We study matrix models in the β-ensemble by building on the refined recursion relation proposed by Chekhov and Eynard. We present explicit results for the first β-deformed corrections in the one-cut and the two-cut cases, as well as two applications to supersymmetric gauge theories: the calculation of superpotentials in

${\cal N}=1$
N=1 gauge theories, and the calculation of vevs of surface operators in superconformal
${\cal N}=2$
theories and their Liouville duals. Finally, we study the β-deformation of the Chern–Simons matrix model. Our results indicate that this model does not provide an appropriate description of the Ω-deformed topological string on the resolved conifold, and therefore that the β-deformation might provide a different generalization of topological string theory in toric Calabi–Yau backgrounds.

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