Finding Topology in a Factory: Configuration Spaces

@article{Abrams2002FindingTI,
  title={Finding Topology in a Factory: Configuration Spaces},
  author={Aaron W Abrams and Robert Ghrist},
  journal={The American Mathematical Monthly},
  year={2002},
  volume={109},
  pages={140-150}
}
The examples of topological spaces that we construct in this exposition arose simultaneously from two seemingly disparate fields: the first author, in his thesis [1], discovered these spaces after working with H. Landau, Z. Landau, J. Pommersheim, and E. Zaslow on problems about random walks on graphs [2]. The second author discovered these same spaces while collaborating with D. Koditschek in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Michigan; see [7] and [8]. 
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