## Measure-Theoretic Dvoretzky Theorem and Applications to Data Science

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1451 Views )SEPC 2021 in honor of Elizabeth Meckes. Slides from the talks and more information are available <a href="https://services.math.duke.edu/~rtd/SEPC2021/SEPC2021.html">at this link (here).</a>

## Oliver Tough : The Fleming-Viot Particle System with McKean-Vlasov dynamics

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1332 Views )Quasi-Stationary Distributions (QSDs) describe the long-time behaviour of killed Markov processes. The Fleming-Viot particle system provides a particle representation for the QSD of a Markov process killed upon contact with the boundary of its domain. Whereas previous work has dealt with killed Markov processes, we consider killed McKean-Vlasov processes. We show that the Fleming-Viot particle system with McKean-Vlasov dynamics provides a particle representation for the corresponding QSDs. Joint work with James Nolen.

## Zoe Huang : Motion by mean curvature in interacting particle systems

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1254 Views )There are a number of situations in which rescaled interacting particle systems have been shown to converge to a reaction diffusion equation (RDE) with a bistable reaction term. These RDEs have traveling wave solutions. When the speed of the wave is nonzero, block constructions have been used to prove the existence or nonexistence of nontrivial stationary distributions. Here, we follow the approach in a paper by Etheridge, Freeman, and Pennington to show that in a wide variety of examples when the RDE limit has a bistable reaction term and traveling waves have speed 0, one can run time faster and further rescale space to obtain convergence to motion by mean curvature. This opens up the possibility of proving that the sexual reproduction model with fast stirring has a discontinuous phase transition, and that in Region 2 of the phase diagram for the nonlinear voter model studied by Molofsky et al there were two nontrivial stationary distributions.

## Roman Vershynin : Mathematics of synthetic data and privacy

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1110 Views )An emerging way to protect privacy is to replace true data by synthetic data. Medical records of artificial patients, for example, could retain meaningful statistical information while preserving privacy of the true patients. But what is synthetic data, and what is privacy? How do we define these concepts mathematically? Is it possible to make synthetic data that is both useful and private? I will tie these questions to a simple-looking problem in probability theory: how much information about a random vector X is lost when we take conditional expectation of X with respect to some sigma-algebra? This talk is based on a series of papers with March Boedihardjo and Thomas Strohmer.

## David Aldous: Probability Seminar

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 649 Views )David Aldous, Probability Seminar Sept 30, 2021 TITLE: Can one prove existence of an infectiousness threshold (for a pandemic) in very general models of disease spread? ABSTRACT: Intuitively, in any kind of disease transmission model with an infectiousness parameter, there should exist a critical value of the parameter separating a very likely from a very unlikely resulting pandemic. But even formulating a general conjecture is challenging. In the most simplistic model (SI) of transmission, one can prove this for an essentially arbitrary large weighted contact network. The proof for SI depends on a simple lemma concerning hitting times for increasing set-valued Markov processes. Can one extend to SIR or SIS models over similarly general networks, where the lemma is no longer applicable?

## Max Xu : Random multiplicative functions and applications

- Probability ( 262 Views )Random multiplicative functions are probabilistic models for multiplicative arithmetic functions, such as Dirichlet characters or the Liouville function. In this talk, I will first quickly give an overview of the area, and then focus on some of the recent works on proving central limit theorems, connections to additive combinatorics, as well as some other deterministic applications. Part of the talk is based on joint work with Soundararajan, with Harper and Soundararajan (in progress) and with Angelo and Soundararajan (in progress).

## Nayantara Bhatnagar : Subsequence Statistics in Random Mallows Permutations

- Probability ( 258 Views )The longest increasing subsequence (LIS) of a uniformly random permutation is a well studied problem. Vershik-Kerov and Logan-Shepp first showed that asymptotically the typical length of the LIS is 2sqrt(n). This line of research culminated in the work of Baik-Deift-Johansson who related this length to the GUE Tracy-Widom distribution. We study the length of the LIS of random permutations drawn from the Mallows measure, introduced by Mallows in connection with ranking problems in statistics. We prove limit theorems for the LIS for different regimes of the parameter of the distribution. I will also describe some recent results on the longest common subsequence of independent Mallows permutations. Relevant background for the talk will be introduced as needed. Based on work with Ron Peled, Riddhi Basu and Ke Jin.

## Brian Rider : Log-gases and Tracy-Widom laws

- Probability ( 201 Views )The now ubiquitous Tracy-Widom laws were first discovered in the context of the Gaussian Orthogonal, Unitary, and Symplectic Ensembles (G{O/U/S}E) of random matrix theory. The latter may be viewed as logarithmic gases with quadratic (Gaussian) potential at three special inverses temperatures (beta=1,2,4). A few years back, Jose Ramirez, Balint Virag, and I showed that that one obtains generalizations of the Tracy-Widom laws at all inverse temperatures (beta>0), though still for quadratic potentials. I'll explain how similar ideas (and considerably more labor) extends the result to general potential, general temperature log-gases. This is joint work with Manjunath Krishnapur and Balint Virag.

## Erika Berenice Roldan Roa : Asymptotic behavior of the homology of random polyominoes

- Probability ( 197 Views )In this talk we study the rate of growth of the expectation of the number of holes (the rank of the first homology group) in a polyomino with uniform and percolation distributions. We prove the existence of linear bounds for the expected number of holes of a polyomino with respect to both the uniform and percolation distributions. Furthermore, we exhibit particular constants for the upper and lower bounds in the uniform distribution case. This results can be extend, using the same techniques, to other polyforms and higher dimensions.

## Yu Gu : Scaling limits of random fluctuations in homogenization of divergence form operators

- Probability ( 182 Views )Recently, quantitative stochastic homogenization of operators in divergence form has witnessed important progress. Our goal is to go beyond the error bound to analyze statistical fluctuations around the homogenized limit. We prove a pointwise two-scale expansion and a large scale central limit theorem for the solution. The approach is probabilistic. The main ingredients include the Kipnis-Varadhan method applied to symmetric diffusion in random environment, a quantitative martingale central limit theorem, the Helffer-Sjostrand covariance representation and Stein's method. This is joint work with Jean-Christophe Mourrat.

## David Nualart : Regularity of the density of the stochastic heat equation

- Probability ( 165 Views )In this talk we present a recent result on the smoothness of the density for the solution of a semilinear heat equation with multiplicative space-time Gaussian white noise. We assume that the coefficients are smooth and the diffusion coefficient is not identically zero at the initial time. The proof of this result is based on the techniques of the Malliavin calculus, and the existence of negative moments for the solution of a linear heat equation with multiplicative space-time white noise.

## Ronnie Sircar : Games with Exhaustible Resources

- Probability ( 160 Views )We study N-player repeated Cournot competitions that model the determination of price in an oligopoly where firms choose quantities. These are nonzero-sum (ordinary and stochastic) differential games, whose value functions may be characterized by systems of nonlinear Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman partial differential equations. When the quantity being produced is in finite supply, such as oil, exhaustibility enters as boundary conditions for the PDEs. We analyze the problem when there is an alternative, but expensive, resource (for example solar technology for energy production), and give an asymptotic approximation in the limit of small exhaustibility. We illustrate the two-player problem by numerical solutions, and discuss the impact of limited oil reserves on production and oil prices in the dupoly case. Joint work with Chris Harris (Cambridge University) and Sam Howison (Oxford University).

## Govind Menon : Stochastic Loewner evolution with branching and the Dyson superprocess

- Probability ( 157 Views )I will discuss a version of stochastic Loewner evolution with branching introduced in my student Vivian Olsiewski Healey's 2017 thesis. Our main motivation was to find natural conformal processes that embed Aldous' continuum random tree in the upper half plane. Unlike previous attempts that rely on lattice models or conformal welding, our model relies on a careful choice of driving measure in the Loewner evolution and the theory of continuous state branching processes. The most important feature of our model is that it has a very nice scaling limit, where the driving measure is a superprocess.

## Jeremy Quastel : The effect of noise on KPP traveling fronts

- Probability ( 156 Views )It was noticed experimentally in the late 90's that the speeds of traveling fronts in microscopic systems approximating the KPP equation converge unusually slowly to their continuum values. Brunet and Derrida made a very precise conjecture for the basic model equation, which is the KPP equation perturbed by white noise. We will explain the conjecture and sketch the main ideas of the proof. This is joint work with Carl Mueller and Leonid Mytnik.

## Kevin McGoff : Gibbs posteriors and thermodynamics, Gibbs posterior convergence and the thermodynamic formalism

- Probability ( 145 Views )We consider a Bayesian framework for making inferences about dynamical systems from ergodic observations. The proposed Bayesian procedure is based on the Gibbs posterior, a decision theoretic generalization of standard Bayesian inference. We place a prior over a model class consisting of a parametrized family of Gibbs measures on a mixing shift of finite type. This model class generalizes (hidden) Markov chain models by allowing for long range dependencies, including Markov chains of arbitrarily large orders. We characterize the asymptotic behavior of the Gibbs posterior distribution on the parameter space as the number of observations tends to infinity. In particular, we define a limiting variational problem over the space of joinings of the model system with the observed system, and we show that the Gibbs posterior distributions concentrate around the solution set of this variational problem. In the case of properly specified models our convergence results may be used to establish posterior consistency. This work establishes tight connections between Gibbs posterior inference and the thermodynamic formalism, which may inspire new proof techniques in the study of Bayesian posterior consistency for dependent processes.

## Mykhaylo Shkolnikov : Particles interacting through their hitting times: neuron firing, supercooling and systemic risk

- Probability ( 140 Views )I will discuss a class of particle systems that serve as models for supercooling in physics, neuron firing in neuroscience and systemic risk in finance. The interaction between the particles falls into the mean-field framework pioneered by McKean and Vlasov in the late 1960s, but many new phenomena arise due to the singularity of the interaction. The most striking of them is the loss of regularity of the particle density caused by the the self-excitation of the system. In particular, while initially the evolution of the system can be captured by a suitable Stefan problem, the following irregular behavior necessitates a more robust probabilistic approach. Based on joint work with Sergey Nadtochiy.

## Zachary Bezemek : Interacting particle systems in multiscale environments: asymptotic analysis

- Probability ( 138 Views )This talk is an overview of my thesis work, which consists of 3 projects exploring the effect of multiscale structure on a class of interacting particle systems called weakly interacting diffusions. In the absence of multiscale structure, we have a collection of N particles, with the dynamics of each being described by the solution to a stochastic differential equation (SDE) whose coefficients depend on that particle's state and the empirical measure of the full particle configuration. It is well known in this setting that as N approaches infinity, the particle system undergoes the ``propagation of chaos,'' and its corresponding sequence of empirical measures converges to the law of the solution to an associated McKean-Vlasov SDE. Meanwhile, in our multiscale setting, the coefficients of the SDEs may also depend on a process evolving on a timescale of order 1/\epsilon faster than the particles. As \epsilon approaches 0, the effect of the fast process on the particles' dynamics becomes deterministic via stochastic homogenization. We study the interplay between homogenization and the propagation of chaos via establishing large deviations and moderate deviations results for the multiscale particles' empirical measure in the combined limit as N approaches infinity and \epsilon approaches 0. Along the way, we derive rates of homogenization for slow-fast McKean-Vlasov SDEs.

## Eric Foxall : Social contact processes and the partner model.

- Probability ( 121 Views )We consider a model of infection spread on the complete graph on *N* vertices. Edges are dynamic, modelling the formation and breakup of non-permanent monogamous partnerships, and the infection can spread only along active edges. We identify a basic reproduction number \(R_0\) such that the infection dies off in \(O(\log N)\) time when \(R_0\)<1, and survives for at least \(e^{cN}\) time when \(R_0\)>1 and a positive fraction of vertices are initially infectious. We also identify a unique endemic state that exists when \(R_0\)>1, and show it is metastable. When \(R_0\)=1, with considerably more effort we can show the infection survives on the order of \(N^{1/2}\) amount of time.

## Sourav Chatterjee : Superconcentration

- Probability ( 119 Views )We introduce the term `superconcentration' to describe the phenomenon when a function of a Gaussian random field exhibits a far stronger concentration than predicted by classical concentration of measure. We show that when superconcentration happens, the field becomes chaotic under small perturbations and a `multiple valley picture' emerges. Conversely, chaos implies superconcentration. While a few notable examples of superconcentrated functions already exist, e.g. the largest eigenvalue of a GUE matrix, we show that the phenomenon is widespread in physical models; for example, superconcentration is present in the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model of spin glasses, directed polymers in random environment, the Gaussian free field and the Kauffman-Levin model of evolutionary biology. As a consequence we resolve the long-standing physics conjectures of disorder-chaos and multiple valleys in the Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model, which is one of the focal points of this talk.

## Tobias Johnson : Galton-Watson fixed points, tree automata, and interpretations

- Probability ( 117 Views )Consider a set of trees such that a tree belongs to the set if and only if at least two of its root child subtrees do. One example is the set of trees that contain an infinite binary tree starting at the root. Another example is the empty set. Are there any other sets satisfying this property other than trivial modifications of these? I'll demonstrate that the answer is no, in the sense that any other such set of trees differs from one of these by a negligible set under a Galton-Watson measure on trees, resolving an open question of Joel Spencer's. This follows from a theorem that allows us to answer questions of this sort in general. All of this is part of a bigger project to understand the logic of Galton-Watson trees, which I'll tell you more about. Joint work with Moumanti Podder and Fiona Skerman.

## Amarjit Budhiraja : Invariant measures of the infinite Atlas model: domains of attraction, extremality, and equilibrium fluctuations.

- Probability ( 113 Views )The infinite Atlas model describes a countable system of competing Brownian particles where the lowest particle gets a unit upward drift and the rest evolve as standard Brownian motions. The stochastic process of gaps between the particles in the infinite Atlas model has a one parameter family {p(a), a > 0} of product form mutually singular stationary distributions. We say that an initial distribution of gaps is in the weak domain of attraction of the stationary measure p(a) if the time averaged laws of the stochastic process of the gaps, when initialized using that distribution, converge to p(a) weakly in the large time limit. We provide general sufficient conditions on the initial gap distribution of the Atlas particles for it to lie in the weak domain of attraction of p(a) for each a. Results on extremality and ergodicity of p(a) will be presented. Finally, I will describe some recent results on fluctuations of the Atlas model from inhomogeneous stationary profiles. This is based on joint work with Sayan Banerjee and Peter Rudzis.

## Ted Cox : Cutoff for the noisy voter model

- Probability ( 112 Views )Given a continuous time Markov Chain \( q(x,y)\) on a
finite set *S*, the associated noisy voter model is the
continuous time Markov chain on \(\{0,1\}^S\) which evolves
by (i) for each two sites x and y in *S*, the state at
site x changes to the value of the state at site
y at rate \( q(x,y) \) and (ii) each site rerandomizes
its state at rate 1. We show that if there is a uniform
bound on the rates \(q(x,y)\) and the corresponding
stationary distributions are ``almost'' uniform, then the
mixing time has a sharp cutoff at time \(\log |S|/2\) with a
window of order 1. Lubetzky and Sly proved cutoff with a
window of order 1 for the stochastic Ising model on
toroids: we obtain the special case of their result for
the cycle as a consequence of our result.