Probability and Statistics

Statistics and probability are the complementary disciplines of the science of uncertainty. That is, they deal both with systems that are intrinsically uncertain, such as the choice of a gene passed at random from parent to child, and with systems we believe not to be random but which are too complicated to model exactly, such as the climate.

There is uncertainty in almost every aspect of everyday life and, despite its reputation for exactness, in the scientific world too. Probability and statistics give us tools to handle this uncertainty in a principled manner.

The Probability and Statistics group in Bristol carries out research on many aspects of this science: modelling of random phenomena, methods for the analysis of data, and computational techniques for performing this modelling and analysis. The applications of this research are many and varied, ranging from the analysis of solar flares to robot navigation, from the behaviour of socially organised animals to traffic queues and from genetic research to signal processing.

Local news

24 Feb 2015
Professor Lartillot Nicholas, Universite Lyon 1, is visiting Christophe Andrieu 22 to 28 February 2015.
17 Feb 2015
Professor Claudia Kirch, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, is visiting Haeran Cho 19 to 20 February 2015.
9 Feb 2015
Professor Julia Montera, Roma Tre, is visiting Peter Green 11 February 2015.
2 Feb 2015
Professor Alun Thomas, University of Utah, is visiting Peter Green 4 February 2015.
Professor Nina Gantert, Technische Universitat Munchen, is visiting Marton Balazs 6 to 9 February 2015.
12 Jan 2015
Professor Alain-Sol Sznitman, ETH Zurich, is visiting Marton Balazs from 14 to 16 January 2015.
Dr Rongfeng Sun, National University of Singapore, is visiting Marton Balazs from 14 to 17 January 2015.
9 Jan 2015
Congratulations to Yiyang Xu, who has recently passed his viva entitled ‘Topics in Population Genetics and Mathematical Evolutionary Biology’ under the supervision of Dr Feng Yu and Professor John McNamara.
8 Dec 2014
Professor Vivek Borkar, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, is visiting Marton Balazs 11 to 13 December 2014.
2 Dec 2014
Dr Balazs Rath, TU Budapest, Institute of Mathematics, is visiting Balint Toth 2 to 6 December 2014.
27 Nov 2014
Mr Hakan Guldas, Bogazici University, is visiting Nick Whiteley 27 November to 5 December 2014.
Dr Vsevolod Shneer, Heriot-Watt University, is visiting Marton Balazs 27 to 28 November 2014.
17 Nov 2014
Dr Marc Lelarge, INRIA / ENS (Paris), is visiting Marton Balazs 20 to 24 November 2014.
10 Nov 2014
Dr Erwan Hillion, University of Luxembourg, is visiting Oliver Johnson 11-15 November 2014.
3 Nov 2014
Dr Yvik Swan, Universite de Liege, is visiting Marton Balazs 6-8 November 2014.
27 Oct 2014
Professor Frank Redig, Delft University of Technology, is visiting Marton Balazs from 29 October to 1 November 2014.
21 Oct 2014
Dr Amanda Turner, Lancaster University, is visiting Marton Balazs 24 to 25 October 2014.
8 Sept 2014
Mr Lee Jarod and Professor Louise Ryan from University of Technology Sydney are visiting Peter Green 8-9 September.
29 Aug 2014
Highly successful workshop on High-dimensional Stochastic Simulation and Optimisation in Image Processing held at Goldney Hall. Click image to see more.
12 Aug 2014
Mr Juha Ala-Luhtala, Tampere University of Technology, is visiting Kari Heine from 8th September to 4th December 2014.
4 Aug 2014
Mr Antonio Quintero Rincon is visiting Marcelo Pereyra from 1st – 31st August 2014.
Dr Aidan O’Keeffe, UCL, is visiting Panayiota Constantinou from 3rd -8th August 2014.
16 July 2014
Highly successful workshop on High-dimensional and Multivariate Extremes held at Goldney Hall. Click image to see more.
1 July 2014
Dr Kirstin Strokorb, Mathematics Institute from University of Mannheim, is visiting Yiannis Papastathopoulos from 25 June-2 July 2014.
24 June 2014
Dr Kirstin Strokorb, University of Mannheim, is visiting Yiannis Papastathopoulos from 25 June-2 July 2014.
10 June 2014
Mr Mikael Kuusela, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), is visiting Heather Battey from 12-14 June 2014.
8 May 2014
Dr Ramji Venkataramanan, University of Cambridge, is visiting Marton Balazs from 8-9 May 2014.
30 April 2014
Dr Yoann Altmann, Heriot Watt University, is visiting Marcelo Pereyra on 1 May 2014.
7 April 2014
Miss Paula Navarro Esteban, Universidad de Cantabria, is visiting Heather Battey from 1 April-29 July 2014.
3 April 2014
Dr Gady Kozma, Weizmann Institute, is visiting Marton Balazs from 2-6 April 2014.
17 Mar 2014
Professor Tim Myers, Centre de Recerca Matematica, is visiting Ganesh from 17-18 March 2014.
10 Mar 2014
Congratulations to David Leslie for the award of a University Research Fellowship for 2014/15.
Congratulations to Balint Toth for being awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust to run a 36 month international network programme entitled “Laplacians, Random Walks, Bose Gas and Quantum Spin Systems".
6 Mar 2014
Two news SuSTaIn workshops are to be held in Bristol this summer: "High-dimensional and Multivariate Extremes, 02-07 July 2014" and "High-dimensional Stochastic Simulation and Optimisation in Image Processing, 27-29 August 2014. Please refer to news page of SuSTaIn ( for details.
25 Feb 2014
Professor Piotr Fryzlewicz, LSE, is visiting Guy Nason, from 24-25 February 2014.
Professor Philip Dawid, University of Cambridge, is visiting Nayia Constantinou, from 26-28 February 2014.
30 Jan 2014
Congratulations to Joe Cainey, who passed his viva subject to minor corrections.
27 Jan 2014
Prof Stijn Vansteelandt, University of Ghent, Belgium, is visiting Vanessa Didelez from 27-28 January 2014.
Dr Lasse Leskela, University of Jyvaskyla, is visiting Ayalvadi Ganesh from 30-31 January 2014.
21 Jan 2014
Prof Julia Mortera, Universita Roma Tre, is visiting Peter Green from 21-24 January 2014.
Prof Michael Keane, Wesleyan University, is visiting Balint Toth from 23-25 January 2014.
7 Jan 2014
Welcome to Ben Powell, who is working with Guy Nason as a Research Assistant.
Some of the old news can be found here.

Extracting signals from noisy gene expression data requires novel statistical techniques.

Our research is internationally recognised, receives the top rating from the national funding council, and is funded by a wide range of public and commercial organisations. It includes both fundamental work on the core of our disciplines, and inter-disciplinary collaboration with researchers in other subjects, both in Bristol and beyond. All of our work is mathematically rigourous, and all is ultimately stimulated by its potential in understanding the world around us.