On January 16, 2024, Matthew Kroeker from the University of Waterloo gave a talk at the Discrete Math Seminar on the average number of points on planes (or affine subspaces) determined by points. The title of his talk was “Average flat-size in complex-representable matroids“.
Melchior’s Inequality (1941) implies that, in a rank-3 real-representable matroid, the average number of points in a line is less than three. This was extended to the complex-representable matroids by Hirzebruch in 1983 with the slightly weaker bound of four. In this talk, we discuss and sketch the proof of the recent result that, in a rank-4 complex-representable matroid which is not the direct-sum of two lines, the average number of points in a plane is bounded above by an absolute constant. Consequently, the average number of points in a flat in a rank-4 complex-representable matroid is bounded above by an absolute constant. Extensions of these results to higher dimensions will also be discussed. In particular, the following quantities are bounded in terms of k and r respectively: the average number of points in a rank-k flat in a complex-representable matroid of rank at least 2k-1, and the average number of points in a flat in a rank-r complex-representable matroid. Our techniques rely on a theorem of Ben Lund which approximates the number of flats of a given rank.
This talk is based on joint work with Rutger Campbell and Jim Geelen.