### A gravitational effective action on a finite triangulation as a discrete model of continuous concepts

We recall how the Gauss-Bonnet theorem can be interpreted as a finite dimensional index theorem. We describe the construction given in hep-th/0512293 of a function that can be interpreted as a gravitational effective action on a triangulation. The variation of this function under local rescalings of the edge lengths sharing a vertex is the Euler density, and we use it to illustrate how continuous concepts can have natural discrete analogs.