ESP Biography
YUNJIANG JIANG, PhD student focusing on probability theory
Major: Mathematics College/Employer: Stanford University Year of Graduation: 4 

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. 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.
