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Séminaire Lotharingien de Combinatoire, 86B.28 (2022), 12 pp.

# Maria Gillespie and Kyle Salois

# Inequality of a Class of Near-Ribbon Skew Schur *Q*-Functions

**Abstract.**
The problem of determining when two skew Schur *Q*-functions are equal is still largely open. It has been studied in the case of ribbon shapes in 2008 by Barekat and van Willigenburg, and this paper approaches the problem for *near-ribbon* shapes, formed by adding one box to a ribbon skew shape. We particularly consider *frayed ribbons*, that is, the near-ribbons whose shifted skew shape is not an ordinary skew shape. We conjecture, with evidence, that all Schur *Q*-functions of frayed ribbon shape are distinct up to antipodal reflection. We prove this conjecture for several infinite families of frayed ribbons, using a new approach via the "lattice walks" version of the shifted Littlewood-Richardson rule discovered in 2018 by Gillespie, Levinson, and Purbhoo.

Received: November 25, 2021.
Accepted: March 4, 2022.
Final version: April 1, 2022.

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