Loeb Lecture: "Adding Numbers and Shuffling Cards"

Persi Diaconis, Stanford University

Abstract: When numbers are added in the usual way 'carries' occur as you go along. Understanding these carries (how many, where do they occur, if you just had a carry is it more or less likely that there will be a carry in the next place) leads to fascinating corners of mathematics. It turns out that one of these corners has to do with the usual way that we riffle shuffle cards(!). There is a healthy theory of shuffling, and carries and shuffling illuminate each other. I will explain all of this in a non-technical way for a general audience.

Host: Rachel Roberts

Tea @ 3:30pm in Cupples I, room 200