Education is a difficult task, it really is. Teaching takes a few tries to get the hang of. Writing textbooks is even harder. And math is one of those technical fields in which human error is hard to avoid. So usually, when I see a mistake in a math text, it doesn’t bother me much.

But some things just hurt my soul.

No correspondence between the integers and rationals? Yes there is, Example 2! Yes there is!

In this post and this one too, we discussed the inv and maj statistics on words, and two different proofs of their equidistribution. In fact, there is an even more unifying picture behind these statistics: they are simply two different instances of an entire parameterized family of statistics, called $r\text{-maj}$, all of which are equidistributed!

*This is a contributed gemstone, written by Sushant Vijayan. Enjoy!*

Consider a generic cubic equation \[at^3+bt^2+ct+d=0,\] where $a,b,c,d$ are real numbers and $a \neq 0$. Now we can transform this equation into a *depressed* cubic equation, i.e., one with no $t^2$ term, through means of Tschirnhaus Transformation $t=x-\frac{b}{3a}$, followed by dividing through by $a$. The depressed cubic equation is given by \[x^3+px+q=0\] where $p$ and $q$ are related to $a,b,c,d$ by the relation given here. Setting $p=-m$ and $q=-n$ and rearranging we arrive at \[x^3 =mx+n \hspace{3cm} (1)\] We will investigate the nature of roots for this equation. We begin with plotting out the graph of $y=x^3$:

*This is the third post in a series on the Springer correspondence. See Part I and Part II for background.*

In this post, we’ll restrict ourselves to the type A setting, in which $\DeclareMathOperator{\GL}{GL}\DeclareMathOperator{\inv}{inv} G=\GL_n(\mathbb{C})$, the Borel $B$ is the subgroup of invertible upper triangular matrices, and $U\subset G$ is the unipotent subvariety. In this setting, the flag variety is isomorphic to $G/B$ or $\mathcal{B}$ where $\mathcal{B}$ is the set of all subgroups conjugate to $B$.

For a given partition $\mu$, the Springer fiber $\mathcal{B}_\mu$ can be thought of as the set of all flags $F$ which are fixed by left multiplication by a unipotent element $u$ of Jordan type $\mu$. In other words, it is the set of complete flags \[F:0=F_0\subset F_1 \subset F_2 \subset \cdots \subset F_n=\mathbb{C}^n\] where $\dim F_i=i$ and $uF_i=F_i$ for all $i$.

As this ingenious post over at Math With Bad Drawings explained so clearly recently, there is a big difference between finding the answer to a math problem and being able to explain, beyond all reasonable doubt, why your answer is correct. It is the difference between solving it and *proving* it!

While mathematical proof is a huge part of math and science, it is unfortunately somewhat overlooked in the standard US curriculum. Partly for this reason, my family and I started a new math summer camp called Prove it! Math Academy. This year’s program will be a two-week crash course in proofs, using challenging problems and advanced mathematical concepts as examples.

Consider the following diagram which appears on our program website:

No explanation, no words, no proof. Just the picture. Enticing!