Description: The descent algebra of a Coxeter group is a subalgebra of the group algebra with interesting representation theoretic properties. For instance, the natural map from the descent algebra of the symmetric group to the character ring is a surjective algebra homomorphism, so the descent algebra implicitly encodes information about the representations of the symmetric group. However, this property does not hold for other Coxeter groups. Moreover, a complete set of primitive idempotents in the descent algebra of the symmetric group leads to a decomposition of the group algebra as a direct sum of induced linear characters of centralizers of conjugacy class representatives. In this dissertation, I consider the hyperoctahedral group. When the descent algebra of a hyperoctahedral group is replaced with a generalization called the Mantaci-Reutenauer algebra, the natural map to the character ring is surjective. In 2008, Bonnafé asked whether a complete set of idempotents in the Mantaci-Reutenauer algebra could lead to a decomposition of the group algebra of the hyperoctahedral group as a direct sum of induced linear characters of centralizers. In this dissertation, I will answer this question positively and go through the construction of the idempotents, conjugacy class representatives, and linear characters required to do so.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Tomlin, Drew E