Shell Tableaux: A Set Partition Analog of Vacillating Tableaux
Schur–Weyl duality is a fundamental framework in combinatorial representation theory. It intimately relates the irreducible representations of a group to the irreducible representations of its centralizer algebra. We investigate the analog of Schur–Weyl duality for the group of unipotent upper triangular matrices over a finite field. In this case, the character theory of these upper triangular matrices is "wild" or unattainable. Thus we employ a generalization, known as supercharacter theory, that creates a striking variation on the character theory of the symmetric group with combinatorics built from set partitions. In this paper, we present a combinatorial formula for calculating a restriction and induction of supercharacters based on statistics of set partitions and seashell inspired diagrams. We use these formulas to create a graph that encodes the decomposition of a tensor space, and develop an analog of Young tableaux, known as shell tableaux, to index paths in this graph.