Distinguished Student Work



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The abelian sandpile model on a connected graph yields a finite abelian group Q of recurrent configurations which is closely related to the combinatorial Laplacian. We consider the identity configuration of the sandpile group on graphs with large edge multiplicities, called “thick” graphs. We explicitly compute the identity configuration for all thick paths using a recursion formula. We then analyze the thick cycle and explicitly compute the identity configuration for the three-cycle, the four-cycle, and certain types of symmetric cycles. The latter is a special case of a more general symmetry theorem we prove that applies to an arbitrary graph.

Publication Date





2006 Semifinalist of the 65th Science Talent Search

Identity Configurations of the Sandpile Group

Included in

Mathematics Commons



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