Influence of Character Degrees on the Structure of Nearly Simple Groups
A fundamental question in representation theory of finite groups is the extent to which complex group algebra or character degree set of a finite group determines the group or some of its properties.
It is known that, in general, the complex group algebra or the character degree set of a finite solvable group does not determine the group structure up to isomorphism. In contrast to solvable groups, the non-abelian (nearly) simple groups seems to have a stronger relation to their complex group algebras or their set of character degrees. Indeed, it has been recently shown in  that finite quasi-simple groups are determined uniquely (up to isomorphism) by the structure of their complex group algebras. Furthermore, a celebrated conjecture of Huppert  states that finite non-abelian simple groups are uniquely determined up to an abelian direct factor by the set of their character degrees.
In this article, we will survey on recent improvements of the above results including our recent project aimed at extending the above results to almost simple groups. In particular, we will discuss the following results.
Theorem A. (, ) Let and be an almost simple group where is not a divisor of or . Then is determined up to isomorphism by the structure of its complex group algebra (here, if is of linear type, and if is of unitary type).
We have also proposed an extension of Huppert’s conjecture from non-abelian simple groups to almost simple groups of Lie type.
Conjecture B. Let be a finite group and be an almost simple group of Lie type with . Then for some abelian normal subgroup of .
Inview of Huppert’s conjecture, we show that G is not necessarily the direct product of and , and also the converse implication does not necessarily hold for almost simple groups. Furthermore, I will explain our recent work on verifying Conjecture B for some almost simple groups of Lie type of low ranks , and also on verifying the Huppert original conjecture for the family of projective special linear groups (q) .
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