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Stanford’s Persi Diaconis Is Applied Mathematics’ 10th Annual Karl Menger Lecturer

The Department of Applied Mathematics will host Persi Diaconis, Mary V. Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Mathematics, Stanford University, as the 2017 Karl Menger Lecturer.

Photo courtesy of Rod Searcey.

Diaconis will speak on “The Search for Randomness” on Monday, April 24 at 6 p.m. in the Robert A. Pritzker Science Center Auditorium. The event is part of the 10th annual Karl Menger Lecture and Awards; click here for a list of the two days of activities. Diaconis is particularly known for his often non-intuitive results on mathematical problems involving randomness. This includes showing how many riffle shuffles are needed to randomize a deck of playing cards. Diaconis is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has received honorary doctorates from the University of Chicago and the University of St. Andrews, and has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as the “Genius Grant.” 

To RSVP, visit alumni.iit.edu/menger or contact Lauren Shelby at 312.567.5030 or rsvpevents@iit.edu

Schedule of Events for Monday, April 24, 2017

5:00 p.m. - Poster Session, North Hall, Robert A. Pritzker Science Center 
Viewing of student research posters. Light refreshments will be served.

6:00 p.m. - Lecture, Auditorium, Robert A. Pritzker Science Center 
"The Search for Randomness" delivered by Persi Diaconis, Mary V. Sunseri Professor of Statistics and Mathematics, Stanford University.

7:00 p.m. - Awards Presentation, Auditorium, Robert A. Pritzker Science Center
Presentation of IIT Karl Menger Student Awards for exceptional scholarship by a student and the Applied Mathematics poster competition winners.

7:15 p.m. - Reception, Lobby, Robert A. Pritzker Science Center

Schedule of Events for Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Diaconis will meet with students and faculty.

10:10 a.m. - Research Seminar, Siegel Hall Auditorium, Room 118
"Adding Numbers and Shuffling Cards" delivered by Diaconis

When numbers are added in the usual way, "carries" occur. These carries form a Markov chain with an "amazing" transition matrix. Strangely, this same matrix occurs in analyzing the usual method of shuffling cards and in the mathematical analysis of fractals. Diaconis will explain all of this in "mathematical English" for a non-scientist audience.

12:30 p.m. - Discussion, Siegel Hall Auditorium, Room 118  
"How to Be a Successful Applied Mathematician" with Diaconis

To RSVP, visit alumni.iit.edu/menger or contact Lauren Shelby at 312.567.5030 or rsvpevents@iit.edu