American Philosophical Society
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104. Mathematics[X]
1Name:  Dr. Persi Diaconis
 Institution:  Stanford University
 Year Elected:  2005
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  104. Mathematics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1945
Persi Diaconis works at the interface between mathematics and statistics. He studies problems such as "how many times should a deck of cards be shuffled to mix it up?" (The answer is about seven.) Related problems are determining relaxation times for natural mixing processes in Monte Carlo sampling. His work uses probability theory, group theory and combinatorics. He also works hard at trying to make common (and mathematical) sense out of recent statistical procedures. He is well-known as a debunker of pseudo-science and through his former life as a professional magician.
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