Restricting Supercharacters of the Finite Group of Unipotent Uppertriangular Matrices

  • Nathaniel Thiem
  • Vidya Venkateswaran


It is well-known that understanding the representation theory of the finite group of unipotent upper-triangular matrices $U_n$ over a finite field is a wild problem. By instead considering approximately irreducible representations (supercharacters), one obtains a rich combinatorial theory analogous to that of the symmetric group, where we replace partition combinatorics with set-partitions. This paper studies the supercharacter theory of a family of subgroups that interpolate between $U_{n-1}$ and $U_n$. We supply several combinatorial indexing sets for the supercharacters, supercharacter formulas for these indexing sets, and a combinatorial rule for restricting supercharacters from one group to another. A consequence of this analysis is a Pieri-like restriction rule from $U_n$ to $U_{n-1}$ that can be described on set-partitions (analogous to the corresponding symmetric group rule on partitions).

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