Hyperderivative power sums, Vandermonde matrices, and Carlitz multiplication coefficients
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We investigate interconnected aspects of hyperderivatives of polynomials over finite fields, q-th powers of polynomials, and specializations of Vandermonde matrices. We construct formulas for Carlitz multiplication coefficients using hyperderivatives and symmetric polynomials, and we prove identities for hyperderivative power sums in terms of specializations of the inverse of the Vandermonde matrix. As an application of these results we give a new proof of a theorem of Thakur on explicit formulas for Anderson's special polynomials for log-algebraicity on the Carlitz module. Furthermore, by combining results of Pellarin and Perkins with these techniques, we obtain a new proof of Anderson's theorem in the general case.
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