Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium presents "Adding Numbers and Shuffling Cards"

Adding Numbers and Shuffling Cards
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 4:15pm
Hewlett 201
Persi Diachonis (Stanford)
Abstract / Description: 

Just like you folks, (some) mathematicians look at the world and try to make sense of it. For example, when numbers are added in the usual way, 'carries' occur. It is natural to ask "how do the carries go?" How many carries are typical, and if we just had a carry, is it more (or less) likely that the next column will need a carry? It turns out that carries form a Markov chain with an "amazing" Transition matrix. Surprisingly, this same matrix turns up in the analysis of shuffling cards (the "seven shuffles theorem"). I will explain the connection and links to all kinds of other parts of mathematics: for example, sections of generating functions, the Veronese imbedding, Foulkes characters and Hopf algebras. The results "deform" and that is important in the analysis of casino "shelf shuffling machines."


Wtr. Qtr. Colloq. committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, B. Lev, S. Zhang
Location: Hewlett Teaching Center, Rm. 201