Probability theory is thriving at the University of Washington. Probabilists at UW include Chris Burdzy, Zhenqing Chen, Christopher Hoffman and Soumik Pal. The faculty also includes many friends of probability, for which probabilistic arguments play an important role in their research. The UW probability group has close relations with the theory group at Microsoft Research in Redmond and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. At Microsoft, Alexander Holroyd, Eyal Lubetzky, Yuval Peres, David Wilson and several post-docs work in probability theory. The probabilists at UBC include Omer Angel, Martin Barlow, Asaf Nachmias, Ed Perkins and Gordon Slade.
Every year, probabilists from the Seattle area as well as those from the British Columbia and Oregon, gather at the Northwest Probability seminar which takes place at the University of Washington, to hear talks, exchange open problems, and network.
The probability seminar at the University of Washington is a weekly event.
Many areas of probability theory, including Markov chains, random walks, percolation, random matrices, Brownian motion, stochastic calculus and conformally-invariant processes are covered. Thus Seattle is now one of the best places in the world to study and do research in probability.
This is an exciting time for probability theory more broadly, as its importance has been recognized by Fields medals awarded to W. Werner, S. Smirnov and A. Okounkov, a Gauss prize awarded to K. Ito, and an Abel prize awarded to S. Varadhan. We quote from the report of the NSF Workshop on Current and Emerging Research Opportunities in Probability
"Probability is both a fundamental way of viewing the world, and a core mathematical discipline, alongside geometry, algebra, and analysis. In recent years, the evident power and utility of probabilistic reasoning as a distinctive method of scientific inquiry has led to an explosive growth in the importance of probability theory in scientific research. Central to statistics and commonplace in physics, genetics, and information theory for many decades, the probabilistic approach to science has more recently become indispensable in many other disciplines, including finance, geosciences, neuroscience, artificial intelligence and communication networks. "