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Current Summer Graduate Schools

  1. Chip Firing and Tropical Curves

    Organizers: LEAD Matthew Baker (Georgia Institute of Technology), David Jensen (University of Kentucky), Sam Payne (Yale University)

    Tropical geometry uses a combination of techniques from algebraic geometry, combinatorics, and convex polyhedral geometry to study degenerations of algebraic varieties; the simplest tropical objects are tropical curves, which one can think of as "shadows" of algebraic curves.  Linear equivalence of divisors on an abstract tropical curve is determined by a simple but rich combinatorial process called "chip firing", which was discovered independently in the discrete setting by physicists and graph theorists.  From a pedagogical point of view, one can view tropical curves as a combinatorial model for the highly analogous but more abstract theory of algebraic curves, but there is in fact much more to the story than this: one can use tropical curves and chip firing to prove theorems in algebraic geometry and number theory.  This field is relatively new, so participants will have the opportunity to start from scratch and still get a glimpse of the cutting edge in this active research area.

    Updated on Feb 11, 2016 02:10 PM PST