## Leonid Petrov : Lax equations for integrable stochastic particle systems

- Probability ( 19 Views )Integrable stochastic particle systems in one space dimension, like the Totally Asymmetric Simple Exclusion Process (TASEP), have been studied for over 50 years (introduced simultaneously in biology and mathematics in 1969-70). They strike a balance between being simple enough to be mathematically tractable and complicated enough to describe many interesting phenomena. Many natural questions about these systems can be generalized by introducing multiple parameters. The interplay between these parameters is powered by the Yang-Baxter equation, which brings new intriguing results to the well-traveled territory. In particular, I will discuss new Lax-type equations for the Markov semigroups of the TASEP and its relatives. Based on a joint work with Axel Saenz.

## Joe Jackson : The convergence problem in mean field control

- Probability ( 40 Views )This talk will be about the convergence problem in mean field control (MFC), i.e. the challenge of rigorously justifying the convergence of certain "symmetric" $N$-particle stochastic control problems towards their mean field counterparts. On the one hand, this convergence problem is already well-understood from a qualitative perspective, thanks to powerful probabilistic techniques based on compactness. On the other hand, quantitative results (i.e. rates of convergence) are more difficult to obtain, in large part because the value function of the mean field problem (which is also the solution to a certain Hamilton-Jacobi equation on the Wasserstein space) may fail to be $C^1$, even if all the data is smooth. After giving an overview of the convergence problem, I will discuss the results of two recent joint works with Cardaliaguet, Daudin, Delarue, and Souganidis, in which we use some ideas from the theory of viscosity solutions to overcome this lack of regularity and obtain rates of convergence of the $N$-particle value functions towards the value function of the corresponding MFC problem.

## Corrine Yap : Reconstructing Random Pictures

- Probability ( 35 Views )Reconstruction problems ask whether or not it is possible to uniquely build a discrete structure from the collection of its substructures of a fixed size. This question has been explored in a wide range of settings, most famously with graphs and the resulting Graph Reconstruction Conjecture due to Kelly and Ulam, but also including geometric sets, jigsaws, and abelian groups. In this talk, we'll consider the reconstruction of random pictures (n-by-n grids with binary entries) from the collection of its k-by-k subgrids and prove a nearly-sharp threshold for k = k(n). Our main proof technique is an adaptation of the Peierls contour method from statistical physics. Joint work with Bhargav Narayanan.

## Max Xu : Random multiplicative functions and applications

- Probability ( 98 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).

## Jimmy He : Shift invariance of half space integrable models

- Probability ( 53 Views )I'll discuss work on shift invariance in a half space setting. These are non-trivial symmetries allowing certain observables of integrable models with a boundary to be shifted while preserving their joint distribution. The starting point is the colored stochastic six vertex model in a half space, from which we obtain results on the asymmetric simple exclusion process, as well as for the beta polymer through a fusion procedure, both in a half space setting. An application to the asymptotics of a half space analogue of the oriented swap process is also given.

## Mariana Olvera-Cravioto : Opinion dynamics on complex networks: From mean-field limits to sparse approximations

- Probability ( 46 Views )In a world of polarized opinions on many cultural issues, we propose a model for the evolution of opinions on a large complex network. Our model is akin to the popular Friedkin-Johnsen model, with the added complexity of vertex-dependent media signals and confirmation bias, both of which help explain some of the most important factors leading to polarization. The analysis of the model is done on a directed random graph, capable of replicating highly inhomogeneous real-world networks with various degrees of assortativity and community structure. Our main results give the stationary distribution of opinions on the network, including explicitly computable formulas for the conditional means and variances for the various communities. Our results span the entire range of inhomogeneous random graphs, from the sparse regime, where the expected degrees are bounded, all the way to the dense regime, where a graph having n vertices has order n^2 edges.

## Zack Bezemek : Large Deviations and Importance Sampling for Weakly Interacting Diffusions

- Probability ( 44 Views )We consider an ensemble of N interacting particles modeled by a system of N stochastic differential equations (SDEs). The coefficients of the SDEs are taken to be such that as N approaches infinity, the system undergoes Kac’s propagation of chaos, and is well-approximated by the solution to a McKean-Vlasov Equation. Rare but possible deviations of the behavior of the particles from this limit may reflect a catastrophe, and computing the probability of such rare events is of high interest in many applications. In this talk, we design an importance sampling scheme which allows us to numerically compute statistics related to these rare events with high accuracy and efficiency for any N. Standard Monte Carlo methods behave exponentially poorly as N increases for such problems. Our scheme is based on subsolutions of a Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) Equation on Wasserstein Space which arises in the theory of mean-field control. This HJB Equation is seen to be connected to the large deviations rate function for the empirical measure on the ensemble of particles. We identify conditions under which our scheme is provably asymptotically optimal in N in the sense of log-efficiency. We also provide evidence, both analytical and numerical, that with sufficient regularity of the solution to the HJB Equation, our scheme can have vanishingly small relative error as N increases.

## Jake Madrid : Stochastic Extinction events in Large Populations Prior to Entering the Metastable State

- Probability ( 54 Views )We will explore the role of demographic stochasticity in triggering extinction events in models of large finite populations. While prior works have focused on large fluctuations from quasi-stationary distributions, we instead consider extinction events occurring before entering a metastable state. Since such extinction events require only slight deviations from the mean-field trajectories, we can derive the approximating extinction probability PDE with a modified Robin-type boundary condition. We then investigate the utility of this approximation by comparing to the Lotka-Volterra model as well as the Lotka-Volterra model with logistic growth.

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

- Probability ( 73 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.

## Matt Junge : Ballistic Annihilation

- Probability ( 80 Views )In the late 20th century, statistical physicists introduced a chemical reaction model called ballistic annihilation. In it, particles are placed randomly throughout the real line and then proceed to move at independently sampled velocities. Collisions result in mutual annihilation. Many results were inferred by physicists, but it wasn’t until recently that mathematicians joined in. I will describe my trajectory through this model. Expect tantalizing open questions.

## David Herzog : Hypocoercivity for Langevin dynamics

- Probability ( 128 Views )This will be the last in his sequence of an introductory lecture on Hypocoercivity for Langevin dynamics. For those who have not attended the previous lectures and are familiar with Langevin dynamics, the talk should be accessible. We will continue our discussion on convergence to equilibrium for second-order Langevin dynamics using the Poincare approach. We'll recap convergence in H^1(\mu) and then we'll talk about the direct L^2(\mu) method of Dolbeault, Mouhot, and Schmeiser, also called the DMS approach.

## Roman Vershynin : Mathematics of synthetic data and privacy

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 985 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 ( 565 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?

## Sayan Mukherjee : A Measure-Theoretic Dvoretzky Theorem and Applications to Data Science

- Probability,Uploaded Videos ( 1331 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>