Student Probability Seminar

Traffic Jams, Polymer Growth, and Random Matrices

Speaker: Ivan Corwin

Location: Warren Weaver Hall 202

Date: Friday, September 25, 2009, 3 p.m.


What happens when rush hour traffic comes up against the afternoon joy riders? How long will it take to get home? We answer these and related questions by considering a classical model for traffic known as the Totally Asymmetric Simple Exclusion Process (TASEP). We relate this two-sided density version to a directed polymer growth model known as Last Passage Percolation with two-sided boundary conditions. Considering the distribution of last passage times we demonstrate a connection to the largest eigenvalue distribution for perturbed Wishart (Covariance) Ensembles of Random Matrix Theory. No background necessary!!!