Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 December 2021
We interpret the degrees which arise in Tevelev’s study of scattering amplitudes in terms of moduli spaces of Hurwitz covers. Via excess intersection theory, the boundary geometry of the Hurwitz moduli space yields a simple recursion for the Tevelev degrees (together with their natural two parameter generalisation). We find exact solutions which specialise to Tevelev’s formula in his cases and connect to the projective geometry of lines and Castelnuovo’s classical count of $g^1_d$ ’s in other cases. For almost all values, the calculation of the two parameter generalisation of the Tevelev degree is new. A related count of refined Dyck paths is solved along the way.