Shuffling Chromosomes, Chasing Kangaroos and Other Mathematical Curiosities

Date & Time: 22/08/2019, 4:00 pm
Venue: Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science

This popular-level lecture will focus on some modern applications of the classical topic of Markov chains. The mixing time of a Markov chain measures the time to get close to the equilibrium distribution of the chain. After introducing the topic briefly, the speaker will address a few surprising applications of Markov chain mixing times. These range from cracking ciphers and modelling chromosomal mutations to solving the discrete logarithm problem (using Pollard’s kangaroos), of particular relevance to digital security. The lecture is expected to be self-contained.

Speaker Bio:
Prof. Prasad Tetali is a Regents’ Professor in the School of Mathematics and the School of Computer Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Tetali obtained his Ph.D. (1991) from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (NYU) after earning an M.S. (1987) from the School of Automation at IISc. His research interests lie in probability, discrete mathematics, algorithms and optimization and he has published more than 110 research articles. He is recognized as a SIAM Fellow (2009) and an AMS Fellow (2012). Dr. Tetali is a former director and a current member of the steering committee of Georgia Tech’s Algorithms and Randomness Center Think Tank (ARC) and has been on the coordinating committee of Georgia Tech’s renowned interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization (ACO) for the past two decades. He served as the interim Chair of the School of Mathematics at Georgia Tech during CY 2015-2016. He is currently on the leadership team of the NSF-funded Transdisciplinary Research Institute for Advancing Data Science (TRIAD) at Georgia Tech.


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