Chance favors the prepared mind -- Louis Pasteur
David Aldous's Research Site
papers, preprints

most cited papers

Open problems

Slides from recent talks

Research topics

Scale-invariant random spatial networks

FMIE processes

discrete spatial networks

flows through random networks

stochastic models for phylogenetic trees

The stochastic mean-field model of distance

Recursive distributional equations

Local weak convergence of random networks

Combinatorial optimization over random data and its scaling exponents

Nonuniform random mappings, ICRTs and Levy-type excursions

continuum random tree

stochastic coalescence

Pre-1991 topics


former post-docs and graduate students


I have done research in mathematical probability. A central theme has been the study of large finite random structures, obtaining asymptotic behavior as the size tends to infinity via consideration of some suitable infinite random structure.

I am still Not Yet Ready For My Obituary (cf. Culture ship names), but a long account of my professional life can be found in

(link goes to draft version). Older and briefer accounts have appeared in

Research topics

The topics are listed on the left; here is a guided tour. I was most recently working with graduate student Lisha Li on a model of partially observed networks. And I have a curious model of Coalescing random partitions of the plane.

I also enjoy little research projects arising from data gathered for my "Probability in the Real World" course -- here is one on game theory and one on queueing theory and one on topological graph theory and one on Elo ratings and the sports model.

My previous (2011-14) research focus has been on Scale-invariant random spatial networks and on FMIE processes, the latter with former grad student Dan Lanoue. During 2012-14 I worked with post-doc Mykhaylo Shkolnikov.

Over 2007-10 I was focussing on discrete spatial networks and on flows through random networks, partly with my recent student Shankar Bhamidi. Various results remain to be written up.

During 2005-08 I was involved with two very different projects. First, Combinatorial optimization over random data and its scaling exponents with post-doc Charles Bordenave and Marc Lelarge. And finally appearing in 2011 is the third and final paper in a project stochastic models for phylogenetic trees with former student Lea Popovic and former post-doc Maxim Krikun.

During 2000-04 my main focus was on the overlapping topics of

and I remain interested in rigorous formalizations of the cavity method from statistical physics.

Also a series of papers with Gregory Miermont and Jim Pitman on Nonuniform random mappings, ICRTs and Levy-type excursions, which partially continue my 1990s work on the continuum random tree.

Where are the papers?

Follow this link to a list (reverse chronological) of research and survey papers and to electronic versions of papers since 1997. Here are slides from seminar and conference talks. Here is a small list of non-technical writings.

Open problems

Simulations and pictures

Most of this material is based upon work supported over 40 years 1979-2019 by the National Science Foundation, most recently under Grant DMS-1504802. Thanks guys 😊 .
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.