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Stochastics and Statistics Seminar

Sharp Thresholds for Random Subspaces, and Applications

November 13, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Mary Wootters - Stanford University


Abstract: What combinatorial properties are likely to be satisfied by a random subspace over a finite field? For example, is it likely that not too many points lie in any Hamming ball? What about any cube?  We show that there is a sharp threshold on the dimension of the subspace at which the answers to these questions change from “extremely likely” to “extremely unlikely,” and moreover we give a simple characterization of this threshold for different properties. Our motivation comes from error correcting codes, and we use this characterization to make progress on the questions of list-decoding and list-recovery for random linear codes, and also to establish the list-decodability of random Low Density Parity-Check (LDPC) codes.

This talk is based on the joint works with Venkatesan Guruswami, Ray Li, Jonathan Mosheiff, Nicolas Resch, Noga Ron-Zewi, and Shashwat Silas.

Bio: Mary Wootters is an assistant professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. She received a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan in 2014, and a BA in math and computer science from Swarthmore College in 2008; she was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie Mellon University from 2014 to 2016. She works in theoretical computer science, applied math, and information theory; her research interests include error correcting codes and randomized algorithms for dealing with high dimensional data. She is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and was named a Sloan Research Fellow in 2019; she was named to the Stanford Tau Beta Pi Teaching honor roll in 2018-19 and 2019-20.

MIT Statistics + Data Science Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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