Category Archives: Probability

Emmanuel Abbe: Erdal Arıkan’s Polar Codes

Click here for the most recent polymath3 research thread. A new thread is comming soon. Emmanuel Abbe and Erdal Arıkan This post is authored by Emmanuel Abbe A new class of codes, called polar codes, recently made a breakthrough in … Continue reading

Posted in Information theory, Probability | Tagged , | 17 Comments

Benoît’s Fractals

Mandelbrot set Benoît Mandelbrot passed away a few dayes ago on October 14, 2010. Since 1987, Mandelbrot was a member of the Yale’s mathematics department. This chapterette from my book “Gina says: Adventures in the Blogosphere String War”   about fractals is brought here on this … Continue reading

Posted in Geometry, Obituary, Physics, Probability | 6 Comments

Midrasha Talks are Now Online

Itai Benjamini listening to Gadi Kozma There are 41 lectures from the Midrasha on Probability and Geometry: The Mathematics of Oded Schramm which are now online. Joram Lindenstrauss’s concluding lecture (click on the picture to see) Laci Lovasz More pictures … Continue reading

Posted in Combinatorics, Conferences, Probability | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Test Your Intuition (11): Is it Rational to Insure a Toaster

Here is a question from last year’s exam in the course “Basic Ideas of Mathematics”:   You buy a toaster for 200 NIS ($50) and you are offered one year of insurance for 24 NIS ($6).   a) Is it … Continue reading

Posted in Probability, Rationality, Teaching, Test your intuition | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Itamar Pitowsky: Probability in Physics, Where does it Come From?

I came across a videotaped lecture by Itamar Pitowsky given at PITP some years ago on the question of probability in physics that we discussed in two earlier posts on randomness in nature (I, II). There are links below to … Continue reading

Posted in Obituary, Philosophy, Physics, Probability | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Noise Stability and Threshold Circuits

The purpose of this post is to describe an old conjecture (or guesses, see this post) by Itai Benjamini, Oded Schramm and myself (taken from this paper) on noise stability of threshold functions. I will start by formulating the conjectures and … Continue reading

Posted in Combinatorics, Computer Science and Optimization, Probability | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Randomness in Nature II

In a previous post we presented a MO question by Liza about randomness:  What is the explanation of the apparent randomness of high-level phenomena in nature? 1. Is it accepted that these phenomena are not really random, meaning that given enough … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Physics, Probability | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Randomness in Nature

Here is an excellent question asked by Liza on “Mathoverflow“. What is the explanation of the apparent randomness of high-level phenomena in nature? For example the distribution of females vs. males in a population (I am referring to randomness in terms … Continue reading

Posted in Probability | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Midrasha News

Our Midrasha is going very very well. There are many great talks, mostly very clear and helpful. Various different directions which interlace very nicely. Some moving new mathematical breakthroughs; very few fresh from the oven. Tomorrow is the last day. Update: I will try … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Probability | Tagged | 4 Comments

Four Derandomization Problems

Polymath4 is devoted to a question about derandomization: To find a deterministic polynomial time algorithm for finding a k-digit prime.  So I (belatedly) devote this post to derandomization and, in particular, the following four problems. 1) Find a deterministic algorithm for primality 2) Find … Continue reading

Posted in Computer Science and Optimization, Probability | Tagged , , | 7 Comments