Probability Workshops


Probability Workshops are held on Mondays from 12:00 - 1:15 pm during term time (unless indicated otherwise) in L4 at The Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter.

Week 2 - Monday 23rd January

Speaker:   Adrián Gonzalez-Casanova, WIAS Berlin
Title:          Fixation and duality in a Xi coalescent model with selection
Abstract:   In this talk we will introduce a generalisation of the Wright Fisher model, for a population with finite size and non-overlapping generations, allowing for several types of selection as well as
simultaneous multiple mergers. The construction provides an almost sure dual relation between its frequency process and its ancestral process. The latter can be interpreted as a discrete analogue to the celebrated
ancestral selection graph. We will also study a two type frequency process with general selection and general coalescent mechanism, and investigates in which cases the selective type goes to fixation with
probability one. (This is talk is based in a joint project with Dario Spano)

Week 3 - Monday 30th January

Speaker:    James Martin, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford
Title:          Stable matchings in R^d and on the Poisson-weighted infinite tree
Abstract:  I'll talk about the model of "stable matchings". I'll start by mentioning classical ideas of stable marriage and related algorithms. Then I'll discuss multi-type stable matching problems for the points of a Poisson process in R^d, and an approach to studying them involving the "Poisson-weighted infinite tree" (or PWIT). The PWIT has been used in many settings as a scaling limit for complete graphs with independent edge weights. I'll explain how it also arises naturally as a scaling limit of Poisson processes in high-dimensional Euclidean space.

(Joint work with Alexander Holroyd and Yuval Peres.)

Week 4 - Monday 6th February

Speaker:    Paul Chleboun, Department of Statistics, University of Oxford
Title:          Static length scales and glassy dynamics in spin plaquette models.
Abstract:   Plaquette models are finite range spin systems which evolve according to Glauber dynamics. They have recently attracted a lot of attention in the physics literature because they are expected to exhibit glassy behavior, despite the absence of any disorder (like spin glasses) or hard constraints in the dynamics (like kinetically constrained models). In particular, we will focus on the square plaquette model and triangular plaquette model, which are expected to have dynamical behaviour similar to the East model and Fredrickson-Andersen model respectively. Despite having a very natural definition, and interesting dyanmics, there are currently surprisingly few rigorous results for plaquette models. We will first discuss equilibrium results related to the stationary distribution of these models, and then briefly discuss some results and conjectures on the dynamical behaviour.

This is work in progress with A. Faggionato, F. Martinelli, and C. Toninelli


Week 5 - Monday 13th February

Speaker:    Ngoc Tran, Hausdorff Center for Mathematics, Bonn, Germany
Title:           Stochastic tropical geometry
Abstract:    Stochastic tropical geometry is the study of linear functionals of random tropical varieties. It is an exciting new field at the interface of algebraic geometry, probability and combinatorics, with connections to many others, such as economics and control theory. In this talk, we discuss some results on the simplest possible cases: the number of zeroes of a random tropical polynomial, and scaling limits of Poisson tropical plane curves. Both cases result in recursive, random partitions of space, whose generalizations are interesting processes in their own right. We will sketch the main proof ideas and discuss open questions in the field of stochastic tropical geometry.

Week 6 - Monday 20th February

Speaker:    Henning Sulzbach, University of Birmingham
   Galton-Watson trees and Apollonian networks
   In the analysis of critical Galton-Watson trees conditional on their sizes, two complementary approaches have proved fruitful over the last decades. First, the so-called size-biased tree allows the study of local properties such as node degrees. Second, the global scaling limit, the Continuum Random tree, provides access to the study of average or extreme node depths. In this talk, I will discuss the approximation of the tree by subtrees with bounded node degrees. Here, the so-called "heavy subtrees" play an important role. An application will be given in terms of uniform Apollonian networks.

The talk is based on joint work with Luc Devroye (McGill, Montreal) and Cecilia Holmgren (Uppsala).

Week 7 - Monday 27th February

Speaker:   Steven Pagett, University of Bath
Title:          A phase transition in excursions from infinity of the "fast" fragmentation-coalescence process
Abstract:   An important property of Kingman's coalescent is that, starting from a state with an infinite number of blocks, over any positive time horizon, it transitions into an almost surely finite number of blocks. This is known as `coming down from infinity'. In this talk I’ll show how robust this property is when paired with an extreme form of fragmentation, where each block fragments at constant rate, λ>0, into its constituent elements. The result being that there exists a phase transition in λ, between regimes where this ‘fast’ fragmentation-coalescence process is able to come down from infinity or not.

(Joint work with Tim Rogers, Andreas Kyprianou and Jason Schweinsberg)


Week 8 - Monday 6th March

Speaker:    Peter Mörters, University of Bath

Previous Workshops:MT16; TT16; HT16; MT15; TT15HT15; MT14; TT14;  HT14;   MT13