Statistics and Probability Seminars

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Statistics Seminar

Topic: 
Brownian Regularity for the Airy Line Ensemble
Abstract / Description: 

The Airy line ensemble is a positive-integer indexed ordered system of continuous random curves on the real line whose finite dimensional distributions are given by the multi-line Airy process. It is a natural object in the KPZ universality class: for example, its highest curve, the Airy2 process, describes after the subtraction of a parabola the limiting law of the scaled weight of a geodesic running from the origin to a variable point on an anti-diagonal line in such problems as Poissonian last passage percolation. The Airy line ensemble enjoys a simple and explicit spatial Markov property, the Brownian Gibbs property.


In this talk, I will discuss how this resampling property may be used to analyse the Airy line ensemble. Arising results include a close comparison between the ensemble's curves after affine shift and Brownian bridge. The Brownian Gibbs technique is also used to compute the value of a natural exponent describing the decay in probability for the existence of several near geodesics with common endpoints in Brownian last passage percolation, where the notion of "near" refers to a small deficit in scaled geodesic weight, with the parameter specifying this nearness tending to zero.

Date and Time: 
Monday, September 26, 2016 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Sequoia Hall, room 200

Claude E. Shannon's 100th Birthday

Topic: 
Centennial year of the 'Father of the Information Age'
Abstract / Description: 

From UCLA Shannon Centennial Celebration website:

Claude Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory". Shannon founded information theory and is perhaps equally well known for founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory. Shannon also laid the foundations of cryptography and did basic work on code breaking and secure telecommunications.

 

Events taking place around the world are listed at IEEE Information Theory Society.

Date and Time: 
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 12:00pm
Venue: 
N/A

Probability Seminar

Topic: 
Upper tails and independence polynomials in sparse random graphs
Abstract / Description: 

The upper tail problem in the Erd˝os–R´enyi random graph G ∼ Gn,p is to estimate the probability that the number of copies of a graph H in G exceeds its expectation by a factor 1 + δ. Already, for the case of triangles, the order in the exponent of the tail probability was a long-standing open problem until fairly recently, when it was solved by Chatterjee (2012), and independently by DeMarco and Kahn (2012). Recently, Chatterjee and Dembo (2014) showed that in the sparse regime, the logarithm of the tail probability reduces to a natural variational problem on the space of weighted graphs. In this talk we derive the exact asymptotics of the tail probability by solving this variational problem for any fixed graph H. As it turns out, the leading order constant in the large deviation rate function is governed by the independence polynomial of H.


This is based on joint work with Shirshendu Ganguly, Eyal Lubetzky, and Yufei Zhao.


 

The Probability Seminars are held in Sequoia Hall, Room 200, at 4:30pm on Mondays. Refreshments are served at 4pm in the Lounge on the first floor.

Date and Time: 
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Sequoia Hall, Room 200

Probability Seminar

Topic: 
The Yang–Mills free energy
Abstract / Description: 

The construction of four-dimensional quantum Yang–Mills theories is a central open question in mathematical physics, famously posed as one of the millennium prize problems by the Clay Institute. While much progress has been made for the two dimensional problem, the techniques mostly break down in dimensions three and four. In this talk I will present a partial advance on this question, taking the program one step beyond the results proved in the Eighties.


 

The Probability Seminars are held in Sequoia Hall, Room 200, at 4:30pm on Mondays. Refreshments are served at 4pm in the Lounge on the first floor.

Date and Time: 
Monday, January 25, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Sequoia Hall, Room 200

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