Workshop on

"Sandpile models and related fields"

September 10-13, 2007

EURANDOM, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Programme & Abstracts| Speakers  & Participants |Registration | Practical Information


In recent years, much progress has been made in the rigourous understanding of several sandpile models, and other models closely related to these, like forest fire-models, the rotor-router model, the Bak- Sneppen model and Zhangs continuous sandpile model. These models represent a rich source of challenging new mathematical problems.

For the abelian sandpile model and its variations, such as the rotor-router model, much progress has been made in the understanding of its mathemical structure. On the algebraic combinatorics site, people have investigated the abelian group on various graphs, while in the probability and mathematical physics literature, several new results on the ergodic structure of the process in the infinite volume limit have been obtained. The techniques developed in the ASM have also been applied succesfully in the study of models of activated random walkers.

The study of forest-fire models has led to an interesting so-called self- destructive percolation model.

The rigorous understanding of the phase transition in the Bak-Sneppen model has also led to several new developments.

The aim of this workshop is to bring together senior and junior people involved in this relatively new area of research. We want to create communication and links between the different directions of research, notably between probability, physics, combinatorics and algebra.


Rob van den Berg (CWI, Amsterdam)
Robert Cori (Université Bordeaux)
Deepak Dhar (Tata Institute Bombay)
Anne Fey (EURANDOM, VU Amsterdam)
Alexis Gillet (VU Amsterdam)
Antal Jarai (Carleton University)
Lionel Levine (University of California, Berkeley)
Criel Merino (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Yuval Peres (University of California, Berkeley)
Philippe Ruelle (Université Catholique Louvain)
Ellen Saada (CNRS / Université de Rouen)
Vladas Sidoravicius (CWI Amsterdam)
Klaus Schmidt (University of Vienna, Erwin Schrödinger Institute Vienna)
Rinke J. Wijngaarden (VU University Amsterdam)


Monday September 10, 2007

10.30 Registration  
11.15-11.30 Opening  
11.30-12.30 Deepak Dhar

Sandpile Models: where do we stand today?

12.30-14.00 Lunch  
14.00-15.00 Antal Jarai

The zero-dissipation limit in Abelian sandpiles

15.00-15.30 Break  
15.30-16.30 Rinke J. Wijngaarden

Physical sand pile models: rice and superconductors

  Conference Dinner Restaurant Listers Centrum starting with an aperitif at 17.30 h.

Tuesday September 11, 2007

10.00-11.00 Robert Cori About the structure of the abelian group defined by the sandpile model on graphs
11.00-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 Lionel Levine The sandpile group of a tree
12.30-14.00 Lunch  
14.00-15.00 Criel Merino

Combinatorial interpretations of the critical configurations in the chip-firing game

15.00-15.30 Break  
15.30-16.30 Yuval Peres Rotor-router aggregation, the abelian sandpile and the divisible sandpile

Wednesday September 12, 2007

10.00-11.00 Ellen Saada

Freezing transitions in non-Fellerian particle systems

11.00-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 Anne Fey Sandpile percolation
12.30-14.00 Lunch  
14.00-15.00 Philippe Ruelle The CFT approach to critical sandpile models
15.00-15.30 Break  
15.30-16.30 Vladas Sidoravicius Sleepy walkers: facts, conjectures, challenges

Thursday September 13, 2007

10.00-11.00 Alexis Gillet The Bak-Sneppen Model
11.00-11.30 Break  
11.30-12.30 Rob van den Berg Random growth with paralyzing obstacles
12.30-13.30 Lunch  
13.30-14.30 Klaus Schmidt Abelian Sandpiles and the Harmonic Model


There is no registration fee.


Registration deadline is September 3, 2007.


Conference Location and Travel

the workshop location is EURANDOM,  Den Dolech 2, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, Laplace Building, 1st floor, LG 1.105.

EURANDOM is located on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology, in the 'Laplacegebouw' building' (LG on the map). The university is located at 10 minutes walking distance from Eindhoven railway station (take the exit north side and walk towards the tall building on the right with the sign TU/e).

For all information on how to come to Eindhoven, please check


EURANDOM made preliminary group reservations in

hotel Hampshire Inn, Stratumsedijk 23d/f, Eindhoven. Special price single room  83* euro, double room 93* euro(breakfast included)

 * excl. tourist tax 3,50 euro per night.

If you want EURANDOM to make a reservation, indicate the requested nights in the registration page.

For privat bookings we suggest to consult the web pages of the Tourist Information Eindhoven, Postbus 7, 5600 AA Eindhoven.


On Monday-Wednesday lunches are being organised; free of costs for all participants, if ordered on the registration form.

On Monday, there will be an organised dinner. For non-invitees an amount of 35 euro is requested, to be paid at arrival in cash (preferably exact amount in euros). Indicate your attendance on the registration form.


For more information please contact Mrs. Lucienne Coolen, workshop officer of  EURANDOM, at


Ronald Meester (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Frank Redig (Mathematisch Instituut Universiteit Leiden)


The Organizers would like to acknowledge the following organizations for their contributions


Last up-dated 24-02-09

This page is maintained by Lucienne Coolen