IMS Medallion Lecture: Alexei Borodin (MIT)
Title: Deformed Polynuclear Growth in (1+1) Dimensions
Abstract: We introduce and study a one parameter deformation of the polynuclear growth (PNG) in (1+1)-dimensions, which we call the t-PNG model. It is defined by requiring that, when two expanding islands merge, with probability t they sprout another island on top of the merging location. At t=0, this becomes the standard (non-deformed) PNG model that, in the droplet geometry, can be reformulated through longest increasing subsequences of uniformly random permutations or through an algorithm known as patience sorting. In terms of the latter, the t-PNG model allows errors to occur in the sorting algorithm with probability t. We prove that the t-PNG model exhibits one-point Tracy-Widom GUE asymptotics at large times for any fixed t∈[0,1), and one-point convergence to the narrow wedge solution of the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) equation as t tends to 1. The proofs are based on solvable stochastic vertex models and their connection to the determinantal point processes arising from Schur measures on partitions.
Joint work with Amol Aggarwal and Michael Wheeler.