In 1998 Dimitrii Pasechnik asked:
> I have a homomorphism of a (big, possibly infinite) finitely
> presented group to a permutation group of degree few hundred.
> The image of homomorphism is McL (the MacLaughlin group)
> in its minimal permutation representation on 275 points.
> It is constructed by adding 2 extra relators to the original presentation
> It is known that G itself also admits a homomorphism onto a nonsplit
> extension 3^23.McL. We conjecture that the abelian invariants of
> the kernel of G->McL are just this 3^23.
> I would like to know the abelian factors of the kernel of this
> Is there a way of doing this in GAP now?
In 1998 this was impossible in GAP. Now, however, GAP 4.3 contains much
improved methods for working with finitely presented groups. Using these, I
have been able to show that there is indeed at least an homomorphism onto an
extension (3^104.3.3^21.3 x 3^104).McL.
The techniques used for this are descibed in a paper which recently appeared
in `Experimental Mathematics', 10 (2001), no.3, 369-381.
The web page
gives more information, in particular a transscript of the GAP calculations.
I would expect that the techniques used in the calculation might be of
interest also to other people working with finitely presented groups.
-- Colorado State University, Department of Mathematics,
Weber Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: ++1-970-4914288