VIGRE Research Focus Group on Probability

Fall 2007 Quarter Activities:

We will organize a reading seminar, devoted to learning some techniques from modern probability on a topic which is a subject of active research. A good example are random networks, an area undergoing a rapid expansion in the amount of theory and the number of applications. Here is a short introduction. Some additional information is also available on Raissa's course web page on networks; this course will be a part of the RFG in the Winter quarter. We will read through the recent book by R. Durrett, Random Graph Dynamics, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007 (currently available for $27.23 on Amazon, but we can probably get by with sharing a few copies). Participants will be expected to give talks and participate in the discussion.

Remco van der Hofstad has lecture notes on the web, which have a lot more introductory (and other) detail than Durrett's book.

There will also be a problem session, where speakers will present open problems. I will also ask visitors to the department to give short talks on their research. During weeks when there is an appropriate Probability Seminar or Colloquium, the participants will be expected to attend it. Part of the problem session will be devoted to the growth processes, currently the area of my primary research interest. Among other possible topics: percolation, random walks, connections to PDE.

Prerequisites: This is an opportunity to learn some advanced probability, but a participant should either have had some exposure to graduate level probability and analysis or be willing to do some extra reading when necessary.

Credit: A participant will receive from 1 unit of credit (by sitting in at least 80% of meetings and participating in the discussion) to 3 units of credit (by giving a few talks).

Fall 2007 Quarter Meetings and Topics