Characters of classical groups appear in the enumeration of many interesting combinatorial problems. We show that, for a wide class of partitions, and for an even number of variables of which half are reciprocals of the other half, Schur functions (i.e., characters of the general linear group) factorize into a product of two characters of other classical groups. Time permitting, we will present similar results involving sums of two Schur functions. All the proofs will involve elementary applications of ideas from linear algebra.

This is joint work with Roger Behrend.

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