , and the Schur functor F : mod-S(n, d) mod-kdis defined by F(U) := eU . This is an exact, covariant functor with

    F(())= S, F(())= S, F(L())= D or 0,F(P())= Y, F(I ())= Y, F(T ())= Y sgn. (1.2)

    The Schur functor admits a right adjoint functor G : mod-kd mod-S(n, d) definedby

    G(N) := Homkd(V d ,N

    )= HomeS(n,d)e(eS(n, d),N).The two definitions are equivalent since eS(n, d)e = kd and eS(n, d) = V d . Themodule V d is not injective as a kd -module. Thus the functor G is only left exact, andso has higher right derived functors

    RiG(N) = Extikd(V d ,N


    We now collect a few results about G and R1G. Recall that we are assuming p > 2throughout:

    Proposition 1.1.

    (i) [10, 3.2] G(S) = (). In particular, G(k) = (d).(ii) [5, 3.8.2] G(Y ) = P().

    (iii) [10, 6.4] For p > 3, R1G(S) = 0.

    1.2. Decomposition numbers, Specht filtrations, and dual Specht filtrations

    We collect here material that will be used repeatedly in later sections. For a thorough

    treatment see Martins book [11].

  • 298 D.J. Hemmer / Journal of Algebra 280 (2004) 295312We say a kd -module U has a Specht filtration if it has a filtration with successivequotients isomorphic to Specht modules. Similarly, we will say U has a dual Spechtfiltration. For S(n, d)-modules we refer to a Weyl filtration (by ()s) or a good filtration(by ()s). The multiplicities in a good or Weyl filtration are independent of the choice offiltration. The same holds for Specht and dual Specht filtrations in mod-kd when p > 3(but not for p = 2 or 3) by work in [5].

    The Young modules Y are self-dual and are known to have both Specht and dual Spechtfiltrations. If [Y : S] denotes the multiplicity of S in a dual Specht filtration of Y and[() : L()] denotes a decomposition number for S(n, d), then a well-known reciprocitytheorem [11, p. 118] gives[

    () : L()]= [I () : ()]= [Y : S]= [Y : S]. (1.3)So knowledge of the decomposition numbers for S(n, d) is equivalent to knowledge ofmultiplicities in dual Specht filtrations of Young modules, a fact we will use repeatedlylater.

    The category mod-S(n, d) is a highest weight category. In particular, [() : L()] = 1and [() : L()] = 0 unless . This triangular structure in the decomposition matrix,together with reciprocity (1.3), will be very useful to us, since it gives a triangular structureto the matrix of filtration multiplicities [Y : S]. In particular, suppose we know a kd -module is a direct sum of Young modules. If we know the multiplicities in a dual Spechtfiltration of the module, then we can determine the multiplicities of the Young modulesummands.

    The permutation module M is a direct sum of Young modules

    M = Y


    The p-Kostka numbers K are not known. However, Youngs rule (see [7, Chapter 14])gives a nice formula for the multiplicities in a Specht or dual Specht filtration of M.Thus if we know the decomposition numbers for S(n, d), then Youngs rule together withreciprocity let us determine the p-Kostka numbers.

    2. Relating the fixed-point functor to James idempotent

    In [4] we proved some theorems on extensions between simple modules for thesymmetric group when the first row or column of the corresponding partitions is removed.The proof used the fixed-point functor, which we now define. Throughout the paper we willconsider m as the subgroup of d fixing {m+1,m+2, . . . , d} and dm as the subgroupof d fixing {1,2, . . . ,m}. Then dm commutes with m d . So for a kd -module U ,the space of m-fixed points is a dm-submodule of U . Thus we can defineFm : mod-kd mod-kdm

  • D.J. Hemmer / Journal of Algebra 280 (2004) 295312 299by

    Fm(U) := Um = Homkm(k,U) = Homkd(M(m,1


    The proofs in [4] were motivated by, but did not really use, James work in [8]. In thispaper we will first relate James paper to the functor Fm. It will often be convenient tothink of Fm as first restricting to m dm d , and then taking the largest subspaceon which m acts trivially.

    In order to describe James work, we need some more notation. Fix 1 < m < d and letI(n, d) be the subset of I (n, d) consisting of those d-tuples with idm+1 = idm+2 = = id = 1 and ik = 1 for 1 k d m. James defined an idempotent = i,i, thesum being over distinct elements i,i with i I(n, d). James also defined

    S1 := span{i,j

    i, j I(n, d)} S(n, d).Then S1 is a subalgebra of S(n, d), and James proved [8] that S1 = S(n 1, d m).Thus we have the following (only partly commutative) diagram of functors, where F andG are as above while F and G are the corresponding Schur and adjoint Schur functors forthe smaller symmetric group dm. Also we use J to denote multiplication by followedby restriction to S1.

    mod-S(n, d)




    Fmmod-S(n, d)




    Our first theorem is that James functor J is closely related to the


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