European Institute for Statistics, Probability, Stochastic Operations Research
and their Applications

About | Research | Events | People | Reports | Alumni | ContactHome


11 - 12 - 13

(December 11, 2013)







Coincidence and Chance









On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Eurandom, we would like to invite you to a special event.

On the special date December 11, 2013, we will celebrate this 3rd lustrum of Eurandom with a day of talks on Coincidence and Chance.

We have invited two speakers, who will give an indepth talk for a broad audience in probability, statistics and stochastic operations research. After a short break we will continue with two more general talks on Chance.

Essay Competition:

There is also an essay competition on this topic, for which we invite you to write in approx. 2000 words about coincidence and chance. We have a prize of 500 euro for the winner! For more information on this competition, please go to:  http://www.eurandom.tue.nl/events/workshops/2013/Lustrum/LUSTRUM_essay.html

Link naar Nederlandse versie: http://www.eurandom.tue.nl/events/workshops/2013/Lustrum/LUSTRUM_essay_NL.html


Richard Gill University of Leiden
Klaas Landsman Radboud University Nijmegen
Philippe Robert INRIA
Henk Tijms Emeritus Professor Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam



(please note: this is a preliminary programme. It will be updated as soon as we have confirmation of the speakers)


13.30 - 14.15 Philippe Robert Stochastic Models of Gene Expression
14.15 - 15.00 Richard Gill Lies, damned lies, and statistics in the news
15.00 - 15.30 Coffee/tea break  
15.30 - 16.15 Klaas Landsman Does pure chance exist?
16.15 - 17.00 Henk Tijms A Potpourri of Probability Puzzles
17.00 - 17.30 Essay wedstrijd  
18.15 - Dinner (registration for the dinner is now closed)



Richard Gill (Leiden University)

Lies, damned lies, and statistics in the news

"Scientific fraud" became a fashionable news item in recent years. Very much scientific fraud seems to involve use (and abuse) of statistics. A complicating factor is that it seems to be close to impossible to communicate statistical results to a broad public. Moreover, once media controversy has arisen around some scientific research, the reputation of major institutions is at stake, and the lawyers and managers also are involved. I will illustrate these points with some recent experiences.

Klaas Landsman (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Does pure chance exist?

In daily life, the appearance of randomness usually results from ignorance. 

Pure chance, on the other hand, would be randomness that persisted even if everything were known. Most physicists believe that quantum mechanics gives rise to this intrinsic kind of randomness. Using light mathematics only, we critically review the arguments to this effect.

Philippe Robert (INRIA)

Stochastic Models of Gene Expression

Protein production is a key process of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells consuming more that 80% of their resources. The stochastic fluctuations of the number of copies of a given protein in a cell are therefore of
primary importance. The estimation of variance has already been addressed in the past and closed-form expressions have been obtained, but for a simplified stochastic model of the gene expression that the duration of all the protein production steps are exponentially distributed. This assumption may be however not totally satisfactory since the distribution of the duration of some steps is more likely to be Gaussian, if not almost deterministic. We discuss the impact of these modelling issues through the use of non-Markovian models. It will be seen that the exponential assumption may, surprisingly, underestimate the variance of the number of proteins. These counter-intuitive results stress in particular the importance of the statistical assumptions in the protein production process used up to now.

Henk Tijms (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

A Potpourri of Probability Puzzles

This light-hearted lecture presents a number of probability puzzles with surprising answers. The probability problems deal with taxes in casino gambling, lotto nonsense, and risk-taking behavior among others. The gambler’s ruin formula, the central limit theorem, and the one-stage-look-ahead rule in optimal stopping are the simple probabilistic tools to answer the questions raised in these problems.






Eurandom, Mathematics and Computer Science Dpt, TU Eindhoven,

Den Dolech 2, 5612 AZ  EINDHOVEN,  The Netherlands

Eurandom is located on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology, in the brand new TU/e Metaforum building (4th floor) (about the building). The university is located at 10 minutes walking distance from Eindhoven main railway station (take the exit north side and walk towards the tall building on the right with the sign TU/e).
Accessibility TU/e campus and map.



To register for this lecture day, please fill out the Registration Form. There is no fee for participation.



Should you need to cancel your participation, please contact Patty Koorn, the Workshop Officer.



Mrs. Patty Koorn, Workshop Officer, Eurandom/TU Eindhoven, koorn@eurandom.tue.nl








Last updated 09-12-13,
by PK

 P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
tel. +31 40 2478100  
  e-mail: info@eurandom.tue.nl