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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

**Abstract:** The probabilistic method, pioneered by Paul Erdos, has proven to be one of the most powerful and versatile tools in the field of combinatorics. Mathematicians working in diverse fields, from graph theory to number theory to linear algebra, have found the probabilistic toolset valuable. However, 3-manifold topology has only been recently approached from this angle, though the field itself is full of intricate combinatorics. In this talk, I'll describe some of the ways one might define a "random 3-manifold" and the subtleties that arise in the definition. I'll also talk about how one can use these ideas to experiment computationally with 3-manifolds, to help us get a handle on what is "common", and what is "rare".