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Math & Stat Colloquium featuring Professor Steve Wang
Start Date: 9/11/2007Start Time: 4:15 PM
End Date: 9/11/2007End Time: 6:00 PM

Event Description:
Markov Chain Monte Carlo: Taking Advantage of Chance 
Abstract: Much of statistics deals with quantifying and accounting for the role of chance. In this talk, Professor Steve Wang will describe Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), a stochastic simulation method that is currently in wide use in statistics. Instead of attempting to minimize the role of chance, MCMC instead introduces chance into problems, even those that are deterministic (such as computing the average of a probability distribution). As an illustration of MCMC, Professor Wang will describe his work with collaborators at the California Academy of Sciences and the Field Museum of Natural History on the end-Permian extinction, the largest mass extinction in the history of life. Using MCMC together with fossil evidence and food web models, the researchers estimate extinction levels among plants and animals of the Karoo Basin of South Africa. Prerequisite: Respiration. No previous knowledge of statistics or paleontology will be assumed. Tea 4:15, Talk 4:30
Location Information:
*Swarthmore College - Science Center
Room: Science Center 101 - Chang Hou Hall
Contact Information:
Name: Charles Grinstead
Phone: 610-328-8560
Professor Steve Wang
Open To
The Public

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