Title: The nilpotent filtration and the action of automorphisms on the cohomology of finite $p$--groups
Author: Nicholas J. Kuhn
Author's mailing address: University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904
AMS classification number: 20J06
Abstract: We study H^*(P), the mod p cohomology of a finite p--group P, viewed as an Out(P)--module. In particular, we study the conjecture, first considered by Martino and Priddy, that, if e_S in Z/p[Out(P)] is a primitive idempotent associated to an irreducible Z/p[Out(P)]--module S, then the Krull dimension of e_SH^*(P) equals the rank of P. The rank is an upper bound by Quillen's work, and the conjecture can be viewed as the statement that every irreducible Z/p[Out(P)]--module occurs as a composition factor in H^*(P) with similar frequency.
In summary, our results are as follows. A strong form of the conjecture is true when p is odd. The situation is much more complex when p=2, but is reduced to a question about 2--central groups (groups in which all elements of order 2 are central), making it easy to verify the conjecture for many finite 2--groups, including all groups of order 128, and all groups that can be written as the product of groups of order 64 or less.
Featured in the nilpotent filtration of the category of unstable A--modules. Also featured are unstable algebras of cohomology primitives associated to central group extensions.