Nov 21, 2011

Meeting report: Applied Probability Conference

Kavita Ramanan reports:

The 16th Applied Probability Conference, sponsored by the Applied Probability Society of INFORMS and co-sponsored by the IMS, was held from July 6–8, 2011, on the campus of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. This three-day conference is part of a series of biannual conferences that is considered a leading forum in applied probability.

This year’s conference was organized by Henrik Hult of KTH, Kavita Ramanan of Brown University and Martin Reiman of Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent, with the help of a program committee and a local organizing committee.

The conference had over 350 participants from 36 countries spanning 5 continents. There were approximately 44 invited sessions, 16 contributed sessions and 42 additional sessions of contributed talks. Funding for advanced graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and researchers with recently completed PhDs to attend the conference was provided by the Division of Mathematical Sciences at the National Science Foundation. Additional support was provided by Brown University, KTH, Stockholm University, Uppsala University, the Swedish Research Council, the Bernoulli Society and the Swedish Statistical Society.

The conference featured three plenary talks. Philippe Robert from INRIA-Rocquencourt, France, kicked off the conference with a talk on “Scaling methods for the analysis of stochastic networks”, the next day Paul Dupuis from Brown University, USA, spoke on “Accelerating Monte Carlo–What does the Donsker-Varadhan theory have to say?” and Svante Janson from Uppsala University, Sweden, concluded the conference with a talk on “Bootstrap percolation on random graphs.” There were also two tutorial sessions, the first given by Avi Mandelbaum from the Technion, Israel, on “Empirical Adventures in Call-Centers and Hospitals” and the second delivered by Sid Resnick from Cornell University, USA, on “Modeling Data Network Sessions”. A new introduction to the conference were two “Frontier Sessions” whose goal was to provide an introduction to and discuss challenging open problems in relatively new areas of active research. Amaury Lambert from UPMC, Université Paris 6 organized the one on “Stochastic Models in Phylogenetics” and Andrea Montanari from Stanford University, USA, organized the session on “New Uses of Random Matrices”. There was also a special session “On the Skorokhod Problem” held in honor of the probabilist A.V. Skorokhod who passed away in January, 2011.

There was plenty of time during the coffee and lunch breaks to promote research discussions. The weather was perfect throughout and the conference dinner was held at the beautiful Vasa museum in Stockholm.


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