Permutations and integer partitions are the basic combinatorial structures that appear in numerous areas of mathematics and its applications — from number theory, algebra and topology to quantum physics, statistics, population genetics, IT & cryptology (e.g., A. Turing used the theory of permutations to break the Enigma code during World War II). This classic research topic dates back to Euler, Cauchy, Cayley, Lagrange, Hardy and Ramanujan. The modern statistical approach is to treat these structures as a random ensemble endowed with a suitable probability measure. The uniform (equiprobable) case is well understood but more interesting models (e.g., with certain weights on the components) are mathematically more challenging.
The main thrust of this PhD project is to tackle open and emerging problems about asymptotic properties of "typical" structures of big size. The focus will be on macroscopic features of the random structure, such as its limit shape. It is also important to study extreme values, in particular the possible emergence of a giant component which may shed light on the Bose–Einstein condensation of quantum gas, predicted in 1924 but observed only recently (Nobel Prize in Physics 2001).
A related direction of research is the exploration of a deep connection with different quantum statistics; specifically, the ensemble of uniform integer partitions may be interpreted as the ideal gas of bosons (in two dimensions), whereas partitions with distinct parts correspond to fermions. In this context, an intriguing problem is to construct suitable partition classes to model the so-called anyons obeying fractional quantum statistics (also in 2D!). Furthermore, an adventurous idea may be to look for suitable partition models to mimic the unusual properties of graphene (Nobel Prize in Physics 2010), a newly discovered 2D quantum structure with certain hidden symmetries.
Successful candidates should have an excellent degree in mathematics and/or statistics, with a good background and research interests in one or more of the following areas: probability; combinatorics; mathematical statistics; analysis; physics.
You will be based within a strong research group in Probability, Stochastic Modelling & Financial Mathematics (
http://www.maths.leeds.ac.uk/research/groups/probability-stochastic-modelling-and-financial-mathematics.html). Our research focuses on the study and modelling of systems and processes featured by uncertainty and/or complexity, using advanced theoretical, simulation and numerical methods. It covers a vast variety of modern topics both in probability (including theory of random processes and stochastic analysis) and in a wide range of applications in mathematical and other sciences, spanning from nonlinear dynamical systems and mathematical physics through mathematical biology and complexity theory to mathematical finance and economics.
Informal enquiries: Dr Leonid Bogachev (
[email protected]).
Funding Notes
School of Mathematics EPSRC Doctoral Training Grants (variable number of awards, UK/EU candidates only).
Value: full academic fees at the UK/EU rate and maintenance grant (£4,052 + £14,057 p.a. in 2015/16) for up to 3.5 years; some allowances for research expenses/conference attendance.
Eligibility: fully-funded studentship for students satisfying EPSRC UK residency rules; fees only for other EU students.
Academic requirements: at least an upper second class honours degree or equivalent. A masters degree is not required but would be an advantage. Applicants whose first language is not English must also meet additional English language requirements.
Further details: View Website
References
[1] Arratia, R., Barbour, A.D. and Tavaré, S. Logarithmic Combinatorial Structures: a Probabilistic Approach. European Math. Soc., Zürich, 2003. (doi:10.4171/000)
[2] Bogachev, L.V. Unified derivation of the limit shape for multiplicative ensembles of random integer partitions with equiweighted parts. Random Struct. Algorithms, 47 (2015), 227–266. (doi:10.1002/rsa.20540)
[3] Bogachev, L.V. Limit shape of random convex polygonal lines: Even more universality. J. Comb. Theory A, 127 (2014), 353–399. (doi:10.1016/j.jcta.2014.07.005)
[4] Bogachev, L.V. and Zeindler, D. Asymptotic statistics of cycles in surrogate-spatial permutations. Comm. Math. Phys., 334 (2015), 39–116. (doi:10.1007/s00220-014-2110-1)
[5] Lerda, A. Anyons: Quantum Mechanics of Particles with Fractional Statistics. Springer, Berlin, 1992.
[6] Vershik, A.M. Asymptotic combinatorics and algebraic analysis. In: Proc. Intern. Congress Math. 1994, vol. 2. Birkhäuser, Basel, 1995, pp. 1384–1394. (www.mathunion.org/ICM/ICM1994.2/Main/icm1994.2.1384.1394.ocr.pdf)