Abstracts

The frog model on trees.
On a d-ary tree place some number (random or otherwise) of sleeping frogs at each site, as well as one awake frog at the root. Awake frogs perform simple random walk and wake any "sleepers" they encounter. A longstanding open problem: Does every frog wake up? It turns out this depends on d and the amount of frogs. The proof uses two different recursions and two different versions of stochastic domination. Joint with Christopher Hoffman and Tobias Johnson. (links to first and second papers)

Splitting hairs with choice.
Sequentially place n balls into n bins. For each ball, two bins are sampled uniformly and the ball is placed in the emptier of the two. Computer scientists like that this does a much better job of evenly distributing the balls than the "choiceless" version where one places each ball uniformly. Consider the continuous version: Form a random sequence in the unit interval by having the nth term be whichever of two uniformly placed points falls in the larger gap between the previous n-1 points. We confirm the intuition that this sequence is a.s. equidistributed, resolving a conjecture from Itai Benjamini, Pascal Maillard and Elliot Paquette. The history goes back a century to Weyl and more recently to Kakutani. (link to paper)