ESP Biography

YUNJIANG JIANG, PhD student focusing on probability theory

Major: Mathematics

College/Employer: Stanford University

Year of Graduation: 4

Picture of Yunjiang Jiang

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I was raised and educated in China up til the age of 14. Then I moved to Georgia and stayed for six years, including the first two years of college, before going abroad to the Netherlands for a master class on symplectic geometry. Last year I got admitted to Stanford math department and I decided to switch direction slightly to probability, rather than the older aspiration of differential geometry/mathematical physics.
I enjoy the zest of creating new mathematics, especially when there is a big motivating hand in the background. Another lifelong passion has been reading, of all sorts of things, but most frequently mathematics textbooks and papers, since they are very dense in ideas.
Since the beginning of this year, I have been systematically studying the bulk of so-called financial mathematics, along with the probability theory it requires. It has been a rewarding experience so far and kept me sane and in touch with reality. Since I was trained as a geometer, I often bring in geometric insight to the subjects at hand.
Outside my field, I play a variety of music instruments with varying degrees of proficiency. I have been passionate about the game of "Go" /Weiqi, although I have not built up much skills yet.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M124: mathematics of computer games using probability theory in Splash! Fall 2008 (Oct. 18, 2008)
There is an exponentially growing industry of single platform or online games around the globe. Though I do not advocate the spread of gaming among teenagers, it is often instructive to seek meaningful and challenging math problems from these virtual settings. I shall give one example I discovered from a forum. For starters, one often needs to find an optimal strategy in achieving some well defined goal, such as upgrade the players by accumulating experience points, outnumbering the opponent (often the computer itself) by strategically utilizing resources. One way to attack them is through standard procedures in operations research. When the outcome of certain actions are nondeterministic, one must resort to probabilistic means such as markov chain techniques, dynamic programming, etc. I will describe how to find the expected payoff of certain strategies, and how to find the optimal ones.