Randomness underlies events that we encounter every day. From the ups and downs of stock prices to the likelihood of winning at gambling, understanding randomness can help us make sense of our experiences and resolve apparent paradoxes.
In the first community lecture of the Santa Fe Institute’s 2018 series, Sid Redner presents an introduction to the famous random walk model, and outlines some of its intriguing consequences. Though their wandering is slow and erratic, the average location of where a random walk ends up can be described precisely, with applications for everything from the gambler’s ruin problem, to sports statistics, to simple strategies for foragers to live as long as possible.
A physicist and Santa Fe Institute Professor, Redner’s research interests lie broadly in non-equilibrium statistical physics and its applications to a variety of phenomena. In recent years, he has worked extensively on the structure of complex networks, where he has developed new models and new methods to elucidate network structures. He has also devoted considerable effort to formulate and solve physics-based models of social dynamics. He has published 2 books and more than 250 articles in major peer-reviewed journals, and he is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Statistical Physics, and a Divisional Associate Editor for Physical Review Letters.
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