$(s,t)$-Cores: a Weighted Version of Armstrong’s Conjecture

  • Matthew Fayers
Keywords: Partition, Core, Affine symmetric group, Affine hyperoctahedral group, Armstrong's Conjecture


The study of core partitions has been very active in recent years, with the study of $(s,t)$-cores — partitions which are both $s$- and $t$-cores %mdash; playing a prominent role. A conjecture of Armstrong, proved recently by Johnson, says that the average size of an $(s,t)$-core, when $s$ and $t$ are coprime positive integers, is $\frac1{24}(s-1)(t-1)(s+t-1)$. Armstrong also conjectured that the same formula gives the average size of a self-conjugate $(s,t)$-core; this was proved by Chen, Huang and Wang.

In the present paper, we develop the ideas from the author's paper [J. Combin. Theory Ser. A 118 (2011) 1525—1539], studying actions of affine symmetric groups on the set of $s$-cores in order to give variants of Armstrong's conjectures in which each $(s,t)$-core is weighted by the reciprocal of the order of its stabiliser under a certain group action. Informally, this weighted average gives the expected size of the $t$-core of a random $s$-core.

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