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Prof Alan Sokal
Department of Mathematics
Gower Street
  • Professor of Statistical Mechanics & Combinatorics
  • Dept of Mathematics
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Research Groups
Research Summary

My research centers on topics at the interface between mathematical physics (notably statistical mechanics and quantum field theory) and combinatorics, together with a strong dose of probability and complex analysis. In particular, I am interested in the real and complex zeros of combinatorially defined polynomials such as the Tutte polynomial (and its specializations such as the chromatic polynomial and the flow polynomial), and their relation to phase transitions in statistical mechanics. Some of this work leads to the investigation of "classical" problems in complex analysis.

I am also interested in developing, analyzing and applying Markov-chain Monte Carlo algorithms for problems in statistical physics. This involves methods of probability theory along with large-scale computation.

Academic Background
1981 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Physics Princeton University
1976 AB Artium Baccalaureus – Physics Harvard University
1976 AM Master of Arts – Physics Harvard University
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