Inversions for reduced words

Speaker: 
Sami Assaf
Date: 
Fri, Nov 9, 2018
Location: 
PIMS, University of British Columbia
Conference: 
Discrete Math Seminar
Abstract: 
The number of inversions of a permutation is an important statistic that arises in many contexts, including as the minimum number of simple transpositions needed to express the permutation and, equivalently, as the rank function for weak Bruhat order on the symmetric group. In this talk, I’ll describe an analogous statistic on the reduced expressions for a given permutation that turns the Coxeter graph for a permutation into a ranked poset with unique maximal element. This statistic simplifies greatly when shifting our paradigm from reduced expressions to balanced tableaux, and I’ll use this simplification to give an elementary proof computing the diameter of the Coxeter graph for the long permutation. This talk is elementary and assumes no background other than passing familiarity with the symmetric group.