David Aldous's Home Page

NEW (August 2017): Here's one of the more sensible non-technical blog posts re Elon Musk, AI and AGI.

NEW (July 2017): The winner of the 2017 Loeve Prize is Hugo Duminil-Copin. The prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Berkeley, date T.B.A.

NEW (February 2017): Was the NE Patriots comeback in the Superbowl (and Barcelona's in the Champions League) incredibly unlikely? There's a simple, but surprisingly little known, relevant bit of math. Read more

NEW (January 2017). Review of Aaron Brown Financial Risk Management for Dummies and his response.


Semester Course number Topic of course Comments
Fall 2017 STAT 198 Introduction to Wall Street Student-taught DeCal course; I am only the sponsor.
Fall 2017 STAT 157 Probability in the Real World Project-based course for Statistics Majors, emphasizing diversity of contexts where probability appears. Class is now full.

Here is a complete list of courses since 2001 (only the most recent version of each course is listed).


I am no longer Advisor for the undergraduate Major program. Here is the Undergraduate Advising page which includes the weekly calendar of drop-in and other advising opportunities.

My Research Site
Short cut to Papers and preprints and to slides from recent talks. And here is a nice overview (written by Lea Popovic) of 3 recent talks.

"Probability and the Real World" project

This is a long-term, and overly ambitious, project to articulate what mathematical probability says about the real world. Some self-contained existing pieces are There is also a lot of material online associated with my junior/senior course From Undergraduate Probability Theory to the Real World. In particular here is a write-up of some Lectures from the 2014 course.

The non-mathematical parts of the project are being developed as a web site, intended as a more idiosyncratic counterpart to two existing sites with somewhat related themes: Understanding Uncertainty and Chance News. The current "beta version" set of pages are sufficiently incomplete and fragmented that I don't want them quoted or linked to; but if you really want to enter the maze at your own risk, start with this cover page to the beta version.

Essays and musings: The blog alternative!

The link goes to brief conceptual pieces, not intended for more formal publication. But not to be outdone by Rick's Ramblings or Terence's Stuff, while notoriously less energetic than either of those monthly authors, let me introduce David's Musings, to appear twice yearly in Bernoulli News.


Probability Approximations via the Poisson Clumping Heuristic Springer, 1989
Reversible Markov Chains and Random Walks on Graphs (with Jim Fill) Draft chapters

Professional Activities

Personal stuff

(Warning: this is nerd humor) Big Data: the substitute for Love. If you assume that higher-profile authors get preferential treatment from journals, read this extract from the referee report on a recent paper of mine. 1976 Cambridge photo
I wish I'd said that Mathematical humor (original!) 2011 official photo
The nine best science fiction novels you've never heard of 2007 unofficial photo and 2013 unofficial photo Academic vita
Most ambiguous praise I received in 2009 Impressions from my year at Microsoft Research Why my wife calls me Le Grand Fromage .......
Obituaries of my parents In case you doubted the proposition "you can prove anything with Big Data", I have been ranked by this website as the 365,625'th most famous person in history. ..... and the Big Apple.
The three things you need to know for success in the 21st century 40 years playing volleyball; still not perfected the block.
(photo credit 555 Photography)

Here is a written interview of me by a non-mathematician. Reporting conversation in print shows that I have an embarrassingly inarticulate stream-of-consciousness speaking style -- do not take these to be my considered opinions! And here is an audio interview of me by a mathematician (Eugene Dynkin) which I haven't heard because I hate hearing myself on tape .....

Contact information

Postal Address: Statistics Department, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3860
Telephone: 510-642-3295
Fax: 510-642-7892
E-mail address: aldous_AT_stat.berkeley.edu