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Person# Adam Wade Marcus

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We develop a sophisticated framework for solving problems in discrete mathematics through the use of randomness (i.e., coin flipping). This includes constructing mathematical structures with unexpected (and sometimes paradoxical) properties for which no other methods of construction are known.

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We prove an identity relating the permanent of a rank 2 matrix and the determinants of its Hadamard powers. When viewed in the right way, the resulting formula looks strikingly similar to an identity of Carlitz and Levine, suggesting the possibility that these are actually special cases of some more general identity (or class of identities) connecting permanents and determinants. The proof combines some basic facts from the theory of symmetric functions with an application of a famous theorem of Binet and Cauchy in linear algebra.

We study three convolutions of polynomials in the context of free probability theory. We prove that these convolutions can be written as the expected characteristic polynomials of sums and products of unitarily invariant random matrices. The symmetric additive and multiplicative convolutions were introduced by Walsh and Szego in different contexts, and have been studied for a century. The asymmetric additive convolution, and the connection of all of them with random matrices, is new. By developing the analogy with free probability, we prove that these convolutions produce real rooted polynomials and provide strong bounds on the locations of the roots of these polynomials.

We use the method of interlacing families of polynomials to derive a simple proof of Bourgain and Tzafriri's Restricted Invertibility Principle, and then to sharpen the result in two ways. We show that the stable rank can be replaced by the Schatten 4-norm stable rank and that tighter bounds hold when the number of columns in the matrix under consideration does not greatly exceed its number of rows. Our bounds are derived from an analysis of the smallest zeros of Jacobi and associated Laguerre polynomials.