**Instructor:** David Aldous

**GSI** None.

** Class time:**
Tuesday Thursday 2.00 - 3.30 in room 332 Evans.

** Prerequisite:** Upper division probability (STAT 134 or
equivalent).
The course emphasizes
**student participation and initiative**
while offering students the opportunity to
**pursue intellectual curiosity** in directions of their
individual choice.
It is limited to 36 students.

Courses in mathematical probability teach you to do certain mathematical calculations, but these are often far removed from broader questions about the the role of randomness in the "real world" of science or of human affairs. In contrast, this junior/senior seminar course seeks to engage such questions in two ways.

**1.** In lectures I will treat about 20 different topics, one each lecture, chosen to illustrate the
diversity of contexts where probability arises.
Some idea of this diversity
can be gleaned from my
list of 100 contexts where we perceive chance.

**2.** A recurrent theme is to
adopt a classical science
paradigm: can we use probability theory to make predictions about the real
world which can be verified or falsified by experiment or observation?

The requirements for students are (see the link below for more info).

- To attend class (attendance will be taken)
- To do a (small) reading/talk project (talks start 3 weeks after first class).
- To do a (big) course project. Here are some examples of course projects from previous years.

** Read here for more about administration and deadlines.
**

This page is a guide to online resources which may be helpful in choosing projects. It's intended for online browsing.

The links below go to slides of the lectures, which will be posted after the lecture. The link here goes to extended write-ups of about half of the lectures. The link here goes to links, books and papers mentioned in lectures -- implicit suggestions for further reading.

Th 8/24: Lecture 1:

Tu 8/29: Lecture 2:

Th 8/31: Lecture 3:

Tu 9/5: Lecture 4:

Th 9/7: Lecture 5:

Tu 9/12: Lecture 6:

Th 9/14 Lecture 7:

Tu 9/19 : Student talks

Th 9/21: Student talks

Tu 9/26: Student talks

Th 9/28: Lecture 8

Tu 10/3: Lecture 9:

Th 10/5 Lecture 10:

Tu 10/10: Lecture 11:

Th 10/12 Lecture 12:

Tu 10/17: Lecture 13:

Th 10/19 Lecture 14:

Tu 10/24: Lecture 15:

Th 10/26 Lecture 16:

Tu 10/31: Lecture 17:

Th 11/2 Lecture 18:

Tu 11/7: Lecture 19:

Th 11/9 Lecture 20:

Tu 11/14: Student talks

Th 11/16 Student talks

Tu 11/21: Student talks

Th 11/23 No class

Tu 11/28: Student talks

Th 11/30 Student talks