Research group Probability and Statistics
Probability and Statistics is part of the Institute of Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics of Radboud University Nijmegen. Probability is the area of mathematics that deals with processes and objects where randomness plays a role. Statistics aims to develop methods to make good use of available data. For example, a statistical model quantifies various sources of variation (randomness) using data.
For many complex systems in nature and society, randomness provides an efficient description with great explanatory and predictive power. Therefore, the field Probability and Statistics has a broad range of applications, in natural sciences such as statistical mechanics, biology and neuroscience, chemistry as well as in issues related to modern society such as financial markets, mobile phone networks, social sciences and operations research.
Data are fundamental to our economy, health and day to day lives. Nowadays the volume, variety and complexity of data that could be made available for statistical analysis is large. “Simple” statistical models need to be derived which fit the data well and provide insight in relationships between variables in the population from which the data were sampled.
Probability is also a mature area of pure mathematics providing powerful techniques in areas such as e.g. functional analysis, partial differential equations, geometry of metric spaces, number theory, etc. In recent years, many important prizes such as the Fields medal and the Abel prize have been awarded to probabilists.