Let Γ g be the fundamental group of a closed connected orientable surface of genus g≥ 2. We introduce a combinatorial structure of core surfaces, that represent subgroups of Γ g. These structures are (usually) 2-dimensional complexes, made up of vertices, labeled oriented edges, and 4g-gons. They are compact whenever the corresponding subgroup is finitely generated. The theory of core surfaces that we initiate here is analogous to the influential and fruitful theory of Stallings core graphs for subgroups of free groups.
- Stallings core graphs
- Surface groups