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DTSTAMP;TZID=America/Vancouver:20221209T103000
DTSTART;TZID=America/Vancouver:20221209T103000
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UID:20221209T103000@prima2022.primamath.org
SUMMARY:An Introduction to Sandpiles
DESCRIPTION:In 1987, physicists Bak, Tang, and Wiesenfeld created an idealized version of
a sandpile in which grains of sand are piled on the vertices of a
(combinatorial) graph and are subjected to certain avalanching rules. In the
last three decades, there has been a broad effort in the statistical physics
community to understand the dynamics of this model, which has a natural
underlying algebraic structure. The sandpile monoid and the sandpile group
encode the short and long-term dynamics of the system. Disguised under
different names, these algebraic structures have been widely studied in
diverse contexts including algebraic combinatorics, arithmetic geometry, and
algebraic geometry.
In this talk we give an introduction to the sandpile model and the algebraic
structures attached to it. We provide a broad overview of the theory and
discuss some of the more celebrated results. We end the talk with a discussion
about an ongoing project that showcases some of the unresolved fundamental
questions accessible to undergraduates.
STATUS:CONFIRMED
LOCATION:Junior Ballroom D
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