Date | Time | Room | Title |
---|---|---|---|

Monday, August 25, 2008 |
4:00-5:00 pm | BESC 180 |
The Search for RandomnessI will examine some of our most primitive images of random phenomena: flipping a coin, rolling dice and shuffling cards. In each case, analysis shows that, while things can be made approximately random, usually we are lazy and the results are quite non-random. Applications are given to computer simulations and statistical models more generally. |

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 |
4:00-5:00 pm | KOBL 210 |
Harnessing ChanceI will argue that Monte Carlo simulations are everywhere dense in applied mathematics. Further, designing, improving and analyzing simulation techniques leads to fascinating mathematics, from micro-local analysis to Hecke algebras. Following Wednesday's lecture, there will be a reception in honor of Professor Diaconis at the Koenig Alumni Center, 1202 University Avenue (the SE corner of Broadway and University). |

Thursday, August 28, 2008 |
4:00-5:00 pm | MATH 350 |
On adding a list of numbersThe process of "carries" in ordinary addition has a surprisingly neat analysis. This has direct links to the mathematics of shuffling cards, symmetric function theory and sections of generating functions. |

## Persi Diaconis |
Persi Diaconis is the Mary V. Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford University and was elected into the National Academy of Science in 1995. He has done outstanding work in probability, statistics, and combinatorics, and he is particularly known for tackling mathematical problems involving randomness and randomization, such as coin flipping and shuffling playing cards. Professor Diaconis received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1979, and again in 1992 after the publication (with D. Bayer) of a paper entitled "Trailing the Dovetail Shuffle to Its Lair", a term coined by magician Charles Jordan in the early 1900s. This established rigorous results on how many times a deck of 52 playing cards must be riffle shuffled before it can be considered "random enough". He established that the deck gradually increases in randomness until seven shuffles, after which the thus-far experienced increase in randomness stops significantly increasing. At least seven shuffles, for reasons made precise in the paper, is what casinos should use. Among the highlights of his research is his work on the speed of convergence of Markov chains to equilibrium, and his contributions to Bayesian statistics. His pioneering applications of non-commutative Fourier analysis and techniques from algebraic structures have contributed greatly to our understanding both of random walks on finite structure models for group valued data, and of simulations of probabilities on combinatorial structures. As both a magician and a statistician, Professor Diaconis has debunked much research on extra sensory perception and the paranormal, and has exposed several psychics. |

This Lecture Series is funded by an endowment given by Professor Ira M. DeLong, who came to the University of Colorado in 1888 at the age of 33. Professor DeLong essentially became the mathematics department by teaching not only the college subjects but also the preparatory mathematics courses. Professor DeLong was a prominent citizen of the community of Boulder as well as president of the Mercantile Bank and Trust Company, organizer of the Colorado Education Association, and president of the charter convention that gave Boulder the city manager form of government in 1917. After his death in 1942 it was decided that the bequest he made to the mathematics department would accumulate interest until income became available to fund DeLong prizes for undergraduates and DeLong Lectureships to bring outstanding mathematicians to campus each year. The first DeLong Lectures were delivered in the 1962-63 academic year.

1962-1963 Paul Halmos

1963-1964 Marshall Hall Jr.

1964-1965 Edwin Hewitt

1965-1966 George Polya

1966-1967 Alfred Tarski

1967-1968 John Milnor

1968-1969 Paul Cohen

1969-1970 Jurgen Moser

1970-1971 Mark Kac, Irving Kaplansky

1971-1972 Abraham Robinson

1972-1973 George Mackey

1973-1974 Olga Taussky Todd

1974-1975 Andrew Gleason

1975-1976 Tosio Kato

1976-1977 Hugh Montgomery

1977-1978 Elias Stein

1978-1979 Raoul Bott

1979-1980 Alan Weinstein

1980-1981 Enrico Bombieri

1981-1982 Richard S. Varga

1963-1964 Marshall Hall Jr.

1964-1965 Edwin Hewitt

1965-1966 George Polya

1966-1967 Alfred Tarski

1967-1968 John Milnor

1968-1969 Paul Cohen

1969-1970 Jurgen Moser

1970-1971 Mark Kac, Irving Kaplansky

1971-1972 Abraham Robinson

1972-1973 George Mackey

1973-1974 Olga Taussky Todd

1974-1975 Andrew Gleason

1975-1976 Tosio Kato

1976-1977 Hugh Montgomery

1977-1978 Elias Stein

1978-1979 Raoul Bott

1979-1980 Alan Weinstein

1980-1981 Enrico Bombieri

1981-1982 Richard S. Varga

1982-1983 Charles Fefferman

1983-1984 S.S. Chern

1984-1985 Robert Zimmer

1985-1986 Gerd Faltings

1986-1987 Dennis Sullivan

1987-1988 Stephen Smale

1988-1989 Branko Grunbaum

1989-1990 Ronald Graham

1990-1991 Kenneth Ribet

1991-1992 Michael Atiyah

1992-1993 John H. Conway

1993-1994 John Tate

1994-1995 Vladimir Arnold

1996-1997 Alain Connes

1997-1998 Barry Mazur

1999-2000 Nigel Higson

2000-2001 Jeff Cheeger

2001-2002 Vaughan F. R. Jones

2002-2003 Richard Taylor

2003-2004 Phillip A. Griffiths

1983-1984 S.S. Chern

1984-1985 Robert Zimmer

1985-1986 Gerd Faltings

1986-1987 Dennis Sullivan

1987-1988 Stephen Smale

1988-1989 Branko Grunbaum

1989-1990 Ronald Graham

1990-1991 Kenneth Ribet

1991-1992 Michael Atiyah

1992-1993 John H. Conway

1993-1994 John Tate

1994-1995 Vladimir Arnold

1996-1997 Alain Connes

1997-1998 Barry Mazur

1999-2000 Nigel Higson

2000-2001 Jeff Cheeger

2001-2002 Vaughan F. R. Jones

2002-2003 Richard Taylor

2003-2004 Phillip A. Griffiths

2004-2005 Paul Baum

2005-2006 Isadore M. Singer

2006-2007 Sir Roger Penrose

2007-2008 Maxim Kontsevich

2008-2009 Persi Diaconis

2009-2010 Ieke Moerdijk

2010-2011 Endre Szemerédi

2011-2012 Vitaly Bergelson

2012-2013 Yuval Peres

2013-2014 Benedict H. Gross

2014-2015 Robert Bryant

2015-2016 Magdalena Musat

2017-2018 Michael J. Hopkins

2018-2019 Kristin Lauter

2019-2020 Barry Simon

2005-2006 Isadore M. Singer

2006-2007 Sir Roger Penrose

2007-2008 Maxim Kontsevich

2008-2009 Persi Diaconis

2009-2010 Ieke Moerdijk

2010-2011 Endre Szemerédi

2011-2012 Vitaly Bergelson

2012-2013 Yuval Peres

2013-2014 Benedict H. Gross

2014-2015 Robert Bryant

2015-2016 Magdalena Musat

2017-2018 Michael J. Hopkins

2018-2019 Kristin Lauter

2019-2020 Barry Simon

If you have any questions concerning this lecture series, please contact
Mathematics.