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Sidney Redner on Statistics and Everyday Life

Complexity is all around us: in the paths we walk through pathless woods, the strategies we use to park our cars, the dynamics of an elevator as it cycles up and down a building. Zoom out far enough and the phenomena of everyday existence start revealing hidden links, suggesting underlying universal patterns. At great theoretic heights, it all yields to statistical analysis: winning streaks and traffic jams, card games and elevators. Boiling down complicated real-world situations into elegant toy models, physicists derive mathematical descriptions that transcend mundane particulars — helping us see daily life with fresh new eyes.Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and every other week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.In this episode, we speak to SFI Resident Professor Sidney Redner, author of A Guide to First-Passage Processes, about how he finds inspiration for his complex systems research in the everyday — and how he uses math and physics to explore hot hands, heat waves, parking lots, and more…If you value our research and communication efforts, please rate and review us at Apple Podcasts, and/or consider making a donation at You can find numerous other ways to engage with us at Thank you for listening!Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.Podcast theme music by Mitch Mignano.Follow us on social media:Twitter • YouTube • Facebook • Instagram • LinkedInKey Links:Sidney Redner’s SFI WebpageRedner’s textbook, A Guide to First-Passage ProcessesPapers Discussed:Kinetics of clustering in traffic flowsWinning quick and dirty: the greedy random walkWhen will an elevator arrive?Role of global warming on the statistics of record-breaking temperaturesUnderstanding baseball team standings and streaksRandom Walk Picture of Basketball ScoringSafe leads and lead changes in competitive team sportsSimple parking strategiesA Fresh Look at the “Hot Hand” ParadoxCitation Statistics from 110 Years of Physical ReviewExplainer Animations:Simple Parking Strategies: A Primer"Sleeping Beauties" of Science: Unseen ≠ UnimportantWhen Will An Elevator Arrive? 

Om Podcasten

Far-reaching conversations with a worldwide network of scientists and mathematicians, philosophers and artists developing new frameworks to explain our universe's deepest mysteries. Join host Michael Garfield at the Santa Fe Institute each week to learn about your world and the people who have dedicated their lives to exploring its emergent order: their stories, research, and insights…