The Wonders of the Probabilistic Method


August 8, 2012


Nati Linial


Hebrew University


I will try to explain some key principles in modern mathematics which combine ideas from combinatorics and probability. In particular I will emphasize the surprising role that probability theory plays in the study of combinatorics. How it allows us to investigate complicated graphs and networks without having to reveal all the specific details of individual large graphs or networks. This talk is intended for a general audience. The necessary mathematical background is at the level of good high-school education.


Nati Linial

Nati Linial is a professor of computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In his own words: I got my undergraduate education in mathematics at the Technion. I did my PhD at the Hebrew University with a thesis in graph theory. Following a postdoctoral period at UCLA math I joined the faculty of the Hebrew University. My main areas of interest are combinatorics, theoretical computer science and bioinformatics. I had about 30 graduate students so far (currently I have 7 PhD students and one MSc student) I am married to Michal, a life-science professor at the Hebrew University. We have three children who are, respectively, an artist, a poet and a budding physicist. I like long-distance running, reading and classical music.