Abstract: We prove a combinatorial formula for the Macdonald polynomial $\tilde{H}_{\mu }(x;q,t)$ which had been conjectured by Haglund. Corollaries to our main theorem include the expansion of $\tilde{H}_{\mu }(x;q,t)$ in terms of LLT polynomials, a new proof of the charge formula of Lascoux and Schützenberger for Hall-Littlewood polynomials, a new proof of Knop and Sahi's combinatorial formula for Jack polynomials as well as a lifting of their formula to integral form Macdonald polynomials, and a new combinatorial rule for the Kostka-Macdonald coefficients $\tilde{K}_{\lambda \mu }(q,t)$ in the case that $\mu $ is a partition with parts $\leq 2$.

Let R_{n} be the ring of coinvariants for the diagonal action of the symmetric group S_{n}. It is known that the character of R_{n} as a doubly graded S-module can be expressed using the Frobenius characteristic map as nabla e_{n}, where e_{n} is the n-th elementary symmetric function and nabla is an operator from the theory of Macdonald polynomials. We conjecture a combinatorial formula for nabla e_{n} and prove that it has many desirable properties that support our conjecture. In particular, we prove that our formula is a symmetric function (which is not obvious) and that it is Schur positive. These results make use of the theory of ribbon tableau generating functions of Lascoux, Leclerc, and Thibon. We also show that a variety of earlier conjectures and theorems on nabla e_{n} are special cases of our conjecture. Finally, we extend our conjectures on nabla e_{n} and several on the results supporting them to higher powers nabla^{m} e_{n}.