I am looking for a copy of the following

W. Thurston, Groups, tilings, and finite state automata, AMS Colloquium Lecture Notes.

I see that a lot of papers in the tiling literature refer to it but I doubt it was ever published. May be some notes are in circulation ?

Does anyone have access to it? I would be extremely grateful if you can send me a copy or tell me where can I find it.

  • $\begingroup$ Also if anyone is aware of an alternative reference which contains an exposition of ideas that were discussed in those lectures please let me know. $\endgroup$
    – Vagabond
    Commented Sep 7, 2010 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ The section on height functions for domino tilings has a lot of overlap with section 3 of Jim Propp's unpublished preprint arxiv.org/abs/math.CO/0209005 $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2010 at 17:56

1 Answer 1


Unfortunately, the original to this is hard to locate. It was distributed by the AMS at the time of the colloqium lectures, but they apparently didn't keep the files they used. At one time it was distributed as a Geometry Center preprint, but the Geometry Center is now defunct. I've lost track of the source files through multiple moves, computer crashes, etc.

What I have is a scanned version of the Geometry Center version that is legible but not beautiful, which I can forward by email

Bill Thurston

ADDENDUM: Renaud Dreyer told me of an online scanned version I wasn't aware of, which appears to be better quality than the one I have:


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    $\begingroup$ Dear Sir, I dont know how to thank you. I promise I will try to type it out in Latex. $\endgroup$
    – Vagabond
    Commented Sep 7, 2010 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ I love the result of this reference request. $\endgroup$
    – dvitek
    Commented Sep 7, 2010 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ The arXiv accepts pdf or ps documents as long as they have not been produced by directly processing a (La)TeX file. If a (La)TeX document is ever found/produced, one can always replace the arXiv submission to reflect that. There is a maximum size of about 6 mb, so something like Thurston's notes on 3 manifolds would not work but these should. Of course, one can split a book into separate submissions. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 7, 2010 at 15:47
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    $\begingroup$ I got the above PDF version from Shigeki Akiyama and I am very glad that putting it on my website is useful to some people. It would be great if more people did this because trying to find a paper that is neither on the internet or in libraries can be extremely frustrating! $\endgroup$
    – subshift
    Commented Sep 21, 2010 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ @ Vagabond: don't type it. Use any of the free ocr software. InftyReader, for example, has a free trial period. You will have to clean up the result a little, but it scans directly into latex source. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 24, 2010 at 21:04

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