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Math @ Duke



Richard T. Durrett, James B. Duke Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

Richard T. Durrett
Contact Info:
Office Location:  117 Physics Building, Box 90320, Durham, NC 27708-0320
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2015):

    Gross Hall 107, TuTh 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as STA 621.01)
Teaching (Spring 2016):

  • MATH 230.03, PROBABILITY Synopsis
    LSRC D106, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    (also cross-listed as STA 230.03)

Ph.D.Stanford University1976
MSEmory University1973
BSEmory University1972

Research Interests:

Probability problems that arise from genetics and ecology, especially stochastic spatial models and cancer models. Random graphs and processes that take place on them.


Mathematical Concepts • Models, Biological • Models, Statistical • Models, Theoretical • Population Dynamics • Probability

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Chris Varghese  
  • Junchi Li  
  • Yuan Zhang  
Postdocs Mentored

  • David Herzog (2011-2014)  
  • Andreas Aristotelous (2011-2014)  
  • Marc Ryser (Jan 2012-July 2015)  
  • David Sivakoff (2010-2012)  
  • John Mayberry (2008 - 2010)  
  • Soumik Pal (2006 - 2008)  
  • Lea Popovic (2005 - 2007)  
  • Paul Jung (2003 - 2007)  
  • Iljana Zahle (2002 - 2003)  
  • Jason Schweinsberg (2001 - 2004)  
  • Vlada Limic (2000 - 2003)  
Undergraduate Research Supervised

  • Luxi Wei (Fall 2013)
    In the Fall of 2013, she read papers on modeling credit risk in preparation for writing a senior thesis. 
  • Anne Talkington (Summer and Fall 2013)
    In the summer of 2013 she studied models for cancer growth as part of the math biology RTG. In Fall 2013 she continued to do research on this topic in an independent study 
  • Kaveh Danesh (2011-2012)
    In a collaboration with Evan Myers and Laura Havrilesky in the Duke Medical school, we worked on predicting the window of opportunity for ovarian cancer screening, resulting in a paper in J. Theor. Biol. Kaveh was a Fulbright Scholar studying cancer villages in China during 2013-2014, and is now in the Applied Math program. Since he is a student trustee I see him three times a year when they meet. 
  • Yifei Chen (Summer 2011)
    Participant in math bio RTG. His simulations were useful in improving a reuslt in my paper on population genetics of exponentially growing populations. 
  • Aashiq Dheeraj (2012-2013)
    Math Bio RTG participant. Studied spatial versions of evolutionary game models in cancer. 
  • Conrad de Peuter (Spring 2013)
    Using Markov renewal processes to model basketball games. 
  • Willie Zheng (Spring 2013)
    Supervised his honors thesis in Math. 
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. R. Durrett and S. Moseley, Spatial Moran Models. I. Tunneling in the Neutral Case, Annals Applied Probability (Accepted, 2013)
  2. R. Durrett, Phase transition in a meta-population version of Schelling's model (Submitted, 2012)
  3. R. Durrett, J. Foo, and K. Leder, Spatial Moran Models II. Tumor growth and progression (Submitted, 2012)
Selected Invited Lectures

  1. IMS Wald Lectures, 2008    
  2. Medallion Lecture SPA Paris, 2006    
  3. St Flour Probability Summer School, 1993    
  4. International Congress of Math, 1990, Kyoto    
Recent Grant Support

  • Interacting Particle Systems on Lattices and on Graphs, National Science Foundation, 1505215, 2015/08-2018/07.      
  • Stochastic Spatial Models: on Complex Networks, Coevolution, and Modeling Cancer, National Science Foundation, DMS 1331778, 2013/09-2015/08.      
  • Biodiversity and Evolution - Support for US Participants, National Science Foundation, DMS 1305997, 2013/09-2015/08.      
  • Mathematical Models of Cancer Initiation, Progression, and Resistance to Therapy, National Institutes of Health, 7R01GM096190-02, 2010/07-2015/06.      
  • Ecology, National Science Foundation, DMS-1005470, 2010/08-2013/07.      
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Random Graphs, National Science Foundation, DMS-1057675, 2010/09-2013/07.      
  • Participant Support for Workshop for Women in Probability 2012, National Science Foundation, 2012/07-2013/06.      
Conferences Organized
ph: 919.660.2800
fax: 919.660.2821

Mathematics Department
Duke University, Box 90320
Durham, NC 27708-0320