Persi Diaconis, Stanford University

MEB 246
Parking functions are a "hot topic" in Algebraic Combinatorics. One way of understanding them is to ask `What does a typical parking function "look like"?' How many begin with 1, what's the average??? This leads to new combinatorics (and new uses for the amazing things that combinatorialists have done). It also leads to new insight in to the physicists notion of "equivalence of ensembles" (equality of ensembles). Curious new probability emerges (such as the Airy distribution). All of this is joint work with Angela Hicks.