Abstract:
We study new statistics on permutations that are variations on the descent and the inversion statistics. In particular, we consider the alternating descent set of a permutation [sigma] = [sigma] 1 [sigma] 2 an defined as the set of indices i such that either i is odd and ai > ui+l, or i is even and au < au+l. We show that this statistic is equidistributed with the 3-descent set statistic on permutations [sigma] = [sigma] 1 [sigma] 2 ... [sigma] n+1 with al = 1, defined to be the set of indices i such that the triple [sigma] i [sigma] i + [sigma] i +2 forms an odd permutation of size 3. We then introduce Mahonian inversion statistics corresponding to the two new variations of descents and show that the joint distributions of the resulting descent-inversion pairs are the same. We examine the generating functions involving alternating Eulerian polynomials, defined by analogy with the classical Eulerian polynomials ... using alternating descents. By looking at the number of alternating inversions in alternating (down-up) permutations, we obtain a new qanalog of the Euler number En and show how it emerges in a q-analog of an identity expressing E, as a weighted sum of Dyck paths. Other parts of this thesis are devoted to polytopes relevant to the descent statistic. One such polytope is a "signed" version of the Pitman-Stanley parking function polytope, which can be viewed as a generalization of the chain polytope of the zigzag poset. We also discuss the family of descent polytopes, also known as order polytopes of ribbon posets, giving ways to compute their f-vectors and looking further into their combinatorial structure.

Description:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mathematics, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 75-76).