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Mathematics  2001 

Arithmetic partition sums and orbits of Z_n^k under the symmetric group S_k

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We study M(n,k,r), the number of orbits of {(a_1,...,a_k)\in Z_n^k | a_1+...+a_k = r (mod n)} under the action of S_k. Equivalently, M(n,k,r) sums the partition numbers of an arithmetic sequence: M(n,k,r) = sum_{t \geq 0} p(n-1,k,r+nt), where p(a,b,t) denotes the number of partitions of t into at most b parts, each of which is at most a. We derive closed formulas and various identities for such arithmetic partition sums. These results have already appeared in Elashvili/Jibladze/Pataraia, Combinatorics of necklaces and "Hermite reciprocity", J. Alg. Combin. 10 (1999) 173-188, and the main result was also published by Von Sterneck in Sitzber. Akad. Wiss. Wien. Math. Naturw. Class. 111 (1902), 1567-1601 (see Lemma 2 and references in math.NT/9909121). Thanks to Don Zagier and Robin Chapman for bringing these references to our attention.


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